Enterprise Executive - 2017: Issue 2

Data Protector For Z Systems From Dell EMC

Denny Yost 2017-04-12 02:25:38

Speeds Recovery From Loss of Data Integrity Much of the focus on data protection in the last 20 years has been on recovery from loss of a data center due to unplanned outages or disasters. The emphasis has been on providing copies of data at alternate sites and on ensuring that data integrity of the copies is preserved. Availability with data integrity has been the goal. In recent years, data corruption risk has taken on new and more dangerous forms beyond simple processing errors that introduce errant data to now include the willful hacking and destruction of data. As a result, the responsibility of CIOs has expanded beyond providing for rapid recovery from data center loss to ensuring rapid recovery from loss of data integrity. Data Protector for z Systems (zDP) is designed to address the problem of large-scale recovery from logical corruption. zDP is a Dell EMC z/OS-based application that utilizes TimeFinder SnapVX snapshots to enable rapid recovery from logical data corruption. zDP achieves this by providing multiple, frequent and consistent point-in-time copies of data in an automated fashion across multiple volumes from which an application level recovery can be conducted. By providing easy access to multiple different point-in-time copies of data (with a granularity of minutes), precise remediation of logical data corruption can be performed using storage or application-based recovery procedures. zDP provides faster recovery times as less data must be processed due to the granularity of the available point-in-time data copies, cross application data consistency for recovery data and minimal data loss compared to the previous method of restoring data from daily or weekly backups. This is especially important for non-DBMS data, which does not have the granular recovery options provided by log files and image copies associated with database management systems. Prior to zDP, the only way to recover from logical data corruption was an offline copy, either a Business Continuance Volume (BCV), sometimes known as a “Gold Copy” or a backup made to offline physical or virtual tape. Even in the best data centers practicing the latest data protection procedures, often only one offline copy of the “state of the business” was being made per day. Considering that 144 snapshots can be taken in a 24-hour period at 10 minute intervals with zDP compared to a single BCV or offline tape backup, zDP provides 144 times the granularity to recover from a situation that could have otherwise been detrimental or fatal to your business. zDP provides a granular level of protection for your mainframe assets so that a processing error, malicious intent or human error may not cause a data center-wide outage. zDP utilizes the concept of snapshots of Dell EMC VMAX source volumes that allow applications to restore data at a more granular level. This granularity provides point-in-time recovery for both database and non-database systems. With point-in-time copies, selectable recovery points and the ability to automate the backup process, users can elevate their data center and mission critical data management to a level of security never before possible. zDP executes within the Mainframe Enablers ResourcePak Base within a z/OS environment. The zDP application will automate the creation of consistent snapshots on a continuous basis, and they only record changed tracks so many snaps can be saved with minimal space usage. zDP uses a construct called the Versioned Data Group (VDG) that defines the source volumes used for the point-in-time copies. These source volumes can be referred to by SYMM ID, z/OS device number, Dell EMC GNS group name or volume serial number. Once the customer starts the VDG through Dell EMCSCF address space, the snapshots taken of the source volumes defined in that VDG are referred as a “snapset.” ZDP also supports the definition and validation of a set of volumes, called a Target Set, to which the snapsets can be linked to access the snapset data from a host. It is important to note that a Target Set does not need to be defined in order to build snapshots/snapsets. However, in order to use the data from a snapset you must link the snapset to the Target Set. Finally, while zDP runs, you can use the zDP VDG query commands to monitor and report on the zDP application. To learn more about zDP and how it helps ensure rapid recovery from loss of data integrity, contact your Dell EMC representative at 1-866-438-3622 or visit www.EMC.com/storage/mainframe.htm.

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