The Mainframe-to-Cloud Wave has Arrived, and Treehouse Software is Helping Customers Begin the Ride!

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development / AWS and Cloud Alliance Lead at Treehouse Software and Andy Jones, Certified AWS Solutions Architect at Treehouse Software

There are many pioneering organizations with mainframe systems that have already begun their movement to the Cloud, and are now taking advantage of the new and powerful technologies delivering significant business benefits and competitive advantage, including:

Trade Capital Expense for Variable Expense – Instead of having to invest heavily in data centers and servers before you know how you’re going to use them, you can pay only when you consume computing resources, and pay only for how much you consume. https://aws.amazon.com/pricing/

Global Deployments – The AWS Cloud spans 22 geographic regions globally. Enterprises can easily deploy applications in multiple regions around the world with just a few clicks. This means you can provide lower latency and a better experience for your customers at minimal cost. https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/regions_az/

Economies to Scale – By using Cloud computing, you can achieve a lower variable cost than you can get on your own, because usage from hundreds of thousands of customers is aggregated in the Cloud, providers such as AWS can achieve higher economies of scale, which translates into lower pay as-you-go prices. https://aws.amazon.com/economics/

Scale of Services – Amazon Web Services offers a broad set of global Cloud-based products including compute, storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security, and enterprise applications. These services help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale. https://aws.amazon.com/products/

World Class Security – AWS security compliance is second to none and complies with the most stringent government and private sector requirements. https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/programs/

Extreme High Availability (HA) – The AWS Cloud spans 69 Availability Zones within 22 geographic Regions around the world https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/regions_az/.  By designing your services and applications to be redundant across AWS availability zones or regions, HA is enhanced far beyond a single on premises data center. https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/solutions/infrastructure-software/high-availability 

Testing at Scale – AWS servers and services can be created and charged on demand for a specific amount of time.  This allows customer to create temporary large-scale test environments prior to deployment that are not practical for on premises environments.  Large scale testing reduces deployment risks and helps to provide a better customer experience. https://aws.amazon.com/  

Auto Scaling and Serverless Deployments – AWS has many serverless and autoscaling options available, allowing for scalable computing capacity as required.  For example, AWS Lambda lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers. You pay only for the compute time you consume – there is no charge when your code is not running. Another example is Amazon Aurora Serverless, which is an on-demand, auto-scaling configuration for Amazon Aurora (MySQL-compatible edition), where the database will automatically start up, shut down, and scale capacity up or down based on your application’s needs. https://aws.amazon.com/serverless/

Customer Agility and Innovation – In a Cloud computing environment, new IT resources are only a click away, which means that you reduce the time to make those resources available to your developers from weeks to just minutes. This results in a dramatic increase in agility for the organization, since the cost and time it takes to experiment and develop is significantly lower. https://aws.amazon.com/architecture/

Infrastructure as Code – AWS CloudFormation provides a common language for you to describe and provision all the infrastructure resources in your Cloud environment. CloudFormation allows you to use programming languages or a simple text file to model and provision, in an automated and secure manner, all the resources needed for your applications across all regions and accounts. This gives you a single source of truth for your AWS resources. https://aws.amazon.com/cloudformation/ 

However, compared to the number of mainframe shops in enterprises that are just beginning to plan their moves to the Cloud, existing adopters’ numbers are still relatively small.

As an example of the current boom in overall Cloud growth, the worldwide public sector Cloud market will be growing to a staggering $331B by 2022 according to Gartner. By the end of 2019, more than 30% of technology providers’ new software investments will shift from Cloud-first to Cloud-only, further reducing license-based software spending and increasing subscription-based Cloud revenue. (Source: Forbes) 

Treehouse Software is a Trusted Partner on Your Mainframe-to-Cloud Journey

Treehouse Software is a well-established company serving mainframe customers since 1982. We are currently developing a strong presence in the emerging Cloud market space related to mainframe data migration, primarily through our partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS).  AWS is aware that most large enterprises use mainframe systems that are housing vast amounts of data encompassing historical, customer, logistics, etc., and they have helped us bring our tcVISION solution to the AWS Marketplace. tcVISION provides real-time replication between a variety of mainframe and non-mainframe sources, including (Mainframe): VSAM, IMS, Db2, CA Datacom, Adabas, CA IDMS, and Flat Files; and (Non-mainframe): AWS RDS databases, AWS Aurora, AWS S3, AWS Kinesis,  PostgreSQL, MySQL, Kafka, MongoDB, Hadoop, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Db2 LUW and Db2 BLU, IBM Informix, SAP Hana, and many more. 

AWS sales and technical leaders within various verticals (GovCloud, Nonprofit, K12/Higher Ed, Automotive, etc.) are also beginning to engage with Treehouse Software to learn more about our unique skills and solution that can help them tap into this potential goldmine of massive amounts of legacy data that needs to be moved to AWS. 

Treehouse Software Helps Customers Begin Moving Their Mainframe Data to the Cloud Immediately

Treehouse Software specializes in providing data replication for enterprise customers who want a fully developed and automated way to move data from their mainframe systems to the Cloud. Treehouse Software’s tcVISION is a low risk option that allows customers to immediately begin moving data to the Cloud while they work on the sometimes massive complexity of application migration. Our experience has shown that projects can become stalled while the application side is being figured out. For example, Treehouse Software recently became involved in a project with a government agency that was facing the complexity of a “big bang” migration, which is slowing the project. We are now presenting them with our tcVISION data replication solution option, where they can replicate data to AWS while maintaining their current environment for modernization and migration of their applications. 

Additionally, Treehouse Software’s decades of experience developing software and working in the IBM mainframe environment, in addition to selling and supporting a comprehensive automated data replication product, is making us a desirable partner for AWS and many Cloud migration companies.  

AWS recently published a blog about tcVISION, our Mainframe-to-Cloud data replication product: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/apn/real-time-mainframe-data-replication-to-aws-with-tcvision-from-treehouse-software/ 

Additionally, here is a blog about Treehouse Software’s extensive mainframe experience: https://treehousesoftware.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/treehouse-softwares-differentiator-weve-been-helping-enterprise-mainframe-sites-since-1982/


If your enterprise is planning on riding the wave with a Mainframe-to-Cloud migration project, we would welcome the opportunity to help get you moving immediately with an online presentation and demonstration of our tcVISION data replication solution. Contact Treehouse Software today!

Treehouse Software Video Demonstration: Data Synchronization Between IMS/DB z/OS and PostgreSQL Using tcVISION

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

tcVISION supports a vast array of integration scenarios throughout the enterprise, providing easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects and enabling real-time and bi-directional data replication between mainframe, Cloud, Open Systems, Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms. We are regularly adding instructional video demonstrations on the Treehouse Software YouTube Channel. This video installment demonstrates an initial load and bi-directional synchronization of data between IMS/DB on the Mainframe and PostgreSQL on a Windows server…

Visit the Treehouse Software YouTube Channel for Other Videos.


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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. 

tcVISION_Overall_Diagram

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.


Further reading: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog: Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software

A real-world example of how Treehouse Software is helping enterprises with their Mainframe-to-Cloud / LUW / Open Systems data migration and replication initiatives…

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development for Treehouse Software

Many medium to large size companies are still investing in new mainframe systems, because they have been relying on them for decades to handle mission critical data transaction processing. For these companies, their mainframes are deeply entrenched, and have been rock-solid reliable over the years, allowing many users and applications to simultaneously access the same data without interfering with each other. Mainframes also perform large-scale and extremely fast transaction processing (thousands of transactions per second). Chances are, most transactions for which you use your debit or credit cards have a mainframe processing the data in the background.

There have been countless predictions of the demise of the mainframe over the years, but they have been proven wrong every time, and there’s no sign of extinction any time soon. Mainframes remain a vital part of IT infrastructures used by companies spanning a variety of industries around the world, including banking, insurance, healthcare, government, aviation, and retail.

Today, most companies that have their enterprise data stored on a mainframe system are discovering the advantages of newer cloud and open systems databases and services, including instantaneous global database deployments (e.g., Amazon Aurora), economics to scale, high availability, elasticity, security, testing at scale, disaster recovery, etc. Consequently, these companies are looking for an automated solution that allows real-time data replication between the two environments, and many are turning to Treehouse Software.


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Customer Scenario: A Look at a Large Airline’s Mainframe Data Replication Project

Treehouse Software has a major airline customer that is a long-time user of Software AG’s Adabas database on their mainframe system. Their desire was to move their data to more modern applications off of the mainframe. However, their mainframe contains vital airline maintenance and parts data that must always be highly available, so rather than performing a complete migration from the mainframe, the customer decided to utilize a data warehouse with a requirement of real-time data replication. This allows the mainframe legacy teams to maintain existing applications, while the modernization team develops applications on the newly created RDBMS. All teams determined that tcVISION real-time mainframe data replication was the perfect fit for meeting their goals.

How tcVISION Addressed the Customer Needs...

The high-level environment for the airline customer using tcVISION for data replication looks like this…

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  • Adabas: Mainframe data source containing business critical information replicated to the RDBMS.
  • Oracle: Open Platform RDBMS chosen by customer as replication target for both data warehouse and modernization project. The tcVISION Manager also uses Oracle as a repository for the metadata (field mappings).
  • tcVISION Manager: Software component deployed on both source and target systems. It is responsible for provisioning resources for:
    • Processing scripts
    • Metadata import
    • Scheduling
  • tcSCRIPT: Software component deployed on both source and target systems. It works in conjunction with the tcVISION Manager to:
    • Perform initial load of Adabas into Oracle
    • Ongoing near realtime CDC (Change Data Capture) and replication from Adabas to Oracle
    • tcSCRIPT processes data from:
      • Direct from the DBMS (initial load) or from DBMS extracts
      • Adabas Protection log (PLOG)
  • tcVISION Control Board: Software component deployed on a Windows machine which provides graphical user interface for a single point of control to administer the tcVISION environment:
    • Metadata import, creates metadata rules governing relationship between mainframe and open platform data structures
    • Replication rule maintenance
    • DDL creation
    • Creation of ETL and replication processes
    • Start, stop, and schedule replication processes

Customer’s Technical Requirement for tcVISION

The airline requires that the replication solution must support online and batch Adabas transactions and provide data replication between Adabas and Oracle. Additionally, their large databases contain millions of rows (e.g., > 50 million) that must be supported, as well as support for database change audit requirements (datetime and type of operation), transaction management, and notification of exception events.

There must also be support for configuration management between development, QA, and production.

Finally, the solution must address hardware and software failures on the mainframe, Linux, and database nodes.

Customer Outcomes

All requirements were met by tcVISION, which led to a successful project implementation.  Here is a look at the customer outcomes and benefits:

Business Outcome Customer Benefit
Data warehouse is always in sync with Adabas using tcVISION data replication Improved timeliness and reliability of reporting data
Reduced usage of mainframe MIPS Reduced cost
All data required for modernization project was successfully replicated to target environment Increased business efficiently and agility

Many more mainframe data migration and replication customer case studies can be read on the Treehouse Software Website.


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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. 

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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.


Further reading: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog: Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software

Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring: Finding Issues and Solving Problems With Amazon CloudWatch

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development for Treehouse Software

At Treehouse Software, we specialize in helping customers’ legacy mainframe environment continue while replicating their data – in real time and bi-directionally – to an impressive variety of newer Cloud, LUW, and Open Systems databases. However, once “in the Cloud”, customers need the same visibility and understanding of what is happening with their data as they have in their on-premises data centers.

Unlike a traditional data center, with the AWS infrastructure environment, customers pay only for what they use, and the company is charged only for resource utilization.  Users can bring up EC2 virtual Windows or Linux instances for any length of time. For example, if the mainframe database bulk loads only take an hour to complete, the tcVISION EC2 instances can be brought up for the two hours needed, and shut down when the processing is finished.  AWS EC2 instances can be dynamically stopped and restarted while retaining its data on AWS Elastic Block Storage. This way, the business pays only for what is needed and the instance sizes (CPU, memory, and I/O bandwidth) can be optimized for the required mainframe data migration, or data replication process.

AWS resources, such as EC2 instances, storage, and databases can be rapidly provisioned and de-provisioned.  The allows customers to approach the architecture with an agile mind set.

Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring Made Easy…

This blog gives a high-level overview at Amazon CloudWatch, a 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.

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CloudWatch collects monitoring and operational data in the form of logs, metrics, and events, providing you with a unified view of AWS resources, applications and services that run on AWS, and on-premises servers. You can use CloudWatch to set high resolution alarms, visualize logs and metrics side by side, take automated actions, troubleshoot issues, and discover insights to optimize your applications, and ensure they are running smoothly.

Some customers are satisfied with a basic monitoring that polls every five minutes, while others need more detailed monitoring and can choose polls that occur every minute.

Observing, Reporting, Alerting, and Acting

Amazon CloudWatch allows customers to record metrics for EC2 and other Amazon Cloud Services (e.g., EBS (Elastic Block Storage), S3 (Simple Service Storage), etc.) and display them in a graph on a monitoring dashboard. This provides visual notifications of what is going on, such as CPU per server, query time, number of transactions, and network usage.

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.

A shift from looking for failures, to finding answers…


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Is your mission critical mainframe data residing on IBM Db2, IBM VSAM, IBM IMS/DB, Software AG Adabas, CA IDMS, CA Datacom, or even sequential files? Do you want to move that data to the Cloud?

Read More About tcVISION on the AWS Partner Network Blog…

Read More: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog, “Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software”

Contact Treehouse Software for a Demo Today…

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.

STAY AND GO… AT THE SAME TIME! Incrementally Replicate Your Mainframe Data to the Cloud and Other Modern Systems While Keeping Both Sides Synchronized

Is your mission critical mainframe data residing on IBM Db2, IBM VSAM, IBM IMS/DB, Software AG Adabas, CA IDMS, CA Datacom, or even sequential files? Are you looking for a solution that allows your legacy mainframe environment to continue while replicating data – in real time and bi-directionally – on a variety of newer Cloud, LUW, or Open Systems databases? Whether your enterprise wants to take advantage of the latest cloud services, such as analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), etc., or move your data to a variety of newer Cloud, LUW, or Open Systems databases, the transition doesn’t have to be a sudden big bang.

tcVISION_Overall_Diagram

tcVISION: Enterprise ETL and Real-time and Bi-directional Data Replication Through Change Data Capture

The globalization of markets, the increase of data volumes, 24×7 operations, changing business conditions and high demand for up-to-date information require new data transfer and exchange solutions for heterogeneous IT architectures.

The tcVISION solution focuses on changed data capture (CDC) when transferring information between mainframe data sources and modern databases and applications. Through an innovative technology, changes occurring in any mainframe application data are tracked and captured, and then published to a variety of targets.

tcVISION allows bi-directional, real-time data synchronization of changes on either platform to be reflected on the other platform (e.g., a change to a PostgreSQL table is reflected back on mainframe). The customer can then modernize their application on the cloud, open systems, etc. without disrupting the existing critical work on the legacy system.

tcVISION – Supported Sources and Targets

tcVISION supports a vast array of integration scenarios throughout the enterprise, providing easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects and enabling bi-directional data replication between mainframe, Cloud, Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms. This innovative technology offers comprehensive abilities to identify and capture changes occurring in mainframe and relational databases, then publish the required information to an impressive variety of targets, both on-premise and Cloud-based.

View the Unequalled List of Environments Supported by tcVISION Here


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Contact Treehouse Software for a Demo Today…

Just fill out the Treehouse Software Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will contact you to set up a time for your tcVISION demonstration. This will be a live, on-line demonstration that shows tcVISION replicating data from the mainframe to a Cloud target database.

U.S. Government Customers Can Now Use Treehouse Software’s tcVISION Mainframe Data Replication on the AWS GovCloud

Treehouse Software’s tcVISION Mainframe-to-AWS data replication product is now available in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region of the AWS Marketplace.

The AWS GovCloud (US) Region is designed to host sensitive data, regulated workloads, and address the most stringent U.S. government security and compliance requirements.

The AWS GovCloud (US) is available to government customers, organizations in government-regulated industries, and other private entities that meet AWS GovCloud (US) requirements.

AWS GovCloud (US) gives government customers and their partners the flexibility to architect secure cloud solutions that comply with: the FedRAMP High baseline, the DOJ’s Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Security Policy, U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG) for Impact Levels 2, 4 and 5, FIPS 140-2, IRS-1075, and other compliance regimes.

From Personally Identifiable Information (PII), sensitive patient medical records, and financial data to law enforcement data, export controlled data and other forms of CUI, AWS GovCloud (US) Regions can help customers address compliance at every stage of their cloud journey.


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The tcVISION Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) are available on the AWS Marketplace. A 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. An enterprise with mission critical data in a mainframe environment can rapidly deploy databases globally within minutes, and with minimal administration requirements. U.S Government sites can simply choose the region “AWS GovCloud (US)” under “Pricing Information” when choosing and AMI.

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There are three versions of the tcVISION AMI on the AWS Marketplace, and #1 and #3 require two-week trial license keys provide by Treehouse Software:

1. tcVISION Mainframe Batch Integration (MBI) for AWS – Bring Your Own License (Customers must contact Treehouse Software for license key to run the software): This AMI does not require an active connection to the mainframe, because the existing backup and recovery files from the mainframe, such as Db2 imagecopies, z/OS archive log files or IMS Unloads, Adabas unload, and PLOG files can be used.

2. tcVISION Distributed Database Integration (DDI) for AWS – Pay as You Go on AWS: This AMI license installation includes security keys for Amazon S3 access and a license to use one source (PostgreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, MariaDB; MSSQL on Windows OS only) and one target (AWS S3, AWS Aurora, RDS – PostgreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, MariaDB; MSSQL on Windows OS only).

3. tcVISION Enterprise Change Data Capture (CDC) Integration for AWS – Bring Your Own License (Customers must contact Treehouse Software for license key to run the software): This AMI allows transfer of mainframe data to AWS targets continuously and in real-time. Using this tcVISION AMI, a customer can deploy databases globally within minutes.


About the AWS Marketplace…

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The AWS Marketplace is an online software store that helps customers find, buy, and immediately start using the software and services that run on AWS.


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Visit the Treehouse Software website for more information on tcVISION, or contact us to discuss your needs.

Mainframe Modernization: Extracting Business Value While Maintaining Critical Legacy Data

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Whether your enterprise wants to take advantage of the latest cloud services, such as analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), etc., or move your data to a variety of newer LUW or Open Systems databases, the transition doesn’t have to be a sudden big bang.

Application Rehost / Modernization Challenges

Much of an enterprise’s mission critical mainframe data is stored in legacy mainframe databases, and the cost to maintain these databases is high.  An added complication is that the data is utilized by many interlinked and dependent programs that have been in place for many years, and sometimes, decades. Unlocking the value of this legacy data is difficult due to many very different types of mainframe databases (e.g., Db2, Adabas, CA Datacom, CA IDMS, etc.).

Many customers are looking for a solution that allows their legacy environment to continue while replicating data in real time on a modern database/platform. This enables them to utilize modern programing and data tools in order to remain competitive in their markets.

One Step At A Time…

Treehouse Software has extensive experience in helping organizations incrementally replicate their mainframe data to the cloud and other modern systems, while keeping both sides synchronized.

Treehouse Software’s expert technical representatives help customers developed a phased plan that includes installation and implementation of the tcVISION mainframe data replication product. The plan then defines various parts of the solution, including:

  • configuration management
  • environments and promotion
  • high availability
  • security
  • disaster recovery
  • monitoring
  • operations procedures
  • script customization
  • data replication mapping
  • training

After defining the architecture, the production deployment phase begins with incremental sprint-like deployments. Additional files are then deployed into production every few weeks.

This phased plan enables the tcVISION product to synchronize mission critical mainframe data to any modern database. Bi-directional, real-time data synchronization allows changes on either platform to be reflected on the other platform (e.g., a change to a PostgreSQL table is reflected back on mainframe). The customer can then modernize their application on the cloud, open systems, etc. without disrupting the existing critical work on the legacy system.

Additionally, tcVISION customers see drastically reduced mainframe MIPS costs, and increased ability to quickly respond to business environment changes.


Find out more about tcVISION — Enterprise ETL and Real-Time Data Replication Through Change Data Capture (CDC)

tcVISION supports a vast array of integration scenarios throughout the enterprise, providing easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects and enabling bi-directional data replication between mainframe, Cloud, Open Systems, Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms. This innovative technology offers comprehensive abilities to identify and capture changes occurring in mainframe and relational databases, then publish the required information to an impressive variety of targets, both on-premise and Cloud-based.

tcVISION_Overall_Diagram

tcVISION acquires data in bulk or via change data capture methods, providing real-time and bi-directional data replication between a variety of mainframe and non-mainframe sources, including (Mainframe – z/OS and VSE): VSAM, IMS, Db2 z/OS, Adabas, CA Datacom, and CA IDMS; and (Non-mainframe): AWS, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Db2 LUW and Db2 BLU, IBM Informix, Kafka, MongoDB, Hadoop, SAP Hana, and more.


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Visit the Treehouse Software website for more information on tcVISION, or contact us to discuss your needs.

You can also set up a live, online demonstration of tcVISION, where we will show data replication from a mainframe database to an AWS, LUW, or Open Systems target database. Schedule your demo today!