Case Study

Global Chemical Company

Leading Global Chemical Company Selects Luminex to Upgrade Aging Tape Infrastructure and Automate VSE Mainframe Tape Processing


A global life sciences and high technology company with industry leading products in the biochemical and organic chemical fields wanted to upgrade, automate and streamline their VM/VSE mainframe data processing.  After a review of three proposals, they selected Luminex’s Channel Gateway to be used with their existing EMC Symmetrix disk array storage system for high availability storage.

Business Need

The customer was running a VM/VSE based IBM mainframe with ESCON connectivity to 28 stand-alone 3480/3590 tape drives.  The customer had seven unique VSE mainframe tape environments and a VM tape backup system based on CA-Dynam.  Their data management requirements had continued to grow and they were committing increasing manpower to manage their aging physical tape drives and their outdated tape storage and management system.  The customer wanted an automated solution that improved data processing, storage and retrieval and eliminated physical tapes and the manpower required to manage them.

The Luminex Solution

Luminex’s Channel Gateway solution consisted of four ESCON channels running across two clustered Sun V240 Servers with Sun QFS Software directly connected to the customer’s existing EMC Symmetrix storage system for a no single point of failure environment.  The customer is using the Luminex mainframe virtual tape solution for all of their operational tape data as well as all of their backup and recovery storage.  A significant benefit for the customer was Luminex’s commitment to offer custom VSE host software development for their applications to ensure that the implementation of the new data storage and management solution worked seamlessly with the customer’s existing applications. 

Charles Bryant, the customer’s Senior Systems Programmer, stated, “My directive was to get all operators out of the computer room so that they could become part of the ‘I/S Global Help Desk,’ which meant eliminating all tape handling, and to free up computer room floor space occupied by our twenty-eight 3480 and 3590 tape drives.  With the unprecedented help from Luminex working with our complex host and storage requirements, we have a Channel Gateway solution which meets all of our needs.  Luminex has been by far one of the best vendors I have ever worked with in my 20+ years doing systems programming.”

Global chemical company configuration

Solution Benefits

  • Automated existing manual tape operations
  • Significantly improved batch processing performance
  • Eliminated physical tapes and drives
  • Re-deployed tape management operators to other areas of the company
  • Dramatically lowered utilities costs
  • Significantly reduced usage of mainframe data center floor space
  • Improved security by eliminating physical tapes
  • Shortened the backup window
  • Saved maintenance dollars by eliminating high-cost maintenance tape drives