Know Your Data in VSAM

Discover, classify, and manage sensitive and personal data in VSAM

How VSAM and BigID Work Together

Efficiently find, identify, and classify personal and sensitive data stored in VSAM with BigID’s unparalleled discovery-in-depth.

BigID simplifies and streamlines scanning using an agentless connector, and gives you options to optimize visibility into your data. BigID lets you create a credential, or select one from a list, that it will use in place of an explicit username and password. Choose which objects to scan, the number of items to retrieve per database page, and when you want each table object to time out.

VSAM’s security and versatility make it a popular choice with financial service and health insurance companies like MasterCard, Wells Fargo, and Humana.

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Benefits of VSAM



Requires less reorganization while inserting new records, and is known for its excellent performance in data set operations and record selection.



Operates independently of storage device type, expands across database volumes, permits sequential or random access, and offers versatile file sharing.



Offers data security through password protection of a dataset at different levels, and physically removes deleted records from the storage device.


Fast and Simple

Accessing data in VSAM is quick and easy. Embedded free space in the cluster simplifies inserting data.


Broad-based Support

Features more dataset types, a wide variety of I/O techniques, and batch and online processing.

About VSAM

VSAM—Virtual Access Storage Method—is an access method for MVS, or Multiple Virtual Storage. MVS, known today as z/OS, is IBM’s mainframe operating system. A NoSQL database, VSAM includes several distinct datasets. These include entry sequenced, key sequenced, linear, and relative record.

With VSAM, an enterprise can organize its records by physical file sequence, logical sequence, or relative record number. VSAM records can be of fixed or variable length. Those records are organized in fixed-size blocks called Control Intervals (CIs), and then into larger divisions called Control Areas (CAs).

Today, IBM is advancing Db2, which is an RDBMS. However, VSAM linear datasets are still in use for containing tablespaces and indexspaces within a DB system. Note that “keyed sequence” VSAM is also used by Db2 for the Bootstrap Dataset.