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Mainframe Mid-Life Crisis

The mainframe, despite endless speculation about its demise, is not going away, but it is undergoing a mid-life crisis. At least, thats the message emerging from the SHARE user group conference in Boston, Mass., this week.

Mainframe technology, which is championed by IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), has been repeatedly written off over the last few years, particularly by vendors desperate to lure users off the platform onto smaller servers (see IBM Celebrates a Birthday).

But this week's news reflects that while its sex appeal has diminished, there's still plenty of work for the mainframe in IT shops. Security, in particular encryption, is a major theme of the SHARE event, suggesting that users are not planning on ditching the technology anytime soon.

The startup Luminex Software Inc., for example, announced interoperability between its Virtual/BLUE 3490 mainframe tape gateway with tape encryption devices from Decru Inc.

and NeoScale Systems Inc. The encryption appliances run between the Luminex Virtual/BLUE 3490 appliance and open systems tape libraries, encrypting data as it is written to backup tapes (see Luminex & Decru Decrypt and NeoScale Encrypts Tape).

The announcement comes a week after Decru and Peak Data launched a system that combines Decru’s encryption appliance with Peak Data’s CentricStor Virtual Tape System (VTS) product. The VTS system first backs up data to disk, and then to tape. Luminex’s Virtual/Blue 3490 gateway moves data directly to tape (see Decru With PeakData).

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