We have a data conversion project where the overall process works this way:

  1. Mainframe legacy application will extract out their data into flat text files.
  2. Our application (running on AIX) will FTP to the mainframe and pick up the flat text files.
  3. We will run our conversion on the flat text files and generate a set of mapped/transformed files.
  4. We will transfer the files to the new system for importing.

The mainframe apps' files are about 2TB large. Obviously, the data transfer represents quite a large overhead.

Is is possible for the mainframe to write to a set of disk volumes on the SAN, unmount the volumes after writing and we mount those volumes on AIX? Is there any file system that is readable/writable by both z/OS and AIX?

Thanks, Wong

2 Answers 2


Here's what I'd do:

  1. Create/attach the large datastore area on the AIX machine.
  2. Share the large datastore filesystem via NFS to the ZOS mainframe
  3. On the ZOS mainframe, generate your files and output them to the large datastore partition.
  4. On the Aix box, you've now got local files/local speeds for your imports.

At this point you could do a SAN split type thing for the new files to the new system.

The NFS capability is definitely available for ZOS:


though it may be paid for option so check that out with IBM.

  • Thanks. This seems workable. At least we can parallelize the extraction and transfer process this way. But will there be any difference writing to a file on NFS and... well, I don't know what file system is used on mainframe, actually. Mainframe terminology is so different from open systems, sigh. For Unix systems, the file system is pretty much transparent to applications, is it the same for mainframe?
    – feicipet
    Apr 10, 2013 at 11:51
  • I don't think there will be a block filesystem level solution to this, there'd be all kinds of endian'ness issues and so on but your IBM pre sales team might know more. I think NFS/SMB are where it's at. If it's a temporary or the budget is tight them maybe you could drop a linux PC in the middle with a 4Tb disk in for cheap and have the zos and aix each mount that to save the cost of "enterprise" storage. The data can be regenerated if the linux box filesystem gets damaged/lost.
    – gm3dmo
    Apr 10, 2013 at 13:23

Assuming you have network between the mainframe and your AIX box, is it possible to just mount via nfs? I've never worked with z/OS but I'm pretty sure it supports older NFS.

  • davey and I were on the same track but he's provided a much more detailed answer :)
    – EvanWaite
    Apr 10, 2013 at 9:39
  • Thanks :) I'll respond to the suggestion under davey's post.
    – feicipet
    Apr 10, 2013 at 11:43

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