TLMS Tape Management Saves Time and Money

TLMS Tape Management Saves Time and Money

TLMS Tape Management streamlines and unifies the management and protection of z/OS tape data sets and volumes, automating day-to-day tape management tasks to save both time and money, as well as offering tools that continuously check tape data integrity to prevent accidental overwriting.

TLMS tracks mount messages for backup products and updates both the OS catalog and any tape management systems with all relevant information. All major tape systems are supported.

Enhanced Data Integrity

Tape management is an essential component of mainframe storage infrastructure, and TLMS offers several standard features to safeguard data integrity. These include PreScan and QuickScan that inspect tape condition by scanning one wrap length to identify any potential issues, and FullScan which scans entire length of tape reading all tracks containing scratch files to confirm data integrity.

TLMS also features electronic vaulting capabilities to perform automatic tape ejection from systems without operator involvement, helping reduce costs by limiting lost or wasted tape resources, as well as speed up problem response times by helping users quickly locate reusable tapes faster than they might otherwise.

TLMS also facilitates cross-system tape device sharing between sites that don’t utilize full scale sysplex communication, enabling those sites to share mainframe libraries or use offsite storage as disaster recovery measures.

CopyCatTM, another standard feature in TLMS, automates the transfer of spool files between mainframes that support this capability, eliminating manual file copying which can take considerable time and effort.

TLMS also integrates CA-Dynam/TLMS, which aids mainframe customers by helping to manage both physical and logical structures of tape volumes on tape drives, by supporting conversions to new media formats, consolidation of multiple volume sets into smaller ones on one tape, stacking or stacking data sets onto tape, tape media replacement, electronic vaulting/ejection as well as electronic synchronization between Peer VTSs.

TAPEAUDIT TLMS includes four policy keywords–ALLCATALOGED, CATALOGED, UNCATALOGED and IGNORE–to control how it extracts catalog records from tape management databases and OS catalogs for comparison. ALLCATALOGED can also be used to specify retention codes which should not be cataloged; when specified ALLCATALOGED will prevent mismatch errors from being generated when extracting them.

Intuitive UI

TLMS Tape Management features an easy-to-use object tree display and Web-based Graphical Management Interface, making complex tape management operations straightforward. Additionally, its TLMS-Clone service makes copying active tape volumes onto another media type easy; this can help replace those that have been overwritten, backup data migration or restore.

IntelliMagic Vision delivers increased performance. By collecting and consolidating information about all the hardware components within a virtual tape library and aggregating this across multiple z/OS images, this intelligence enables you to proactively identify areas which could impede performance or tape health and present solutions such as adding cache modules throughput increments channels or more physical tape drives based on workload needs and internal utilization.

TLMS allows you to track the inventory of DL/DR tapes in your vault, and can alert you if they drop below a predefined threshold (e.g. 80% of available capacity). This ensures that data is appropriately protected, and prevents overwrites due to insufficient capacity.

TLMS-Clone can also be set up to clone active tapes onto another tape, while maintaining their data set attributes in your CA 1 Tape Management Catalog or TLMS Volume Master File (VMF). This enables you to free up space on DASD volumes by moving data sets onto tape, while remaining transparent both to TMS database and OS catalog.

The TLMS provides extensive tape management capabilities, such as flexible retention and vaulting system that manage tape cycling to and from offsite locations. Additionally, its powerful, customizable report writer helps create detailed listings of both your onsite and offsite tapes, with automatic email reports being generated if configured so. Finally, its automation and tape lifecycle management functions help improve IT productivity and decrease costs.

Automated Scheduling

TLMS automates access to tape data sets and volumes with optimized operations, saving time and reducing the risk of accidental or malicious tape destruction. It can serve as an enterprise-wide backup solution while freeing IT staff for more important tasks. Moreover, real-time access to archived tapes offers rapid problem resolution by giving instantaneous access to any potentially lost or misplaced information.

Enhancing Data Integrity

TLMS features ongoing integrity checks to ensure tape data is only written when intended, safeguarding against accidental overwriting of previously written tapes – a frequent cause of data loss in backup products. In addition, TLMS comes equipped with the capability of verifying tape data sets and volume chains.

Tape Management Automation

With its web-based graphical management interface, TLMS automates numerous daily tape data set and library management tasks to save IT time and improve system performance. Furthermore, this tool tracks life cycle management of z/OS backup products while managing library and offsite vaulting costs effectively.

TLMS/DS disk stacking component allows for automated off-line storage of multiple sequential disk datasets on one tape, significantly decreasing physical insertion/ejection cycles for individual disk datasets and cutting hardware, labor and floor space costs. With its extended functionality TLMS/LE logical ejection capability this product now even further reduces physical storage requirements within libraries.

Similar to its namesake service, TLMS/RZAR’s Rewind-to-Beginning offering allows users to reduce system downtime by eliminating the need to manually rewind backup tapes back to their initial starting positions – an invaluable benefit for organizations using large quantities of backup tapes regularly.

TLMS also features the ability to read an extract file from client tape management systems that contains one record per scratch volume extracted, complete with serial number and time of extraction run. This enables TLMS to accurately perform scratch synchronization by matching its last select time with that of each scratch volume being extracted.

Data Protection

Data is expanding at an alarming pace, and experts predict it could reach several petabytes worldwide within just a few years. Unfortunately, all this data can’t fit onto cloud servers or hard disk drives alone; traditional tape backup systems will remain necessary for keeping data off-network – particularly as ransomware attacks become more frequent and cost organizations millions to recover from.

TLMS Tape Management provides a host of advanced tape management features designed to safeguard your critical data. It can monitor both physical and virtual tape libraries, migrate data between systems seamlessly and optimize storage operations to reduce costs.

Tape Inventory and Space Usage Analysis

TLMS can assist in providing you with an accurate snapshot of your tape inventory, including how many volumes have been utilized and the space taken up by reserved items. This information can help plan future tape purchases to avoid buying too little or too much media.

With TLMS, you can also monitor the usage of your tapes and identify areas in which an aggressive tape retention schedule might be beneficial. By tracking volumes/MB used over time, TLMS enables you to see whether data usage is increasing or decreasing and spark discussions with application owners regarding potential new retention policies.

TLMS also features the capability of auditing catalogs and tape systems for errors with its TAPEAUDIT command, which analyzes your ICF catalog environment compared with RMM, TLMS or CA1 tape management systems and suggests catalog fixes and tape system queries if problems are discovered. IDCAMS processing generates one DD statement while tape system queries generate two.

The TLMS utility also supports the FORMCATS tape migration command for most existing TMS products from customers such as CA-1, RMM, Zara and TLMS. This utility analyzes information in these TMS databases in order to generate all the input data required for migration – this includes data set and volume-set metadata that needs updating in both TMS database and the z/OS catalog.

Sam is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.