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Affordable IBM iSeries Recovery in 12 Hours or Less

High Availability / Disaster Recovery
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Outsourced virtualized recovery services provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to secure aggressive RTO at a manageable price.

 

Note:  This article is based on SafeData's white paper titled "Best Bets for iSeries Rapid Recovery with Virtualization," which is available as a free download from the MC Press White Paper Center. 

 

In a difficult economy, one of the challenges for business owners is to secure the right backup and disaster recovery solution--one that fully protects their business from costly downtime and disruption, while preserving precious financial and staff resources. There are many IBM iSeries recovery options available, but not all of them are right for every business. Many of the solutions that meet the most aggressive recovery time objectives (RTOs) may be too expensive for your business. Yet the most inexpensive solutions may put your business at risk of downtime.

 

The consequences of skimping on backup and disaster recovery for the very IT infrastructure that supports business operations can be devastating.

 

Outsourcing is one option that can help business owners ride the wave of a poor economy without putting business continuity at risk. Outsourcing backup and disaster recovery for the IBM iSeries can reduce costs and minimize the impact on IT staff, making it an attractive approach that's on the rise.

 

This article explores IBM iSeries backup and disaster recovery options in an effort to help business owners protect the financial investment they have made in this robust IT platform.

Economy-Proof Protection for the IBM iSeries

Approximately 15,000 companies still rely on the IBM iSeries platform to support their business operations because it is an easy-to-manage, easy-to-secure, and highly reliable platform that runs leading business applications.

 

Protecting the IBM iSeries has been an equally large investment. Comprehensive backup and disaster recovery with rapid RTO can be out of reach for the average IBM iSeries user. Less expensive recovery options, while available, don't offer recovery within 12 hours. Until now, many IBM iSeries users had to choose between affordable protection and rapid business recovery.

 

Today, advances in new technology make it possible for business owners to protect their IBM iSeries investments with solutions that are affordable and easy to deploy and that satisfy the goals of comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plans.

 

But business owners need to compare the options carefully. The most affordable solution may satisfy your budget, only to put business continuity at risk and possibly cost big money in lost revenue and diminished customer confidence in the business should downtime occur.

Hot Sites: Low Cost, Slow Recovery

Backup and disaster recovery for the IBM iSeries using hot sites is an inexpensive recovery solution in which a duplicate data site is established remotely. In the event that a disaster or disruption occurs, the business is manually restored with backup tapes that are stored remotely, perhaps at multiple locations and sometimes unsecured.

 

While hot sites are affordable and can deliver adequate protection, recovery times are generally two days or more and require IT staff to travel to the remote site to perform the manual recovery. But what if a regional disaster occurred and you couldn't get to your remote facility? Or what if your tapes are lost or damaged during transport? Tape backup in general is less reliable than disk, because tape media can be easily damaged or degraded. It's also time-consuming and vulnerable to human error. Some companies will invest in hot sites to satisfy stakeholder backup and disaster recovery requirements. However, this solution is not recommended for companies that need rapid recovery within 12 hours.

High Availability: Larger Investment, More Complexity

High availability offers the fastest recovery of the IBM iSeries--with minimal to no downtime--for the highest guarantee of business continuity. By creating a duplicate site that replicates data in real time to a remote facility over a dedicated connection, high availability can get a business back online within minutes in the event of disaster or disruption. While the core advantage of high availability is rapid recovery, there are a few challenges associated with this backup and disaster recovery plan. It can be expensive because it requires an investment in dedicated hardware and software for the mirrored environment. It also requires IT staff time for ongoing management of the two identical systems. If IT staff resources are lean, it may be difficult to keep up with the required management. High availability is ideal for businesses that need guaranteed availability. Unless a business has a compliance or operational need for near-100 percent uptime, the high cost of high availability may not be necessary.

Virtualized Recovery:  Low Cost, High Data Integrity

Virtualized recovery for the IBM iSeries is a growing trend among businesses that require RTO of 12 hours or less but can't afford the cost or complexity of high availability. The cost of virtualized recovery is a fraction of the cost of the average high-availability deployment. By utilizing electronic vaulting along with virtualized servers housed in an offsite data center, the IBM iSeries can be quickly recovered as needed. In the event of downtime or disruption, business applications and data are recovered to the IBM iSeries platform on the virtualized server. With virtualized recovery, businesses can be up and running in just hours. Some of the advantages of virtual recovery include the low cost of deployment, higher data integrity, and less requirements on the IT staff. For businesses that require RTO of 12 hours or less but don't need the near-100 percent uptime of high availability, virtualized recovery offers an excellent solution that's reliable and affordable.

Conclusion

Outsourced virtualized recovery services provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to secure aggressive RTO at a price point that's manageable for most organizations. What's more, outsourced recovery services make it possible to keep IT staff resources focused on customer-facing IT objectives. Investing in an outsourced, virtualized recovery solution is one way that businesses can reduce the cost and complexity of IBM iSeries protection without giving up the business continuity required to stay competitive in today's challenging business climate.

 

To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each of these data backup and recovery solutions, download the free white paper "Best Bets for iSeries Rapid Recovery with Virtualization" from the MC Press White Paper Center.

Peter Briggs

Peter Briggs founded ADS, Inc. in 1995 and spearheaded the growth of its data security business.  It is Mr. Briggs' vision that enabled SafeData to be spun off into an independent company.  As president of SafeData, he is charged with driving sales both directly and through alternate channels as well as managing the development of new service offerings.

 

 

As president and CEO of ADS, Mr. Briggs managed the company to profitability in each of its years of operation and has taken it through growth stages, with no outside financial investors. With more than 20 years of experience in the IBM mid-market, he led ADS to become one of the largest distributors of AS/400 servers in the New England market, with $8 million in revenues from 1995-1998. Then, as the market changed, he successfully transitioned the company from hardware sales to infrastructure solutions for mid-market companies.  Prior to ADS, Mr. Briggs held various sales and sales management roles for several IBM business partners, where he had significant revenue responsibility that he met or exceeded.

 

 

Mr. Briggs earned a B.S. degree in business administration from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. He has been awarded the Top Contributor Partner award from IBM and Partner of the Year from Lakeview Technology. He is also a member of the New England Disaster Recovery Exchange and Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.   

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