Alebra Technologies: Powering Data Movement for Critical Enterprise Applications

Tom Lehn, CEO It is of no debate that big data is reshaping the world. Whether a blue chip corporation or a low budget startup, big data analytics makes it possible to predict customer buying habits, identify potential fraudulent activity, and break down silos across data stores. According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), annual data creation is expected to reach 40 zettabytes by the year 2020, a 50-fold increase from 2010. But the question at hand is how do organizations make sense of the colossal amount of data generated each day?

“While data is being collected, processed, and stored on diverse platforms such as z/OS, Linux, UNIX, and Windows what businesses need are infra¬structure capabilities and tools that leverage enterprise data and deliver cutting edge analytics for a competitive advantage,” remarks Tom Lehn, CEO, Alebra Technologies. Delivering the fastest record and file access possible to power enterprise wide access to critical enterprise data, Alebra develops and markets proprietary integration solutions and delivers a software portfolio that includes data sharing and file movement. The company’s solutions focus on accessing the data quickly regardless of where it is located, minimizing the unnecessary duplication of data within an organization, enhancing security and lowering cost. “Whether a company is mining big data to drive analytics or synchronizing massive data stores, Ale¬bra helps in moving and accessing data at a faster pace, while consuming sig¬nificantly less overhead than other solutions,” adds Lehn.

Redefining Data Movement

Since its genesis in 1998, Alebra set out to create the fastest, most efficient transfer process in connecting enterprise data residing on the mainframe to new applications located on non-mainframe platforms. “Initially, our solutions addressed the differing data formats and communication protocols between the two disparate platforms,” explains Lehn. With time, recognizing an increasing need for more robust manageability and reporting functions, Alebra began extending their solution capabilities to include audit trails, automatic restarts, real time monitoring, and extensive reporting facilities. As an outcome, the addition of these supplementary features significantly reduced the time required to manage a large number of transfers. Today, Alebra focuses on the three Vs of big data volume, variety, and velocity.

The key competitive difference of Alebra products is marked by its performance, manifested by speed, efficiency, and scalability. To curb the various challenges witnessed in data integration between mainframes and open systems platforms, Alebra accelerates, automates, and tracks data access and file movement with their Parallel Data Mover (PDM) software.

After customers experience the speed and efficiency of our solution, they simply can’t afford to go back to the old archaic ways of moving data

PDM in conjunction with Alebra’s proprietary plug and play hardware solution, z/OpenGate—resolves issues such as differences in protocols and the lack of software support. “The result is an extremely fast, off-network connection suitable for transferring large amounts of data in a minimum time frame,” says Lehn. The PDM solution requires 1/20th of the processing overhead as compared to traditional network data transfers, and the addition of one or more z/OpenGate units not only scales up bandwidth capability, but provides a redundant and fault-tolerant configuration.

Paving the Way for Mainframe Modernization

Moreover, since companies need to refresh data in real time and not be forced to adhere to predetermined batch windows; Alebra allows data movement to occur without affecting any other business transactional systems. The company also offers a data access solution which negates the requirement for mainframe data to be moved for real time data updates and queries. As companies deploy several data movement products in their enterprise, Alebra provides a superset of traditional and data movement functionalities. Alebra has invested broadly across every element of cross-platform data movement; from software to hardware and the innovative integration of both. The firm offers scripts to streamline transitions, making it a natural data movement consolidation option for large enterprises. The company provides a dual approach strategy for file movement and cross-platform data access. “We not only offer support for network connectivity but also provide channel-based connectivity for more demanding needs, says Lehn. “After customers experience the speed and efficiency of our solution, they simply can’t afford to go back to the old archaic ways of moving data,” he adds.

Once Alebra is installed, an increase in transfer speed is the first thing that a customer notices. A customer also experiences 95 percent less processor utilization (MIPS) which results in reduced cost. “We are 20 times more efficient than other vendors and can perform hundreds of data transfer operations concurrently per server,” exclaims Lehn. Alebra maximizes speed of adhoc query and data transfers by parallel processing, overlap of sequential processes, and use of a dedicated data movement network. On one occasion, a Fortune 100 financial company was nearing the end of a multi-million dollar project to re-engineer a critical multi-platform business application when they contacted Alebra for assistance.
“Alebra allows data movement without affecting any other business transactional systems”

“Like many large projects, the client was slightly behind schedule and had overshot their budget.” On application of Alebra's solution, the client was able to successfully complete the project and reduce the time required for their data transfer from five hours to 40 minutes. “Our solution resolved not only the speed issue but generated an annual MIPS savings of approximately two million dollars,” beams the CEO.

Optimizing Data Performance

For utmost benefit of all their clients, Alebra develops a strategic plan to modernize and optimize a customers’ infrastructure that augments enhanced security, speed, and cost efficiencies. In addition to installation and training, Alebra can assist in the design of applications and solutions whenever data is needed. The company's expertise spans across the entire IT Infrastructure and network, making the Alebra team invaluable in developing comprehensive solutions. The company also allows data architects flexibility in their design by offering data piping which delivers true data sharing between applications running on disparate systems. A second option that the Alebra solution provides is for real-time remote data access, meaning a business application can seamlessly run against the data that resides cross platform.

Constantly keeping up with technical enhancements in hardware and operating systems, additional features and benefits are regularly added to Alebra's products in accordance to market developments. An example is the company’s support of IBM’s zEDC hardware data compression feature shortly after its first delivery. To seamlessly meet the strategic business needs of clients, Alebra collaborates with competent vendors. “Our partnership with MicroFocus, a software and IT company helps us enhance their solutions by giving newly migrated applications access to mainframe data,” informs Lehn.

Futuristic Enterprise Integration Solutions

In the near future, the company will improve their leadership in cross-platform speed by introducing much faster z/OpenGate models. In addition, high-speed, low overhead data transport facilities will also be available in 2016 to connect all supported platforms. With the rise in unstructured and multi-structured data, today organizations across the globe are seeking for a next generation data discovery user experience. According to research by Gartner, by 2020, information will be used to reinvent, digitalize or eliminate 80 percent of business processes and products from a decade earlier. Undoubtedly, having a solid data integration solution in place can radically improve a company's operational business intelligence. “We intend on carving a niche in the data integration landscape by delivering solutions that offer secure high speed, low cost data movement, and data access capabilities across enterprises, faster than ever before,” ends the CEO.

Alebra Technologies

Minneapolis, MN

Tom Lehn, CEO

Develops and markets proprietary enterprise integration solutions for businesses worldwide