Jun 27

RAP Version 2.1 PTF02 released

PTF02 has been released for RAP. This PTF has a few bug fixes and a number of new features. As usual the PTF installs using the LODPTF and APYPTF commands and takes a few seconds to complete. The cover letter gives details of all of the fixes and the new features but include new tools to automate journal set up, receiver management for the Local and Remote Receivers and performance enhancements.

Version 3.1 of RAP is now in pre-ship testing and should be available by mid July. This version has many new features which make it more “High Availability” like than ever before such as automated switching and improved object replication technology. Having its own inbuilt notification capabilities provides something no other replication product does.

RAP will meet the needs of most HA installs and continues to add functionality that makes it very competitive in solution terms. With JobQGenie we offer the only solution which is able to replicate the contents of job queues and allow a managed restart of applications after a system failure.

Our IBM LLP structure ensures installation is done in a few hours by untrained staff and little management there after. No need to have expertly trained staff come to your site and install it for you and then have to some back when you need to change the environment. Its is Easy to install and use, affordable and you can be secure in the knowledge that IBM is doing all of the data updates not a proprietary process.

If you are considering any HA implementation you owe it to yourself to give it a try, we are certain it will meet all of your replication needs and more at a very affordable cost.

Chris…

Jun 20

Source replication without Journalling

As part of testing the next release of the RAP we came across a very nice feature which will help us manage our Source Code across systems. We have always seen the journalling of PF-SRC files as a problem especially with any Replication solution such as MiMiX,iTera or Orion etc. The problem is with the way the journalling of the files is managed, the file is essentially cleared and recreated everytime the editor is finished with the file. If the file is not journalled this can be accomplished in one of 3 ways – row by row, block copy or cloning. However as soon as you journal the file you are automatically forced into a row by row rebuild. (Thanks to Larry Youngren for providing the information on this for me). This adds lots of overhead on the source system which is compounded on the source because while the editor on the source has an idea of what it needs to do and can pre-empt memory allocation etc, the journal replication products have no such information so they just have to plod through the records one at a time! We had been working with a customer on a problem which also seems to cause all file members to be replicated due to hidden entries in the journal, but we need to get IBM involved to sort that one out!

This is the main reason the HA products are never used to replicate source files in this manner. They will adopt a member by member replication or simply do a file level copy, the methods of capturing this are not pretty either even where they do actually provide the capability.

We have come up with an alternative solution which allows the actual changes to be copied to the target system at the row level. one simple command can bring the entire source file up to date very effectively and simply. We will add more functionality to the solution so you can schedule a request through your normal job scheduler that will take a library name and it will go out and sync up the file rows which are different.

If you need a method of keeping your source files in sync across systems give us a call and we can discuss how it can be achieved.

Jun 11

Receiver Apply Program Version 3.1 Availability for the cost concious

We have finally managed to get the lat of the new features added to the latest Release of RAP and testing is well underway. This will be a big release with lots of new features. We believe we can now compete with the other Availability products and show how RAP can provide everything you need for an availability solution.

Here is a quick overview of some of the new features.

New Auditing features.
As we have more customers we find more areas where we need to provide tools that allow them to see just how robust the apply process is and that data integrity is being maintained across the systems. A new auditing feature has been added that will check the Journal Identifier for each object on the Source system is the same as that on the Target system. This is critical as the APYJRNCHG technology we use relies on this identifier to locate the remote object and apply the data changes to it. Using the JID is one reason the Apply Process is so fast and economical.

Message Monitoring
This version is has a new feature which will allow the monitoring of messages generated as part of the process to be identified and escalated as required. The technology is also able to send the message to a configured email queue should you need it.

Email Messages
If you configure the Message Monitoring to email a message to a configured Email address we will forward each message as it is received onto the user. The messages which are sent will also get logged to an email log for review at a later time. This technology will form the basis for new alerting technology which we expect to release in a later version.

Receiver Management
Many customers have requested that we provide for cleaning up the Remote Journal Receiver Chain automatically. This release provides both automated and command driven technology which can be used to achieve this goal.

Status Reporting
New screens now provide the user with status about the replication process and the server programs which process the requests. We have added many new features in this area to simplify the management of the Receiver Apply Program processes.

New pricing policy
We have changed the pricing policy for the product and now price it according to the CPU tier group. This should not affect the target market as it is still very reasonably priced for the low end tier groups. if you have requested pricing from us in the past and would like to ensure your information is still relevant please give us a call.

iASP support
The product is now able to function within an iASP based environment. Certain IBM limitations limit the configuration capabilities of the product but it will allow users to replicate data and objects between iASP’s. The main requirement we have imposed is the need to have the Remote Journal located in *SYSBAS, other requirements imposed by IBM require the Journal and objects reside in the same iASP and any Receiver which is restored has to be from the same iASP or *SYSBAS (hence our requirement to have Remote Journals reside in *SYSBAS). This will form the base of a new Hosting solution which will allow the Hosting service providers to segregate customer data more efficiently than using LPAR technology.

Automated Switching Process
We now provide a fully automated switch process which will rival those provided by the full HA providers. This should help us compete with a HA solution where other considerations can be met.

Overall this is a major improvement in the products capabilities. We are sure that the market will see these new features as a good reason to consider the product when looking for an Availability solution. if you need more information about the chnages or the new pricing policy please give us a call.

Chris…