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January 18, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

Six-year-old Essential Software Inc has set its sights on Europe’s embryonic disaster recovery market, with the launch of its Arise data tracking and restoration software for MVS/SP and MVS/XA environments. According to the Sherman Oaks, California based company, the product is designed to streamline the data centre resurrection process in a number of different ways, takes one hour to install, and requires just two days’ training. Initially, the product extracts information concerning applications that a company has identified as critical, together with the production Job Control Language, JCL, and details of the storage requirements necessary to support them. Gathered information is then stored in data sets in an on-line database, which produces printed documentation – a so-called Yellow Book recording all data changes when they occur. The database is also used to store information relating to relevant user catalogues and source libraries. The system then uses the information in the database to create a restore queue – the Job Control Language streams required to recreate an application. Product manager Vic McKay argues that should disaster strike, personnel at an alternate recovery site can simply log on to the database to restore vital applications in a minimal amount of time and with minimal effort, once back-up tapes have arrived. Equally, thanks to the automated nature of the process, recovery staff need not be familiar with the applications that they are restoring. Other benefits cited include on-screen simulation and testing, and the reduction of manual intervention and consequent human error to a minimum. In addition, by identifying exactly which resources are required the recovery site, the system can actually help companies to budget their disaster recovery needs more accurately. The product has been available in the US since August 1988, where it is installed in 18 sites, spanning insurance, banking, manufacturing and data processing sectors. In Europe, the product will sell at a pre-launch price of UKP33,000 or the equivalent, which includes two days’ installation and training. Senior vice-president of European operations and managing director Derek Langley, believes that the implementation of the Financial Services, Building Societies, and Insurance Societies Act within the next 18 months will ensure that the product receives a high profile within both commercial and government sectors. Arise will accordingly be targeted at European blue chip IBM sites, including those where the company already has customers using its Sysout Archival and Retrieval and Express Delivery print management products. Essential Software employs 100 staff throughout the world, and saw a turnover last year of around $7m.

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