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EMC debuts tapeless virtual tape library for mainframe

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EMC has extended its virtual tape library (VTL) capabilities to customers in mainframe environments with the introduction of the EMC Disk Library for Mainframe (EMC DLm).

Delivering the industry’s first "tapeless" virtual tape system for use in IBM zSeries environments, the EMC DLm enables high-performance disk-based backup and recovery, batch processing and storage and eliminates the challenges associated with traditional tape-based operations to lower customers’ data centre operating costs.
“We introduced our EMC Disk Library portfolio four years ago, and today we have the largest open systems VTL installation base in the industry on the strength of our advanced capabilities and systems design,” says Alex Robertson, Technology Solutions Manager at EMC.
“With the EMC DLm, we are leveraging our rich mainframe technology heritage and proven expertise with VTLs to introduce a system that is easier to use, more scaleable and higher performing than the traditional tape-based VTL and tape library solutions commonly utilised by customers in mainframe environments.”
Competing mainframe VTLs use physical tapes on the back end, perpetuating the management overhead and costs associated with tape media handling and limiting the scalability of customers’ VTL infrastructures.
The EMC DLm is the only virtual tape system on the market that provides a fully integrated, "tapeless" alternative to tape-based mainframe VTLs, enabling customers to process and retrieve information at disk speed and scale their VTL infrastructure as workloads increase without the need for additional subsystems, tape libraries, or specialised network adapters.
The EMC DLm leverages cost-efficient 1 terabyte SATA II disk drives with RAID 6 protection, advanced tape emulation, and hardware compression to provide enterprises with a high-capacity mainframe tape replacement solution that delivers increased application availability and shortens batch processing windows.
Available in two configurations – with either two or four virtual tape emulators – the EMC DLm scales to offer approximately a half petabyte (500Tb) of compressed storage capacity while delivering up to 600Mb per second of throughput – 33% greater throughput than competing mainframe VTLs.
The EMC DLm connects directly to IBM zSeries mainframes using FICON or ESCON channels, and appears to the mainframe operating system as standard IBM tape drives.  All tape commands are supported by DLm transparently, enabling customers to utilise their existing work processes and applications without making any modifications. Additionally, the EMC DLm enables asynchronous replication of data over IP networks, extending the benefits of array-based replication to mainframe data protection operations.