Cloud Storage Solutions for Mainframes
CloudTAPE extends Channel Gateway mainframe virtual tape (MVT) solutions to provide storage of infrequently-accessed and long-term retention data, such as archives or additional copies of tape data, in always available, geographically dispersed and secure cloud-disk storage. The need to use an internal or 3rd party remote infrastructure or vaults for 3rd or archive copies is eliminated.
Why Are Customers Considering Cloud Storage for Tape Data?
For Physical Tape Environments
Many mainframe enterprises continue to write physical tapes and ship them off site for compliance or "belt and suspenders" data redundancy. But physical tape requires manual, physical management and introduces risks, such as loss, damage and/or theft. Physical tape libraries also require significant floor space and environmental control, which adds to the management and cost requirements for maintaining such an infrastructure.
For Virtual Tape Environments
Although many customers have simplified their tape infrastructure by switching to virtual tape and replicating their virtual tape to a disaster recovery (DR) site, managing additional off site copies, a third data center or bunker site may not be feasible for all customers. Additionally, some DR sites are within the same geographic area as their primary data center, so Service Level Agreements (SLAs) may require more assurance than the current level provided.
For All Environments
CloudTAPE provides data protection and global availability in a compatible, secure and fully-managed service.
Typical configuration for third copy/archive, including remote replication to DR site
How it Works
CloudTAPE solutions are connected to the mainframe's ESCON or up to 8 Gb/s FICON channels and emulate 3490 or 3590 tape drives, so existing tape applications can be used without change. The solution is application transparent. When tape data is sent from the mainframe, it is encrypted and compressed by CloudTAPE in a single operation. The data is then replicated to a remote disaster recovery site, or stored in the cloud or both (see figure above).
The solution is ideally suited for tape use cases such as archiving or third copies of data which have the performance characteristics of write once – read seldom and typically have a local and/or remote copy.
For more information regarding CloudTAPE solutions and use cases, please see the CloudTAPE data sheet link above.