Treehouse Software’s Quick Reference Guide for Enterprise Customers who are Planning Mainframe Data Replication on AWS

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development / AWS and Cloud Alliance Lead at Treehouse Software, Inc.

As many new AWS customers quickly discover, there is a vast and growing universe of features and services available to securely manage their enterprise data on the AWS Cloud.  This blog focuses on helping customers who are planning a Mainframe-to-AWS data replication project, learn some of the more common and helpful terms, services, and best practices that will help ensure their successful movement to the Cloud.

How can I utilize the AWS Cloud with my enterprise mainframe data? 


Let’s start with the assumption that a customer has chosen a mainframe data replication tool and is already replicating data between various on-premises sources and targets. Now, the customer is looking into moving data to a Cloud computing platform, and is exploring AWS.

For purposes of illustration, the following diagram shows an architectural overview of how Treehouse Software’s tcVISION data replication product provides mainframe customers with connectivity to the AWS Cloud. On the Mainframe side is the customers’ familiar on-premises environment with most of their mission critical data on various databases, such as IBM Db2, IBM VSAM, IBM IMS/DB, Software AG Adabas, CA IDMS, CA Datacom, or flat files. On the AWS side, there are features and services such as EC2, RDS, Aurora, S3, etc.  What do these AWS terms mean and how can they benefit a customer who wants to move data from their mainframe system to AWS?


Here is a quick guide with introductory resources to the most common AWS terms, databases, services, and best practices that you will encounter when planning your Cloud data replication project:

The Cloud – First of all, this is the “too embarrassed to ask” question: What exactly is the Cloud? Simply put, the Cloud is used to describe large data centers that are available to many users over the Internet. So yes, the Cloud is for-real, solid hardware that provides on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without on-premises machines, management, and maintenance by the customer. AWS has advanced and globally distributed data centers that the most highly-regulated organizations in the world trust every day,

Additionally, the AWS Global Infrastructure is designed and built to deliver the most flexible, reliable, scalable, and secure cloud computing environment with the highest quality global network performance available today. Why does Global Infrastructure matter?

Instance – A “Cloud instance” is essentially a virtual server created for running applications on a public or private cloud network.

Amazon EC2Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use. Amazon EC2 provides developers the tools to build failure resilient applications and isolate them from common failure scenarios.

Amazon RDS – Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity while automating time-consuming administration tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching, and backups. It frees you to focus on your applications so you can give them the fast performance, high availability, security and compatibility they need. Amazon RDS is available on several database instance types – optimized for memory, performance or I/O – and provides you with six familiar database engines from which to choose, including Amazon AuroraPostgreSQLMySQLMariaDBOracle Database, and SQL Server.

Amazon S3 – Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. This means customers of all sizes and industries can use it to store and protect any amount of data for a range of use cases, such as websites, mobile applications, backup and restore, archive, enterprise applications, IoT devices, and big data analytics.

Amazon S3 Bucket – An Amazon S3 Bucket is a resource that the user creates in an Amazon region, in which to upload data (photos, videos, documents, etc.).

Amazon Machine Image (AMI) – an AMI provides the information required to launch an instance on AWS. In our case, Treehouse Software has three versions of the tcVISION Mainframe Data Replication AMI available on the AWS Marketplace:

  1. tcVISION Mainframe Batch Integration (MBI) for AWS – Bring Your Own License
  2. tcVISION Distributed Database Integration (DDI) for AWS – Pay as You Go on AWS
  3. tcVISION Enterprise Change Data Capture (CDC) Integration for AWS – Bring Your Own License

The tcVISION AMI automatically sets up the product on the AWS Cloud and allows customers to use it with either backup/recovery mainframe files or Windows files, or to set up connectivity for real-time, on-premises mainframe data replication to AWS.

Amazon CloudWatch – Amazon CloudWatch is a powerful Cloud infrastructure monitoring service that gives developers, system operators, site reliability engineers (SRE), and IT managers actionable insights to monitor applications, understand and respond to system-wide performance changes, optimize resource utilization, and obtain a unified view of operational health. Given the dynamic nature of AWS resources, proactive measures including the dynamic re-sizing of infrastructure resources can be automatically initiated. Amazon CloudWatch alarms can be sent to the customer, such as a warning that CPU usage is too high, and as a result, an auto scale trigger can be set up to launch another EC2 instance to address the load. Additionally, customers can set alarms to recover, reboot, or shut down EC2 instances if something out of the ordinary happens. Treehouse recently published a blog on Amazon CloudWatch.

AWS Direct ConnectAWS Direct Connect is a cloud service solution that makes it easy to establish a dedicated network connection from your on-premises computing environment to AWS.

Amazon KinesisAmazon Kinesis makes it easy to collect, process, and analyze real-time, streaming data so you can get timely insights and react quickly to new information. Amazon Kinesis offers key capabilities to cost-effectively process streaming data at any scale, along with the flexibility to choose the tools that best suit the requirements of your application. With Amazon Kinesis, you can ingest real-time data such as video, audio, application logs, website clickstreams, and IoT telemetry data for machine learning, analytics, and other applications. Amazon Kinesis enables you to process and analyze data as it arrives and respond instantly instead of having to wait until all your data is collected before the processing can begin.

Amazon Redshift – Amazon Redshift is a popular and fastest growing cloud data warehouse.

AWS LambdaAWS Lambda is an event-driven, “serverless” computing platform provided by Amazon as a part of the Amazon Web Services. It is a computing service that runs code in response to events and automatically manages the computing resources required by that code.

Don’t forget about AWS best practices to help protect your project and your company!

Treehouse Software is dedicated to making your Mainframe-to-AWS data replication project a success.  As part of this effort, our staff Cloud Solutions Architect recommends that you have a discussion with your team to ensure that AWS best practices are in effect.  These practices will help ensure a successful production deployment, while protecting your company’s valuable data.

Enhanced AWS Business Level Technical Support – Business level support from AWS is important for maintaining maximum up-time if you have production workloads on AWS and want 24×7 access to technical support and architectural guidance:

Alerting – Treehouse recommends disk space alerting and disk autoscaling be made available with AWS RDS and AWS CloudWatch.  Alerting and monitoring of production AWS instances is a best practice.

Security – The following are AWS RDS security best practices:

High Availability – The following are AWS availability best practices:

Further reading: tcVISION Mainframe-to-AWS data replication is featured on the AWS Partner Network Blog…


AWS recently published a blog about tcVISION’s Mainframe-to-AWS data replication capabilities, including a technical overview, security, high availability, scalability, and a step-by-step example of the creation of tcVISION metadata and scripts for replicating mainframe Db2 z/OS data to Amazon Aurora. Read the blog here: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog: Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software.


Contact Treehouse Software for a Demo Today…

No matter where you want your mainframe data to go – the cloud, open systems, or any LUW target – tcVISION from Treehouse Software is your answer.


Just fill out the Treehouse Software Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will contact you to set up a time for your online tcVISION demonstration.

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