CA Technologies has landed its first major Australian customer in its bid to bring Cloud to the mainframe.
CA Technologies, in partnership with Amazon Web Services and Riverbed, has implemnted its Cloud Storage for System Z solution with one of Australia's big four banks and is in "detailed talks" with another.
The technology, officially released in November last year, migrates legacy mainframe data, often stored on tape and disk, to an Amazon Cloud, while Riverbed secures and enables seamless access to the data.
Mainframes are used by big organisations with a need to store a lot of data for a long time.
It is designed to help organisations eliminate costly purchases and reduce the total cost of ownership for storing and managing z/OS data.
With Amazon Web Services cloud storage and the Riverbed Technology SteelStore cloud storage gateway, it allows companies to store, access, retrieve and recover z/OS data more quickly and easily.
It also helps reduce dependency on expensive, proprietary hardware solutions and helps shrink your costs of acquiring and managing System z storage when used with the Amazon and Riverbed offerings.
CA Technologies, vice president solution sales, mainframe, Chris Wilson, told ARN that all four of the big banks already used their technology and that he was hoping to pick up two or three more as mainframe Cloud customers over the next year.
"All four of the big banks use our technology so there's a fair amount of trust," he said.
"From a CA perspective we have set quite conservative targets. In the Australian market in the next 12 months, if we could get two or three more customers active and getting the benefits of the solution we would be pretty happy.
Wilson said, until now, there had really been no mainframe data stored in the Cloud.
"What we have found talking to our customers is that we are seeing relentless growth in mainframe from what we refer to now as the app economy, and our customers are looking for alternatives that are cost effective," he said.
"This partnership provides a method for us to move mainframe data into the Cloud, storing it much cheaply and reducing the amount of storage our customers need.
Wilson said it provided customers with flexibility in the "dynamic datacentre" and had garnered strong interest from all of CA's customers.
"They keep records for up to seven years that quite often never get looked at," he said.
"Being able to move that data to the Cloud is a lot more cost effective for them and we have partnered AWS to build out this solution."
Wilson said data sovereignty had emerged as a major issue for the banks and the financial services industry.
"Data sovereignty came out as a critical issue, and the fact that Amazon now has datacentres in Australia was also important for the banks," he said.
"Amazon is very well regarded by the companies who believe that data sovereignty is important," he said.
AWS senior Manager, technology solutions, Glen Gore, said the partnership was a great first step towards unlocking legacy data for the purposes of analytics and easy access.
"They want to get some of the benefits of the Cloud but at the same time make sure it's extremely safe and highly durable," he said.
"It's very much an enabling function.
He said customers were using S3 activity logs which were highly durable.
"It's a layered service which makes it very secure and meets the requirements of the bank," he said.
"We are excited to see the partnership between CA, Riverbed and Amazon helping customers in their transitions."
Riverbed managing director, Ian Raper, said his company provided availability through either a virtual addition or a shrink wrapped appliance.
"It takes it through a process that de-duplicates data caches it and sends it into the Amazon Cloud," he said.
"Our job is to make sure this technology works seamlessly, makes limited changes and makes the data highly available."
Large system partners for the mainframe Cloud storage solution includes Dimension Data, Telstra, Optus, IBM and HP.
Raper said customers were very surprised with the level of performance and security the product offered.
"We are put through our paces to make sure they are comfortable with the level of security," he said.
"They are very happy with what they are getting because it's more than what they had before."
He said it enabled customers to leverage hybrid Cloud storage.
"They can get a tiered storage model using this and they were very surprised about the performance they got. It's faster than they expected."
Raper said Riverbed products were only available through channel partners.
"FSI (financial services industry) is the biggest opportunity for us; they have a very strong interest in this technology," he said.
"We believe we need to certify our technologies. None of us can do everything in this scenario."
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