RAP/400 ongoing development

The RAP/400 Version product has been out there for a few weeks now and has seen a fair level of attention from the media and interested parties. Some of that attention did amaze me, I have been a HA specialist for a long time and was very surprised to hear from a number of the large HA product vendors that they felt I was now competing with them?

RAP/400 is not a HA product, it provides support for journalled objects only and does not provide many of the features that are required for a product to be considered a HA solution. The main reason for RAP/400 was to provide the users with an alternative to the HA products where those solutions were just too heavy and over kill for what the customer requires. During my time as a HA distributor and working for one of the HA providers I came across a number of situations where the customer wanted a replication tool just to protect their data. The only option these people had was to buy the HA product (or DR product if available) and make the best of it. I am looking to fill that gap, giving people the choice of a low priced solution which only protects those objects which can be journalled. Running a HA product requires a reasonable level of skill, managing that product after the install has been completed also requires skill and attention. If you just need to protect your data on an ongoing basis why go for a solution which while providing a lot more options brings with it the management overhead you don’t need?

I am now well into the next level of development, not that customer have been flooding to the door pushing orders upon me, but because I can see that some of the limitations I set in the initial release should be catered for in a normal users environment. IBM is providing all of the technology, I am just putting a wrapper around that technology so users can set it up easily and have little to no management tasks. IBM has always provided good plumbing but sometimes fails to provide the interfaces to that plumbing for the user, we have done that with the RJ technology and the apply process. We only need to run on the target system and have no requirement to run any programs on the source, IBM is doing that for us already. This release will support up to 100 journals, each will be either supporting *IFS,*DTAARA and *DTAQ or *DB. This allows the product to support the DDL (File level changes) which was a major problem in Version 1.0. I have also improved the interfaces for configuring and managing the product. Errors can now be viewed through a number of UIM panels instead of having to use Query Manager.

Another change will be the licensing used by the product. IBM has recently announced the availability of the i515 and i525 servers, these servers have a new licensing policy which is based on users not P groups. RAP/400 will be an ideal companion for these servers and will be priced on the number of journals which are configured. The new release should be available mid June for shipment although we will require a number of beta installs before then.

I feel the product fills a gap in the market which has been left open for a long time. The HA solution is too heavy to fill this gap and users want more than just tape saves, they need to be able to have their data protected in as near real time as possible. Recovering the system and using that data immediately is not necessary. The product will allow the user to determine when the data is applied just by controlling the change of the journal receiver on the source, so if you need to have no more than 1 hour of data waiting to be applied you can just change the receiver every hour. IBM does the apply of the data so I believe its going to be much quicker at applying those changes than any process I could write. Batch runs can be protected, just change the journal receiver at the start and end of the batch process, if the batch fails the changes have not been applied to the target.

If you would to be involved in the beta testing please visit the support pages on our website where a link to the beta request page is located.

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