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Reintroducing Object Access Method

The latest z/OS release brings file system support for OAM

The latest z/OS release brings file system support for OAM
Illustration by Dustin Miller

What’s New

Starting this month with z/OS V1R13, the OAM storage hierarchy is now supporting yet another disk storage option with the file-system sublevel. OAM can now store object data (as files) in a z/OS UNIX* file system directory, which may reside within a zSeries* File System (zFS) or Network File System (NFS). Once the zFS or exported NFS file system is mounted in the z/OS UNIX file system hierarchy, OAM can use the file system as part of the OAM storage hierarchy and will manage the life cycle of the objects residing in that file system.

“There’ve been a multitude of significant changes to OAM since the first release,” says Advisory Software Engineer Brian Corkill. “This includes more storage options, larger object size, archive retrieval enhancements, sysplex retrieval enhancements, sysplex support, media management, et cetera.”

The prototype product supported objects up to 50 MB in size; it was then increased to 256 MB and later to 2,000 MB. Previously, when users had more than 256 MB of data to store, they had to break it up into smaller pieces. With the support of up to 2000 MB, OAM can support the larger object as a whole, single object.

“We’ve also changed the API interfaces so users can send us the object in pieces and we can put it together and store it as a single object,” says Dawson. “We used DB2 4 K and 32 K tables for storing objects, and in preparation for storing these larger objects we also added support a few years ago for DB2 Binary Large Objects.”

The new file system support resulted from customer requirements. With many of the Fortune 500 companies using OAM, the new support gives major players in the marketplace more options for managing storage.

“By supporting a file-system layer, it opened us up to open system storage devices—SONAS (Scale Out Network Attached Storage), N Series, other open-system disk devices,” says Dawson. “It was another way for customers who didn’t want to use DB2 as a repository for the objects to use the file-system layer.”

Across industries, OAM is a critical tool:

  • Government agencies are using OAM to store records.
  • The healthcare industry employs it to store medical files.
  • Telecommunications companies are using OAM to store billing statements.

OAM is attractive to these large institutions from a compliance perspective because it provides WORM capabilities as well as normal read/write storage-device support.

Caroline Vitse is a freelance writer based in Rochester, Minnesota.



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