IBM Data Virtualization Manager – Easy access to IBM Mainframe Data

March 28th, 2018
Marianne Eggett
z Systems Solutions Consultant


You have a mainframe. It runs your key business applications. Wouldn’t it be great to access that data easily and quickly? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a tool that could join diverse types of mainframe data to distributed data? Wouldn’t it be ideal if this didn’t require any programming?! These are lofty goals set out by IBM Data Virtualization Manager for z/OS. Let’s look at this amazing product.

What is IBM Data Virtualization Manager for z/OS

IBM’s Data Virtualization Manager (DVM) is a sophisticated product that runs primarily on the IBM Z zIIP specialty engines. This is a huge plus, as it will not increase the traditional MIPs or MSU usage during its execution, therefore not affecting the traditional Z software stack costs.

This product enables access to mainframe data such as DB2, CICS, VSAM, IDMS, Sequential and other data types, including distributed data such as Oracle and SQL Server. It can also access analytics data, such as Hadoop data, enabling a complete view of the customer. This data is exposed to calling applications as SQL result sets.

The tool has an easy to use eclipse-like GUI tool to build the queries. It is here that COBOL copybooks, DDL or other data structures are ingested to create virtual tables in the tool. Once created, these virtual tables are used for writing the SQL by using a point and click process.

Where does it fit for z/OS Mainframes

There are many uses for DVM.

The need for real-time data is real. At one time, all access to mainframe data was left to data warehouses, data marts or data lakes. Now, applications can query directly and join diverse data structures. How important to the business is real-time information? Most companies are demanding it. Here’s a simple way to provide it.

By using this tool, applications are made simpler. Complex coding to join diverse data structures is eliminated. As an example, DVM queries can join the sequential files, VSAM files and Oracle running on another platform. Ultimately, the benefits are reduced complexity of applications, reduced time to implement from traditional programming, and the ability to join mainframe and distributed data, while getting real-time data results.

How would you like to simplify the ETL process? By using DVM with the ETL tools, the ETL process can be simpler to plan, set up and maintain. Changes are easier using the DVM GUI tool, and the execution of the complex joining takes place on the zIIP engines, where most ETL processing is using the traditional MIPS or MSUs. This tool can save a company money in three ways: reduced programming and maintenance of the ETL process, reduced use of traditional MIPs and MSUs by offloading work to the ZIIPs, and potentially reducing or eliminating the ETL product costs.

Is security a concern in your company? As data moves throughout the enterprise, who’s ensuring that the data access is secure. It takes an army of people to check, validate, and discover failures in the security of the replicated data. DVM uses the rock-solid z/OS security. Nothing is replicated. Instead it uses what is already in place. We expect this to reduce staffing costs compared to the current implementations with replicated data.

There are so many ways that IBM’s Data Virtualization Manager for z/OS helps with mainframe data access, we cannot cover all of them in this BLOG.

CLICK HERE to view a document that outlines the many areas that this product can affect the business, data analysts and application team.


The IBM Data Virtualization Manager is an outstanding tool for most mainframe customers. But, how do you get management to see the value. Will a Proof of Concept (POC) help your company understand the value of this product? Mainline can help you with a POC, and help you build a business case to justify this product for your enterprise.

Please contact your Mainline Account Executive directly, or click here to contact us with any questions.

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