got it atlast

been trying remember the name of two movies for months. saw them amongst the blur of movies i saw in the states - my mad movie rush! found the atlast ...

magnolia & sophies choice

awesome!

im back ...

i played with the template a while, but icouldnt really get it to do the stuff i wanted ... and after a bit i got fed up ... I wanted it like Michelle had done it before - a nice curly-wurly RICERCAR on top ... but its come out weird!

im reading inscrutable americans. it was funny for the first few pages. now its terribley boring. im going to finish it today and go back to global soul. i also have marquez AB to start ...

and loads of thinking to do. i need to decide by this weekend. ive been sitting on the fence too long. just going alone with life and not thinking, not deciding. we need to decide. ull never know if its the right decision - but you still gotto decide. another thing i realised is that i depend way to much on other peoples love and affection (or whatever) for my happiness. its ok if some people think ur a idiot. im not gonna go out of my way to 'be a friend' or make people happy or not hurt people anymore. like my most fav blogger reminded me ... fcuk fish - had enough fish - fcuk being nice. had enough. im not that much stronger than everyone else and everyone else is not that weak. and no wound is fatal. you cant mess up ur life cz someone will feel bad if u dont. like the monk said - in original sin - no one is innocent. no one is 'bechaara'.

i went to hyatt for dinner last night. it was so tiring that for a fraction of a sec i fell asleep standing! i woke up at 5:30. went to the gym. got back. went to work - morning shift. finished at 2 but stayed back for the roadshow. till 4. then ran around trying to trace the guy who had my IT Returns. Got home 6. Returned a million phone calls. Ma got back from work. Got a shouting for 'not being enthu about dressing up'. then we went for the dinner. made PC with hajaar people. food was nice. ok. not that great. fell asleep in the car on the way back!

i havent seen a movie since i got back to india. in the hall that is. i saw 'white' at home - it was awesome! i wanna see TAXI this weekend. its a french movie. its very funny. speaking of french movies - i feel like seeing 'breathless' again. im going to buy dvd's this weekend. maybe ill get red, blue, white & breathless and limelight. and ofcourse - high fidelity and pride and prejudice. lets see ...

to everyone who had commented on the previous posts - i couldnt reply cz I switched the comments to blogger-comments ... SORRY!!! :(

under repairs

bear with me while i try to fix some old bugs in the format

sick

not well. in bed since thursday ... so no net access. will have to wait to post ...

life keeps changing moods like the kaliedescope i played with on the balcony as a child ... life is so beatiful, light or dark

have u ever felt the world shrinking, condensing, falling, falling into you, as you stare on at the ceiling.

its so peaceful to be at home. in cal ...

Flashback warm nights, Almost left behind. Pages of memories calling across time

I spent half my time searching for calvin and hobbes on the net ... bcz i was bored of trying to figure out the logic (?) behind weird spagetti code. well, i found this awesome online archive and this article ...

``Bill is both refreshingly different and exasperatingly different, depending on one's perspective,'' said Lee Salem, editorial director of Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes ``Calvin and Hobbes.'' ``I'm an editor, not a creative person. I think it's difficult for those of us not (creatively) inclined to judge what toll that takes on a person. With some of these people it's a toll they didn't want to pay anymore.''

THE REST OF THE ARTICLE AT www.sfgate.com/ea/carroll/1230.html

Ive heard of this happening to other people, but this is the first time its happened to me!

I LOST A POST!!!!

anyway - here what i was writing about ... i found a lot of old diaries and poems and stuff at home and ive been having a lot of fun going through them. then i started reading the blogs right from the start ... its not so bad. all u gotto do is remember that ur everyone else might be reading it too :)

its funny ... may 2003 i wrote two posts about rajesh ... it was so nice to reread that now! and i liked these two bits too ... same period ... may 2003:

Friday, May 16, 2003
Ive got maxims on my mind ...
and voices in my head

as times goes on u realise the opposite of love is never hatred
because hatred is just another form of love
the opposite of love is indifference ...
like the opposite of existence is non existence and not disease ...

we are such fools
not merely happy with the fact that our friends do love us
we also put conditions on how and why?


everything u see, everything u hear
nothing is at it seems
everything is a test
everything is a clue
everyone u meet
everyone u see
no one should be trusted
no one is a friend

Sunday, May 04, 2003
... and another soul stirring memory. I was walking home from the bus stop in bristol one day. balmy evening. winds blowing all around. this is near the city centre and used to talk all kinds of weird by lanes ... a new one each time & there were so many! god I loved that city so. anyway, so its about 9 pm and the sky is just about beginning to fade to darker shades ... Im walking ... its cold ... and I have one of those "I'm all alone in this world & thank god" feelings. Im walking by this huge church and SUDDENLY there are lights inside & the bells start chiming .. I cant explain this ... but it was exquisite. The sounds of the bells floated all around in the air till I felt like I was dancing in a cloud of song & the whole world was so beautiful and I was SO GRATEFUL I was alive & alone & free

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
"And If you truly did drown? In life?
Would that be fascinating too?
Slowly sinking down down dark deep.
Into the stomach off a sweet blue intensity.
And then, night, night forever?
But a soft white glow Ill leave behind.
And it will keep glowing forever?"

confused

if you're unhappy, you can be cheered up
if you're stuck, you can be helped out
if you're dont know how to get what you want, you can be showed the way

but if you dont know what you want ... theres nothing anyone can do to help you!

i fell in love with this little snippet ...

"In the back of the file, I found a yellowed cartoon I’d clipped from the newspaper. It’s Snoopy, opening his mailbox. Dear Contributor, states the letter he reads. We are returning your stupid story. You are a terrible writer. Why do you bother us? We wouldn’t buy one of your stories if you paid us. Leave us alone. Drop dead. Get lost. In the last square, Snoopy rests on his doghouse. Probably a form rejection slip, he thinks.

Oh, yeah. Snoopy knows where to file that rejection. His dream is protected, his heart is in tact. File that letter under H for Hope, that dream-sustaining elixir, the Holy Grail of publishing.
"


from Roxanne St. Claire’s first novel, 'TROPICAL GETAWAY'.

speaking of peanuts ...
sally rather reminds me of barbie and guess who marcie reminds me of!

sleepy

im so sleepy i can hardly concentrate! but i know if i could lie down now i wouldnt be able sleep ...
i was up till two last night. for the first time ... i had a waking nightmare. a truck. a accident. blood. death and rahul in kolkata! weird ...

just feel asleep. had barely fallen asleep when i was woken by the phine. 4 am. sos calls dont watch the time. but im glad. im there if u needme. who ever the hell u are. after all thats all im semi good for ;)

went to the terrace. and sat in the ring. ram-da's jasmine floated heavy all around ...
came down, checked on ma. checked on munal. my little kiddies ... said sorry for the fight ... she smiled in her sleep. first smile in ages. mamma. the biggest kiddo in the world. how i lose my temper when i lose it. my hands shake. my legs shake. and my voice goes low and cold. i could kill someone then in a rage. pills used to be scared every day. thats id kill someone .... was tempted only once. i hate people who sneak into ur privacy. who break codes and passwords to investigate. but i guess, its only human. we must tolerate. forgive. accept. and then we must tolerate their abuses in turn!

anyway then i walked the the kitchen. didnt find anything. the ghost who walks. then i drifted off to sleep just as the alarm went. gym at 6 ... ouch!

drove to work half asleep. i used to have so many friends here. do i not have them anymore or is it my imagination? whats friendship? how much of a shelf-life does it have anyway? whats love, affectation, crushes and whats the expiry date on a promise?

one thought on my mind since sunday ... i wish i could be an angel! wish ihad the authority to walk up to anyone and say 'hello ... why u do you look so crushed.' ... to help. to talk. to wrap them up in clouds of comfort. heal them and let them fly again ... but i cant. when u sit there. looking so sad. i can even say ... friend - its ok. how could i? i barely know you. but i prayed for u. u will be better. soon.

and this is my LAST personal post here!

pome

i was made of glass, when i was born, yet i thought i was so strong
and now ive turned to stone

ill cut you if u break me, ill hurt u if u hurt me, though hold me in the sun,
theres light and rainbows all around

im transparent. im clear, unclouded
u see in me what YOU want to see

ive been bitten by all the little birds, i sheltered from the storm
now all i want is to be alone

im broken, cracked, shattered, scattered, parts of me lost in the wind
i need to turn. to turn to stone.

lifes like that

what does your life mean to you? what is it for, do you think?

if pigs could fly ...

if we could get, on demand
either death, or a second chance

if we could chose what we bore
and what lit up the smiles we wore

if every dog had a day
if we got something, for every price we pay

if love was even, in give and take
or if love came alone, without want, or ache

if everyone loved cats and dogs
and all the old and the children never hurt

if music and humour were universal
and if i could write ... to save my life ;)



another weekend. each friday i tell myself that monday will never come. but it does. thank god. imagine how boring life would be with nothing to crib about :)

so much has happened - as always - i have much to write about. but not here. this blog has become too public. so ill hold it for a while as far as this ones concerned.

forward

i received these two fwds early this morning. couldnt resist ...

Sometimes... when you cry... no one sees your tears.

Sometimes... when you are in pain... no one sees your hurt.


Sometimes... when you are worried... no one sees your stress.


Sometimes... when you are happy... no one sees your smile.








- But FART!! just ONE time... And everybody knows!!
Gotcha!! You thought it was going to be one of those heart-touching stories!


BUT THE BEST IS:

http://www.ircuser.org/files/monkey.swf

the da vinci code

im reading this book which i just cant seem to put down. its almost down. i read 424 pages in between saturday morning and sunday morning ... after which i had to be out with the family ... but theres no rahul to gloat so ... :)

its really exciting. it talks about chirst and mary magadelan and a secret sect called the priori of scion and the knights templar.

the last time i read something that seemed so exciting AND real was 'mary queen of scotts' ... but who knows whats true. like the book says ... history instrinsically means the story of he who won. who knows what really happened. but its a fascinating read.

song in my head - after years now

She grew up with
The children of the stars
In the hollywood hills and the boulevard
Her parents threw big parties
Everyone was there
They hung out with folks like
Dennis Hopper, Bob Seeger, Sonny and Cher

Now, she feels safe
In this bar on fairfax
And from the stage I can tell that
She can't let go and she can't relax
And just before
She hangs her head to cry
I sing to her a lullaby, I sing

Everything's gonna be all right
Rockabye, rockabye

She still lives with her mom
Outside the city
Down that street about a half a mile
And all her friends tell her
She's so pretty
But she'd be a whole lot prettier
If she smiled once in a while
`Cause even her smile
Looks like a frown
She's seen her share of devils
In this angel town

But, everything's gonna be all right
Rockabye, rockabye

I told her I ain't so sure
About this place
It's hard to play a gig in this town
And keep a straight face
Seems like everyone here's got a plan
It's kind of like nashville with a tan, but,

Everything's gonna be all right
Rockabye, rockabye


Lullaby - Shawn Mullins

there are two kinds of people in this world. people with broken hearts and those who dont know heartache. yet.

there are two kind of children in this world. children from "different" families. and those with "normal" parents.

there are only two things that happen with some kinds of pain. u forget for a while. or you remember. it never finishes. or heals. or goes away.

yes, she seems like a really bad person at times. have u ever wondered why? she was born a princess. she used be like an angel. she used to be a flower. now she's just dried grass. who did this to her? did she? but why? have u ever wondered why? now u cant save her. all of u betrayed her. just leave her in alone. maybe she will heal. maybe she will grow past it. un-whole. limping. broken. but alive ... is that what you wanted. just stop attacking her.

either the problem is the basic premise that life is supposed to be joyful... or the problem is with the absence of joy. the root of sorrow, in this case hatred. deep, unbearable self hatred ... like a bowl of acid held in ur inner most core -which spills a little each time u are shaken. why would u hate urself? bcz ur not good enough. bcz ur not as good as what u want to be. bcz "there's only one winner and everyone else is an also-ran"

if u were standing in the center of a whirlpool and u saw someone u liked approach ... what should you do? push them away? shout out - dont come near? or just shut up and crouch low and hope they dont see you?"

who do you go to when u are overwhelmingly excited? abysmally sad? hopeless lost? unreasonably happy? when u come undone? it a leap of faith? trusting someone intentions is easy. but trusting their ability to help you comes hard after uve fallen so many times. have you ever felt the hunger for a grownup? a lean-ee? have you ever felt tired of being grownup for everyone around? making allowances? swallowing hurt? and pride? telling urself it wasnt meant that way. that its ok?

keep coming back to you ...

i tried to stay away, but i couldnt. yesterday, though i was itching to write, i had so much work that it was easier to let sense prevail. but this morning, it was 26 degrees out. woke up early and wore my favourite saree to work. the sky was like a child with brimming eyes ... tears just about to fall. dark, yet glowing. theres a strange light in the sky today. i got in early. i did the blog roll. and i couldnt bear it any more ... so here i am (no rocking, pls) :)

had a hectic week or two. something lined up after work every evening. met ghatak last night. AWESOME! he hasnt changed a bit! he just looks more relaxed though. more at ease with himself. FTII agrees with him. makes me miss Pune. and Vani & Pills. those long evenings at ftii - just chilling and doing nothing at all

met ad too ... it makes me feel so much better. staying at home. having them accessible. these are my real family. jinx, chatts, sauce, ad, barbie, juls, brat, buro, vani, pills, rahul bhaiya ... and all my friends.

being out there, on ur own is ok. but u have been on ur gaurd so long, uve been hurt so long, that the shell, gradually hardening, grows thicker and thicker ... growing inwards, and squeezing out out the light inside. till one day, u freeze. till one day, u die. but now im coming back to life. now that im with friends all around again.

sharakkhun bandhu bandhu kore mete thaakle hobe! bandhura kemon chhata diye
matha rokkha korbe aami dekhe nebo ... korbe ma. orai kore. baachiye rakhe. 'when ur in need of love they give u care and affection'. they make life worth living. good friends, bad friends. time pass friends, soul friends. new friends, old friends. blog friends, work friends, rotaract friends, school friends, college friends, 'just found them here and there' friends ... and a AWOL-desperately-needed-right-now best friend ;)

Where were you when I was burned and broken
While the days slipped by from my window watching
Where were you when I was hurt and helpless
Because the things you say and the things you do surround me
While you were hanging yourself on someone else's words
Dying to believe in what you heard
I was staring straight into the shining sun

Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of lifeand the seeds of change were planted
Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous but irresistible pastime
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life

I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the waiting had begun
And headed straight..into the shining sun

MVS - Tape Vs Disk Storage - Notes (From some website)

http://www.sysprog.net/storage.html
http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/
http://www.universalsoft.com/vtacomparisons.htm.
http://www.sysprog.net/storage.html
www.mainframes.com/jcl/backupHFS.txt
www.chicago-soft.com/gref/ibmlist.html
www.planetmvs.com/humour/slang.html
=================================
Virtual Tape Systems for IBM Mainframes

A comparative analysis


VTA | VTA Introduction | Questionaire | Cost Worksheets | VTA Performance | Home
Virtual Tape concepts for IBM Mainframes

Mainframe virtual tape is typically defined as magnetic tape file images stored on disk. In reality it is a little more subtle than that. Most discussions of virtual tape focus on the advantages of virtual tape vs. real tape. That begs the question, if it is better to store files on disk, why store them on tape in the first place. Since the earliest versions of OS/360 and DOS/360, programs could easily choose between disk or tape devices for data file storage. If a program was written to use tape, it is generally a trivial matter to change the program to use disk instead. In fact in most cases the program need not be changed at all, just the JCL (Job Control Language) statements which describe the input and output files used by the program.

If that is the case, why do we need “virtual tape” which uses disk but pretends to be tape? The answer is that in most data centers, there are hundreds or even thousands of jobs that are set up to use magnetic tape. Many of these jobs have been running unchanged for many years. Although changing one job to use disk is trivial, changing thousands of jobs is quite another matter.

You also might wonder why would you want to change jobs that are working perfectly to use disk instead of tape. There are many reasons to store data files on disk instead of tape. Unattended operation is probably the biggest one. The following paragraphs discuss the advantages of disk and the advantages of tape. For the most part, the advantages of virtual tape are the same as the advantages of using disk in the first place, except that existing jobs which have been set up to use tape, can now use virtual tape with little or no change. The IBM VTS home page has a very compelling white paper on the virtues of virtual tape.

Disk vs. tape for storage.

This has been a subject of ongoing debate for as long as there have been computers. For any given job or application, the best choice for storage today might not be the best choice tomorrow. Rapid advances in technology keep changing the grounds rules, ie.. those factors on which such decisions are based. For instance, although the cost of disk is still higher than the cost of tape, as it always has been, the cost of computer operators has continued to increase as the cost of computers and storage has gone down.

Advantages of tape.

Cost. The cost per megabyte of tape is still considerably less than disk as long as it is utilized to near its capacity. Most installations have many legacy tape jobs which have been in use for many years since the time when disk was extremely expensive. Even as recently as the early 1990's mainframe disk space was priced as high as $12,000.00 per gigabyte.

Portability. Tapes are removable and can be taken off site. This makes tape a good choice for backups. Tape has traditionally been used for bulk data interchange applications as well.

Scalability. Tape is infinitely scalable. You can always buy more tapes at a very small incremental cost.

Disadvantages of tape.

Operator dependence. Mounting and dismounting of tapes is quite operator intensive, especially where lots of small files are involved. Physical labeling of tapes, storing and retrieving of tapes from racks, also contribute to expensive, inefficient and error prone operation by today’s standards. Nowadays the elimination of one computer operator can pay for multi terabytes of disk storage each year, year after year.

Underutilization. Often times, tapes contain only a single relatively small file. This contributes greatly to the loss of much of the cost per megabyte advantage.

Overall throughput. In general, disk is faster than tape. When load, unload and rewind times are considered, along with operator mounting and dismounting times, the total cost advantage is usually lost.

Device contention. Only one program at a time can access a tape drive. Although tape cartridges are very inexpensive, the actual tape drives and control units are not. Additional drives equates to additional floor space and other environmental considerations in addition to the acquisition and maintenance costs for the drives.

Tape management and automated tape libraries.

The above disadvantages have been addressed in several ways. Most notably, tape file management and stacking software address the underutilization and tape labeling issues while greatly reducing operator errors. Automatic tape libraries are also available to eliminate the dependence on the operator. While these solutions may be cost justified, they are certainly not cheap. Furthermore, while file stacking addresses the underutilization issue, it is at the expense of efficient file access, especially when retrieving a file near the end of the tape.

Advantages of disk storage.

Share ability. Disk devices, also known as Dasd (direct access storage devices) can be concurrently accessed by many programs simultaneously with generally little performance impact, effectively eliminating scheduling bottlenecks.

Efficient space utilization. Generally speaking, many, many files can be stored on a single disk storage device with little wasted space.

Efficient file access. Files can be accessed and opened practically instantaneously. It is not necessary to scan past one or even several other files to reach the desired file as it is with tape files.

No operator intervention. Since generally, disk storage devices are always on line, there is no dependence on the operator. Jobs run basically unattended unless a problem occurs.

Disadvantages of disk storage.

Cost. It will always be less expensive to buy a few more tape cartridges.

Scalability. Of course you can buy more disk. You just can’t buy a ‘little bit’ more disk.

Back to the virtual tape discussion.

As has been stated earlier, the case for virtual tape vs. real tape is basically the same as the case for disk vs. tape but without the need to convert existing tape jobs individually. The point of all this is simply that all virtual tape systems have the same basic advantages over real tape as described above. Most virtual tape discussion is limited to those points presented above. Its as if each VTS vendor thinks they are the only VTS vendor.

The following paragraphs discuss the various types and approaches to virtual tape in contrast specifically to the most popular VTS system which is the Magstar VTS from IBM. The Magstar VTS was introduced in 1997 and has enjoyed great success in large MVS, OS/390 and now Z/OS installations. In general it has been considered much too expensive for use in smaller MVS and VM or VSE shops. Very recently, other VTS systems have begun to emerge, some of which are downward scalable and affordable to the smaller S/390 mainframe community. These systems are based on different technological approaches as described below.

IBM Magstar VTS.

This is by far the most sophisticated but also by far the most expensive solution. The Magstar VTS uses dedicated special purpose Raid storage to house the virtual tape images. The IBM white papers extol the virtues of virtual tape compared to real tape. These advantages are true of all virtual tape systems. In particular, the entry level cost for the Magstar VTS makes it feasible only for fairly large mainframe data centers.

Other proprietary virtual tape systems.

Storage-Tek and one or two other similar brands of VTS also use proprietary dedicated Raid storage to house the virtual tape images. They are similarly sophisticated and expensive.

Software only, virtual tape.

These systems intercept I/O requests intended for tape devices and redirect the request to utilize mainframe Dasd instead of mainframe tape. These systems are relatively inexpensive and provide unattended operation. Some of these systems use compression to minimize the use of the expensive mainframe Dasd. In most cases the mainframe Dasd is only used temporarily. The virtual tape files are then stacked and offloaded to real tape thus addressing the under utilization issue. The only drawback to this approach is the trade off of efficient accessability vs. the cost of expensive mainframe Dasd. The more mainframe Dasd is made available, the more efficient is the access to the files. However, mainframe Dasd is by far the most expensive storage medium.

Open storage virtual tape systems.

These systems utilize open network based raid disk storage for storing the virtual tape images. In general, open network storage is much less expensive than mainframe Dasd. These systems provide unattended operation, efficient use of storage, and instant accessability for the raid resident virtual tapes. These systems are generally accompanied by hierarchical storage management systems which eventually migrate some of the virtual tape files, stacking them on large capacity tapes. The concept is the same as above, but the network based storage is generally so inexpensive by comparison, that real tape is only used for long term archival purposes.

Even off site backup and disaster recovery procedures are now possible whereby mainframe backup virtual tapes are compressed and then transmitted (zipped and shipped) off site rather than having physical tapes sent by messenger. Some companies historically have created two sets of backup tapes, one to keep on site and another off site. This virtual tape approach eliminates the need for such duplication.

Comparing the various VTS systems.

The following paragraphs contrast the various VTS technologies with respect to their strengths and weaknesses.

Acquisition cost.

Least expensive to acquire per emulated tape drive are the “software only” VTS systems. However, the cost per resident on line virtual tape file is quite high due to the use of mainframe Dasd. These systems can be quite effective for temporary files and for a small number of fairly small generation data sets. For backup and disaster recovery applications these systems have certain innate limitations. For instance, if mainframe Dasd is used for the virtual tape images, then most disaster scenarios would wipe out both the master files and the backups. If the virtual backup tapes must be offloaded to tape anyway, then the original step which created the virtual tape in the first place is somewhat irrelevant. Some software only solutions include transmitting the virtual tape images to a network PC via TCP/IP. This approach puts a major strain on both mainframe CPU cycles and network bandwidth.

At the high end, the Magstar VTS and the STK VSM products are designed and priced for the very large IBM mainframe installation, primarily OS/390 and Z/OS environments. The use of dedicated, proprietary Raid storage contributes to the high acquisition cost. Reliability and serviceability through hardware redundancy is paramount with these systems. Multiple channel paths and sophisticated caching provide excellent performance but make these systems unaffordable to the smaller shop.

Channel attached VTS systems which utilize open networked storage such as the Virtual Tape Appliance from Universal Software provide a very affordable entry level price point while at the same time they provide virtually unlimited scalable capacity. The use of open storage and servers allows a wide range of price performance and reliability options to suit the needs of any installation, large or small.

Scalability.

Most virtual tape systems are not very scalable by their nature. The IBM Magstar and the STK VSM are examples. These systems are certainly not downward scalable due to their high entry level cost. Increasing the amount of dedicated Raid disk storage in small increments is not usually feasible either. Furthermore, the Raid storage is generally so expensive that a relatively small amount is generally purchased simply as a caching front end to an automatic tape library. At any given time, only a small percentage of the virtual tape images are on line in the Raid cache. These on line virtual tapes benefit from the direct accessability of the Raid storage, while the majority of the virtual tape files have been stacked for efficient utilization on the real, large capacity tapes in the automatic tape library. Remember, the utilization efficiency of the stacking leads to inefficient retrieval of the files further in to the real tape. Also, the automatic tape library itself is not very scalable. You are normally advised to buy more ATL capacity than you will ever need because when you run out of slots you can’t simply just buy “a few more slots”.

The software only VTS systems are only as scalable as the extra available mainframe Dasd capacity allows.

Open storage based VTS systems like the USI Virtual Tape Appliance, are extremely scalable by contrast however. They are very affordable at low capacity entry levels, and adding more capacity in small increments is as simple as adding another NAS device, or another server to the network. In fact, reliable open network storage is now so affordable that it is often feasible to have all the virtual tape images or certainly a high percentage of them always on line in Raid storage. If an ATL back end is required, there are many more network compatible brands and models to choose from, for the ATL as well as the Raid Dasd itself. You are not locked in to the few more expensive mainframe compatible brands. The use of open file systems for the virtual tapes also opens the door to the use of any of several brands of HSM( Hierarchical Storage Management) packages as well. The HSM software manages the movement of the virtual tape images between the Raid and an Automatic Tape Library.

Performance.

Almost all the Virtual tape solutions perform well compared with real tape, especially when rewind and operator mount times are considered.. Device scheduling, reduced reruns due to operator errors are additional throughput considerations. When comparing the performance of the various VTS systems one to another, an ironic observation becomes apparent. Virtual tape systems perform very well as long as the virtual tape image is in disk cache. When the virtual tape has been migrated off to an Automatic Tape Library, the VTS performance suffers a double whammy. It takes longer to access the virtual tape file, especially if the file has been stacked near the end of a large capacity reel. Secondly, the virtual tape must then be reloaded to the cache in its entirety before it can be opened by the mainframe. The net effect of this is that the ratio of tape files online in cache vs. those which have been offloaded to real tape, becomes an important determinating factor of overall performance. The irony is that the high end systems are the most adversely affected by this factor because of cost. In fact, reliable, open networked storage has become so inexpensive and so easily extended that you may be able to keep all your tape images on disk. Real tape can then be reserved for long term archival purposes or for files which must be shipped to another data center for instance. Even backup and disaster recovery tapes may not necessarily be required to be offloaded. Current high bandwidth communications, along with compression, snap shot capability, remote mirroring and other state of the art storage technologies enable very affordable off site backup and restore via network transmission, without the need for shipping real tapes by courier.

Summary.

Virtual tape has many advantages over real tape, and will most often yield a rapid return on investment. If you have not yet invested in the high end IBM or STK solution, you should investigate an open storage based VTS system. These systems provide very affordable, scalable, reliable and efficient virtual tape capability while providing excellent investment protection. A feature comparison of the Bus-tech Mas and the Universal Software VTA follows.

Cost.

The USI VTA has a lower entry price point and is generally less expensive for equivalent capacity.

Scalability.

The USI VTA offers greater configurational flexibility allowing price, performance, reliability and capacity trade offs tailored to the users requirements.

Operation.

The Bus-tech Mas (and most other VTS systems) are quite dependent on mainframe tape management software. The USI VTA interfaces with any tape management software, but also provides its own built in management functions and GUI operator interface for unrivaled ease of use even without a tape manager.

Compatibility.

The USI VTA is built upon the MS Windows platform and file system. This allows incorporation of the widest possible complimentary functionality. The VTA is therefore compatible with any HSM or other Windows based software applications as well as any tape or disk or any other device which supports MS Windows. The MAS is Linux based, which may limit its compatibility.

Generic I/O System interface.

The USI VTA is also architecturally compatible with the popular GENIOS system from USI. GENIOS allows heterogeneous data interchange between IBM mainframes and open networked systems. GENIOS supports print and disk file sharing as well as tape.

Conclusion.

Virtual tape is fast becoming an essential part of the modern data center. Several new products are available which make it more affordable than ever. The Virtual Tape Appliance from Universal Software is one such product which provides affordable and scalable capacity with extraordinary functionality and ease of use.

posted by Prerona at 6:25 AM 0 comments
http://www.sysprog.net/storage.html
http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/
http://www.universalsoft.com/vtacomparisons.htm.
http://www.sysprog.net/storage.html
www.mainframes.com/jcl/backupHFS.txt
www.chicago-soft.com/gref/ibmlist.html
www.planetmvs.com/humour/slang.html
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Virtual Tape Systems for IBM Mainframes

A comparative analysis


VTA | VTA Introduction | Questionaire | Cost Worksheets | VTA Performance | Home
Virtual Tape concepts for IBM Mainframes

Mainframe virtual tape is typically defined as magnetic tape file images stored on disk. In reality it is a little more subtle than that. Most discussions of virtual tape focus on the advantages of virtual tape vs. real tape. That begs the question, if it is better to store files on disk, why store them on tape in the first place. Since the earliest versions of OS/360 and DOS/360, programs could easily choose between disk or tape devices for data file storage. If a program was written to use tape, it is generally a trivial matter to change the program to use disk instead. In fact in most cases the program need not be changed at all, just the JCL (Job Control Language) statements which describe the input and output files used by the program.

If that is the case, why do we need “virtual tape” which uses disk but pretends to be tape? The answer is that in most data centers, there are hundreds or even thousands of jobs that are set up to use magnetic tape. Many of these jobs have been running unchanged for many years. Although changing one job to use disk is trivial, changing thousands of jobs is quite another matter.

You also might wonder why would you want to change jobs that are working perfectly to use disk instead of tape. There are many reasons to store data files on disk instead of tape. Unattended operation is probably the biggest one. The following paragraphs discuss the advantages of disk and the advantages of tape. For the most part, the advantages of virtual tape are the same as the advantages of using disk in the first place, except that existing jobs which have been set up to use tape, can now use virtual tape with little or no change. The IBM VTS home page has a very compelling white paper on the virtues of virtual tape.

Disk vs. tape for storage.

This has been a subject of ongoing debate for as long as there have been computers. For any given job or application, the best choice for storage today might not be the best choice tomorrow. Rapid advances in technology keep changing the grounds rules, ie.. those factors on which such decisions are based. For instance, although the cost of disk is still higher than the cost of tape, as it always has been, the cost of computer operators has continued to increase as the cost of computers and storage has gone down.

Advantages of tape.

Cost. The cost per megabyte of tape is still considerably less than disk as long as it is utilized to near its capacity. Most installations have many legacy tape jobs which have been in use for many years since the time when disk was extremely expensive. Even as recently as the early 1990's mainframe disk space was priced as high as $12,000.00 per gigabyte.

Portability. Tapes are removable and can be taken off site. This makes tape a good choice for backups. Tape has traditionally been used for bulk data interchange applications as well.

Scalability. Tape is infinitely scalable. You can always buy more tapes at a very small incremental cost.

Disadvantages of tape.

Operator dependence. Mounting and dismounting of tapes is quite operator intensive, especially where lots of small files are involved. Physical labeling of tapes, storing and retrieving of tapes from racks, also contribute to expensive, inefficient and error prone operation by today’s standards. Nowadays the elimination of one computer operator can pay for multi terabytes of disk storage each year, year after year.

Underutilization. Often times, tapes contain only a single relatively small file. This contributes greatly to the loss of much of the cost per megabyte advantage.

Overall throughput. In general, disk is faster than tape. When load, unload and rewind times are considered, along with operator mounting and dismounting times, the total cost advantage is usually lost.

Device contention. Only one program at a time can access a tape drive. Although tape cartridges are very inexpensive, the actual tape drives and control units are not. Additional drives equates to additional floor space and other environmental considerations in addition to the acquisition and maintenance costs for the drives.

Tape management and automated tape libraries.

The above disadvantages have been addressed in several ways. Most notably, tape file management and stacking software address the underutilization and tape labeling issues while greatly reducing operator errors. Automatic tape libraries are also available to eliminate the dependence on the operator. While these solutions may be cost justified, they are certainly not cheap. Furthermore, while file stacking addresses the underutilization issue, it is at the expense of efficient file access, especially when retrieving a file near the end of the tape.

Advantages of disk storage.

Share ability. Disk devices, also known as Dasd (direct access storage devices) can be concurrently accessed by many programs simultaneously with generally little performance impact, effectively eliminating scheduling bottlenecks.

Efficient space utilization. Generally speaking, many, many files can be stored on a single disk storage device with little wasted space.

Efficient file access. Files can be accessed and opened practically instantaneously. It is not necessary to scan past one or even several other files to reach the desired file as it is with tape files.

No operator intervention. Since generally, disk storage devices are always on line, there is no dependence on the operator. Jobs run basically unattended unless a problem occurs.

Disadvantages of disk storage.

Cost. It will always be less expensive to buy a few more tape cartridges.

Scalability. Of course you can buy more disk. You just can’t buy a ‘little bit’ more disk.

Back to the virtual tape discussion.

As has been stated earlier, the case for virtual tape vs. real tape is basically the same as the case for disk vs. tape but without the need to convert existing tape jobs individually. The point of all this is simply that all virtual tape systems have the same basic advantages over real tape as described above. Most virtual tape discussion is limited to those points presented above. Its as if each VTS vendor thinks they are the only VTS vendor.

The following paragraphs discuss the various types and approaches to virtual tape in contrast specifically to the most popular VTS system which is the Magstar VTS from IBM. The Magstar VTS was introduced in 1997 and has enjoyed great success in large MVS, OS/390 and now Z/OS installations. In general it has been considered much too expensive for use in smaller MVS and VM or VSE shops. Very recently, other VTS systems have begun to emerge, some of which are downward scalable and affordable to the smaller S/390 mainframe community. These systems are based on different technological approaches as described below.

IBM Magstar VTS.

This is by far the most sophisticated but also by far the most expensive solution. The Magstar VTS uses dedicated special purpose Raid storage to house the virtual tape images. The IBM white papers extol the virtues of virtual tape compared to real tape. These advantages are true of all virtual tape systems. In particular, the entry level cost for the Magstar VTS makes it feasible only for fairly large mainframe data centers.

Other proprietary virtual tape systems.

Storage-Tek and one or two other similar brands of VTS also use proprietary dedicated Raid storage to house the virtual tape images. They are similarly sophisticated and expensive.

Software only, virtual tape.

These systems intercept I/O requests intended for tape devices and redirect the request to utilize mainframe Dasd instead of mainframe tape. These systems are relatively inexpensive and provide unattended operation. Some of these systems use compression to minimize the use of the expensive mainframe Dasd. In most cases the mainframe Dasd is only used temporarily. The virtual tape files are then stacked and offloaded to real tape thus addressing the under utilization issue. The only drawback to this approach is the trade off of efficient accessability vs. the cost of expensive mainframe Dasd. The more mainframe Dasd is made available, the more efficient is the access to the files. However, mainframe Dasd is by far the most expensive storage medium.

Open storage virtual tape systems.

These systems utilize open network based raid disk storage for storing the virtual tape images. In general, open network storage is much less expensive than mainframe Dasd. These systems provide unattended operation, efficient use of storage, and instant accessability for the raid resident virtual tapes. These systems are generally accompanied by hierarchical storage management systems which eventually migrate some of the virtual tape files, stacking them on large capacity tapes. The concept is the same as above, but the network based storage is generally so inexpensive by comparison, that real tape is only used for long term archival purposes.

Even off site backup and disaster recovery procedures are now possible whereby mainframe backup virtual tapes are compressed and then transmitted (zipped and shipped) off site rather than having physical tapes sent by messenger. Some companies historically have created two sets of backup tapes, one to keep on site and another off site. This virtual tape approach eliminates the need for such duplication.

Comparing the various VTS systems.

The following paragraphs contrast the various VTS technologies with respect to their strengths and weaknesses.

Acquisition cost.

Least expensive to acquire per emulated tape drive are the “software only” VTS systems. However, the cost per resident on line virtual tape file is quite high due to the use of mainframe Dasd. These systems can be quite effective for temporary files and for a small number of fairly small generation data sets. For backup and disaster recovery applications these systems have certain innate limitations. For instance, if mainframe Dasd is used for the virtual tape images, then most disaster scenarios would wipe out both the master files and the backups. If the virtual backup tapes must be offloaded to tape anyway, then the original step which created the virtual tape in the first place is somewhat irrelevant. Some software only solutions include transmitting the virtual tape images to a network PC via TCP/IP. This approach puts a major strain on both mainframe CPU cycles and network bandwidth.

At the high end, the Magstar VTS and the STK VSM products are designed and priced for the very large IBM mainframe installation, primarily OS/390 and Z/OS environments. The use of dedicated, proprietary Raid storage contributes to the high acquisition cost. Reliability and serviceability through hardware redundancy is paramount with these systems. Multiple channel paths and sophisticated caching provide excellent performance but make these systems unaffordable to the smaller shop.

Channel attached VTS systems which utilize open networked storage such as the Virtual Tape Appliance from Universal Software provide a very affordable entry level price point while at the same time they provide virtually unlimited scalable capacity. The use of open storage and servers allows a wide range of price performance and reliability options to suit the needs of any installation, large or small.

Scalability.

Most virtual tape systems are not very scalable by their nature. The IBM Magstar and the STK VSM are examples. These systems are certainly not downward scalable due to their high entry level cost. Increasing the amount of dedicated Raid disk storage in small increments is not usually feasible either. Furthermore, the Raid storage is generally so expensive that a relatively small amount is generally purchased simply as a caching front end to an automatic tape library. At any given time, only a small percentage of the virtual tape images are on line in the Raid cache. These on line virtual tapes benefit from the direct accessability of the Raid storage, while the majority of the virtual tape files have been stacked for efficient utilization on the real, large capacity tapes in the automatic tape library. Remember, the utilization efficiency of the stacking leads to inefficient retrieval of the files further in to the real tape. Also, the automatic tape library itself is not very scalable. You are normally advised to buy more ATL capacity than you will ever need because when you run out of slots you can’t simply just buy “a few more slots”.

The software only VTS systems are only as scalable as the extra available mainframe Dasd capacity allows.

Open storage based VTS systems like the USI Virtual Tape Appliance, are extremely scalable by contrast however. They are very affordable at low capacity entry levels, and adding more capacity in small increments is as simple as adding another NAS device, or another server to the network. In fact, reliable open network storage is now so affordable that it is often feasible to have all the virtual tape images or certainly a high percentage of them always on line in Raid storage. If an ATL back end is required, there are many more network compatible brands and models to choose from, for the ATL as well as the Raid Dasd itself. You are not locked in to the few more expensive mainframe compatible brands. The use of open file systems for the virtual tapes also opens the door to the use of any of several brands of HSM( Hierarchical Storage Management) packages as well. The HSM software manages the movement of the virtual tape images between the Raid and an Automatic Tape Library.

Performance.

Almost all the Virtual tape solutions perform well compared with real tape, especially when rewind and operator mount times are considered.. Device scheduling, reduced reruns due to operator errors are additional throughput considerations. When comparing the performance of the various VTS systems one to another, an ironic observation becomes apparent. Virtual tape systems perform very well as long as the virtual tape image is in disk cache. When the virtual tape has been migrated off to an Automatic Tape Library, the VTS performance suffers a double whammy. It takes longer to access the virtual tape file, especially if the file has been stacked near the end of a large capacity reel. Secondly, the virtual tape must then be reloaded to the cache in its entirety before it can be opened by the mainframe. The net effect of this is that the ratio of tape files online in cache vs. those which have been offloaded to real tape, becomes an important determinating factor of overall performance. The irony is that the high end systems are the most adversely affected by this factor because of cost. In fact, reliable, open networked storage has become so inexpensive and so easily extended that you may be able to keep all your tape images on disk. Real tape can then be reserved for long term archival purposes or for files which must be shipped to another data center for instance. Even backup and disaster recovery tapes may not necessarily be required to be offloaded. Current high bandwidth communications, along with compression, snap shot capability, remote mirroring and other state of the art storage technologies enable very affordable off site backup and restore via network transmission, without the need for shipping real tapes by courier.

Summary.

Virtual tape has many advantages over real tape, and will most often yield a rapid return on investment. If you have not yet invested in the high end IBM or STK solution, you should investigate an open storage based VTS system. These systems provide very affordable, scalable, reliable and efficient virtual tape capability while providing excellent investment protection. A feature comparison of the Bus-tech Mas and the Universal Software VTA follows.

Cost.

The USI VTA has a lower entry price point and is generally less expensive for equivalent capacity.

Scalability.

The USI VTA offers greater configurational flexibility allowing price, performance, reliability and capacity trade offs tailored to the users requirements.

Operation.

The Bus-tech Mas (and most other VTS systems) are quite dependent on mainframe tape management software. The USI VTA interfaces with any tape management software, but also provides its own built in management functions and GUI operator interface for unrivaled ease of use even without a tape manager.

Compatibility.

The USI VTA is built upon the MS Windows platform and file system. This allows incorporation of the widest possible complimentary functionality. The VTA is therefore compatible with any HSM or other Windows based software applications as well as any tape or disk or any other device which supports MS Windows. The MAS is Linux based, which may limit its compatibility.

Generic I/O System interface.

The USI VTA is also architecturally compatible with the popular GENIOS system from USI. GENIOS allows heterogeneous data interchange between IBM mainframes and open networked systems. GENIOS supports print and disk file sharing as well as tape.

Conclusion.

Virtual tape is fast becoming an essential part of the modern data center. Several new products are available which make it more affordable than ever. The Virtual Tape Appliance from Universal Software is one such product which provides affordable and scalable capacity with extraordinary functionality and ease of use.

posted by Prerona at 6:25 AM 0 comments

friday morning blues

i met up with juls after ages. i used to be a monster, now ive become a snake. the more ilove you - the more ill treat u like shit. grin. its a test. its a rodeo. its a scorp thing :) i almost didnt go over ... so much laziness??? no ... i was just tired. so tired. as usual. anyway, came back at 9 from work. went over to juls' at 11. co-bashed adit on the phone. he didnt come. dog. trying to meet him for breakfast tomorrow! good god. lets see. spoke to brat. spoke to chatts. met ad. met juls. will that give me a chance? maybe. lets see. with adit, i talked. for the first time since i came back i talked to someone about everything. but even chatts, even ad - dont know it all. i need to talk to them. i need them. im lost in the fog in side me. im stumbling in the darkness within me. i know it doesnt matter but it still hurts. he hurt me so much. u hurt me so much. u were my friend. i trusted you more than ive ever trusted a stranger from the other world. but u were from the other world after all. its for the best. such friendships would never work. u would think me to intense whenever i dropped the mask of dumb jokes and smart puns. and i would think u too shallow. but it hurts. u were my friend. and i loved you. like f mad ... anyway - its alright - its ok. ill be fine. theres no one really. if u want to reach out, theres no one there. no one that matters. no one who wouldnt make u feel like saying shutup and leave me alone its none of ur f business. so its wrong to say noone cares - isnt it. its just that the right people dont care ... or that i cant reach them. cant come out and say this is what the matter is. :)

but what the hell ... its a weekend!
eat, sleep and be merry!

im also toying with the idea of closing the blog. its not about the fact that i churn out mindless drivel, but about the publicity factor. and it about how bad i am at keeping this non personal. almost as bad as i am at geting personal in real life ;)

the sleep in ur voice
pulls at strings, i didnt know existed
u make me feel
soft and tender, and raw
in places i didnt never visited, or known
in dark back alleys, of my soul

but the sleep in ur voice
drags on heart
makes me wanna rub my hands
on my heart
to take away the funny feeling

and im distracted
from what ur saying

all i wanna do i hold you
and snuggle up with you

but ur so far away
lost in unreachable tomorrows and yesterdays ...

and im stuck here
in a land of ghosts and shadows, i couldnt leave if i wanted to
cz im one of them too

so i nod my head sharply
and hope im make the right noises
and tell u everything will be ok

but its strange how it felt
when i spent the last week thinking

how its all pointless after all
and that i never feel anything at all

a phantom of my imagination
or are you someone real, somewhere

give me a clue, how do i find you,
or do i give up? Im tired ...
another week is over
another weekend is here

i know it will fly past
i wont get anywhere

now that the party is over
now that the battles are fought and lost

i need some time
to sit and think

but though i sit for hours alone,
in some forgotten corner of my mind ...

the thoughts wont form
my minds a swirling sea of madness

i meet old friends, i spin old tales
nobody sees, whats inside of me

nobosy sees beyond the skies that shine blue
theeres a storm, theres rain, theres you