Completing our wrap-up of the new software announced by IBM last week – the first part is in CI No 687 – the company introduced a whole string of products to improve the handling and management of data in secondary storage. The company says that the new function and new releases of the Data Facility family provide storage management enhancements in the evolution toward system-managed storage, which seems a little opaque, even for IBM, but the problem that Data Facility is designed to address is that one has to think back less than a decade to remember that the biggest IBM mainframe could directly address a mere 16Mb of main memory – your average 68020 or 80386 micro sports that much main memory these days – and the biggest disk drives were the 1.2Gb 3350s. The 3090 mainframes on the other hand have 96Mb or more of main memory and up to 768Mb of extended memory before you even get to the disk drives, which will very soon store 7.2Gb or so per drive – and managing data efficiently in vast echoing memory spaces like that is a quantum degree more difficult than managing even the maximum supported by a puny little 3033 with 3350 disk drives. The new IBM products consist of a string of new releases of existing programs – MVS/XA Data Facility Product v2.3; Data Facility Data Set Services v2.3; Data Facility Hierarchical Storage Manager v2.3, and the company explains that these three, plus Data Facility Sort – DFSORT and Resource Access Control Facility, RACF, form the strategic base from which IBM is evolving toward a system-managed storage environment, in other words, one in which storage of data is managed intelligently, rather than simply by brute force and microcode in the channels and controllers. They are designed to make the process of storage management more automatic and to use storage systems more effectively – it is not unknown for users to find that data is distributed so inefficiently over their disk drives that large parts of the expensive capacity is unused but inaccessable – or wasted. The latter is a feature that was effectively designed into ICL 2900s under DME emulation of 1900 mode: the 2900 was a 32-bit – four eight-bit bytes, the 1900 was a 24-bit machine, four six-bit characters. Memory was arranged in eight-bit bytes so that with the CPU in 1900 mode, two memory cells out of every eight were unused – and unusable. Features of the new releases of the IBM programs are claimed to be improved disk volume back-up and recovery through automatic invocation of DF Data Set Services volume dump and restore capabilities by DF Hierarchical Storage Manager; increased productivity through enhancements in the Interactive Storage Management Facility in Data Facility Product with corresponding Data Set Services support; Integrated Catalogue Facility catalogue recovery enhancements; operational enhancements and system constraint relief with the three new Data Facility program releases; easier direct access storage device conversion and improved disk space usage and allocation by, and improved data portability and availability by enhanced volume-oriented back-up and recovery in, Data Set Services.
MVS/XA Data Facility Product v2.3
Data Facility Product, DFP, provides the data management, device management, program management and interactive storage management functions for IBM processors operating in Extended Architecture mode. Highlights of the new release include addition of Interactive Storage Management Facility volume application, and enhancements to the ISMF data set application; the worldwide availability of national language support with Japanese language characters for ISMF applications in both MVS/XA DFP v2.2 and 2.3. The additional facilities are companions to the Sysgen Simplification, Integrated Catalog Facility Recovery Enhancements and System Constraint Relief announced last October. There are also VSAM enhancements in Data Facility Product 2.3 and its co-requisite program products MVS/SP-JES2 2.2.0 or MVS/SP-JES3 2.2, and IBM says that they contain the most function currently available for the MVS/XA o
perating system. They are also the prerequisites for advanced functions of DF Data Set Services 2.3 and DF Hierarchical Storage Manager 2.3, and IBM suggests that customers who will most benefit from using MVS/XA DFP 2.3 are those who can use the improved storage management functions of DFDSS and DFHSM, those who need Virtual Storage Constraint Relief, and users who want the data availability enhancements via the integrated catalog facility recovery enhancements. DFP 2.3 will be available in the US in the third quarter at $1,025 a month, or at a one-time charge of $30,750 to $49,200.