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CA follows the Riverbed, hopes to find cloudy Amazon mainframe gold

We came, we saw a niche, we hope to conquer

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In a smart bit of niche identification and gap-filling, stuffy old CA Technologies is getting mainframe backup data to Amazon's cloud by going through Riverbed.

With such a nifty move anybody would think CA has new management. Guess what? It has, with new CEO Michael Gregoire spurring the company on to do better.

Start out with a backup product for System z mainframes such as CA's CA Vtape. Add a cloud storage gateway software product called CA Cloud Storage for System z. It takes mainframe backup data and uses a Riverbed Whitewater appliance to pump it up in WAN-optimised form to Amazon's S3 cloud or to its low-cost Glacier archive service.

CA is gushingly complimentary about Amazon's cloud in its release, puffing its reliability and blathering on about the advantages:

  • Cut storage costs by taking advantage of the efficiencies AWS offers such as capacity on demand and reduced dependency on storage media.
  • Speed ability to access, store, retrieve and recover storage data, increasing velocity to seconds from the hours, or days, physical media recovery can take.
  • Reduce data centre risk by storing data securely off-site, while addressing regulatory guidelines for long-term data retention.
  • Seamlessly operate with current applications that store and retrieve data without programming changes.
  • Automatically reduce storage size and network bandwidth requirements with powerful de-duplication algorithms and the number of bytes sent into the cloud.

All true, with caveats. The data access speed point is in comparison to data held on tape, of course. The "increasing velocity to seconds" point obviously doesn't apply to Glacier which has a built-in wait of hours before you get any data back.

The main selling point is to reduce local disk or tape backup data storage costs by shunting the data off up to cheaper Amazon. It's a smart move by CA. ®

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