Continuing my week's theme on travel, conferences, and Japan, I saw two items in the news that seem to follow a common theme.
According to the "The Daily Yomiuri", a local Japanese paper, "double happy weddings" are becoming more and more popular in Japan. These would be called "stotgun" weddings in the US, but in Japan, couples pay extra to have a wedding between the fifth and seventh month of pregnancy. As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up. Some 27 percent of couples in Japan got married while or after pregnant. The logic is that they can celebrate both events with one ceremony. Many couples believe that the primary purpose of marriage is to have children, and some that fail to have children suffer terrible anguish or divorce. Waiting until being pregnant helps ensure the couple will be "successful" in this regard.
IBM acquires Softek, a software company that develops a product called Transparent Data Mover Facility (TDMF) to move mainframe data from one disk system to another, while applicationsare running. This can be used, for example, to move data from outdated disk systems to IBM disk systems. This is not to be confused with IBM's archive and retention software partner, Princeton Softech.
Softek is the software spin-off of Fujitsu (a Japanese computer hardware manufacturer). For a while, Fujitsu made IBM-compatible mainframe servers, but was not successful at developingits own system software, relying heavily on IBM for this. Unable to compete against IBM, it stopped making mainframe servers, but continues making other kinds of hardware equipment.
With TDMF, the process of moving data is simple. The software runs on z/OS and intercepts all writes intended for a source volumes on the old array, and re-directs a copy to destination volumes on the new device. Systems can run with old and new equipment side by side for a few weeks, with the new device staying in-sync with the old. When the client is ready to cross over, the systems are pointed to the new disk, and the old disk systems are detached and removed from the sysplex.
Afraid that installing TDMF will mess with your applications? IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) is able to roll-in a separate mainframe, move the data, than disconnect it along with the old storage.
(For customers running Linux, UNIX or Windows on other platforms, IBM offers SAN Volume Controller (SVC). While SVC is not marketed as a "data migration device", per se, it does have this capability.Many clients were able to cost-justify purchase of an SVC to move data from old storage to new in similar fashion to how TDMF works on the mainframe.)
What do these stories have to do with one another, other than both relating to Japan? IBM has been using TDMF for years as part of a service offering to move data from one disk system to another.Since Sam Palmisano took over in 2002, IBM has acquired 51 companies, 31 of them software companies. Often, these have been "successful" turning quickly profitable because IBM was already well familiar with the companies they acquire, in much the same way that husbands are well familiar with their brides-to-be at a "double happy wedding".
So, welcome Softek! It looks like its time to celebrate again!