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SAFECO Insurance Moves Data in Real Time with TDMF

Published
  • January 01 1999, 1:00am EST

BACKGROUND: SAFECO Insurance Company (SAFECO) has been doing business for over 75 years offering all categories of insurance portfolios. The recent acquisition of American States Insurance has made them the 15th largest property and casualty insurer in the United States by bringing together 11,000 talented employees with a distribution force of 8,000 agents.

PLATFORMS: SAFECO runs their on-line legacy systems in a S/390 (V2-Rel.5) environment, with a mixture of HDS 7700/7600, IBM 3390 and Ramac DASD.

PROBLEM SOLVED: For some time SAFECO had realized a sharp increase in storage capacity requirements and, consequently, purchased large amounts of DASD. Our data center management faced a dilemma: How do we introduce new storage technology, as well as manage data without affecting the response to our customers? What we needed was a solution that allowed us to relocate data in a point-in-time fashion as well as migrate data within the data center in periods of full production and demand. Our site's storage administrator must be able to support continuous 24x7 data availability. Although other vendors have developed migration techniques, their implementations are based on the vendor's hardware capabilities. Amdahl's MVS-based TDMF Storage Management Software supports the requirements for non-disruptive vendor independent data management in a real-time on-line environment.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: SAFECO, for the most part, has used the TDMF product in an attempt to accomplish our present need for consolidating other companies with ours. Since we have significantly changed our way of handling data management issues, it was necessary to also redefine our requirements for future changes in our enterprise. In doing so, we have based our plans on the following assumptions: the data management solution should be dynamically activated and terminated; data manipulation should support a multiple system shared data environment and guarantee complete data integrity; the user will have the ability to initiate and control the migrations from a single location; applications remain unaware that data movement is underway; the data is continuously and fully accessible for read and write activity; after migration and synchronization are complete, the takeover of the target device is non-disruptive; and the use of the data management solution is not restricted to any control unit model type or device type.

STRENGTHS: TDMF is easy to install and easy to use. Because of its concurrent operation, the SAFECO client community never sees the real work that goes on behind the scenes. The resource utilization used by this product is negligible to the system. TDMF has excellent user-friendly on-line help with all messages and codes contained in the on-line monitor.

WEAKNESSES: Ramac track differences cause some minor irritation, and we would like to see this problem solved in the future. We would also like to see "cache" and "disable/new" be integrated.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We feel that the product has no competition at this point in time. The only alternative is use the age-old dump/restore process, which takes extensive resources, time and effort.

DELIVERABLES: Real-time performance information is a real plus, but at this point we have not taken full advantage of all the other data reporting functionality available. We are anxious to explore this area further.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Amdahl has provided very good communications and support on the TDMF product. This was our first Amdahl purchase. We are very satisfied with the product and the service.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation provided was complete and precise. We could have installed and run the product with almost no intervention from the vendor. The TDMF product is distributed on a standard tape in SMP/E format and may be installed using SMP/E or unloaded from the TDMF distribution tape using IEBCOPY. The product tape has a IBM standard tape label, and the volume serial is indicated on the external label of the tape cartridge.


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