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POWER > Systems Management > High Availability

Data is Money

A recent survey explores the state of Power Systems resilience

A recent survey explores the state of Power Systems resilience
Illustration by Ken Edmondson

The State of Resilience

As financial constraints limit resources, rather than retreat to accepting less-challenging RTOs and RPOs, it appears the AIX and IBM i user base realized the need for more aggressive levels of resiliency. Protecting data and applications has proven to be a mandate that can’t be ignored or short-changed simply because money is tight. Yet at the same time, most IT managers worry that their DR plans may not execute properly or completely when invoked. They cite a lack of recent or complete testing as their main concern.

Though the overall profile of data-protection technology options hasn’t changed radically in the past year, notable trends exist. Tape is still the firewall, the backstop for data loss in the event of catastrophe. It shows little sign of yielding to spinning disk anytime soon. Examining the adoption of the entire range of data-protection options reveals a measurable trend toward granularity and immediacy. IBM i and AIX users increasingly seek real-time protection of data as it’s created and changed, as well as the capability to recover from any level of data loss or corruption. While the adoption of full high availability is increasing, the real interest and energy are directed toward improved data recoverability. As continuous data protection (CDP) technologies mature, both in capability and ease of use, they’re being quickly adopted among small, medium and large businesses alike. CDP technologies enable the most aggressive RPOs.

Compared with last year’s study, businesses show a strong move toward zero data loss while the remaining responses are more evenly spread across the spectrum. While 45 percent of respondents indicated they could accept business downtime of six hours or more after a server or application failure, 67 percent are unwilling to lose more than one hour of transactions or operational data.

Key Findings

Overall, AIX and IBM i shops, both pure and mixed, reported more aggressive RTOs, with distinct 10-percent growth over the past few years in the number of those targeting six hours or less. Data also seems to confirm that the larger a business becomes, the more expensive downtime of any type becomes; thus more businesses are establishing increasingly shorter RTOs.

Although they have DR plans in place, the vast majority of IT managers and professionals globally are concerned that, when pressed, plans may not execute properly or at all. They understand that DR plans must be tested regularly to ensure systems and staff are ready should the recovery plan need to be invoked. But they concede that testing is currently insufficient in frequency or completeness to assure success.

Relying upon tape backup as the primary data protection and recovery technology is rapidly becoming more than a case of less-than-optimal business practice. The cost to any business of permanent data loss, along with the cost of unplanned downtime while waiting for data recovery, is avoidable through investment in technologies that go beyond tape. Given the availability of such a wide range of advanced data-protection technologies, the investment in CDP or other real-time replication options could provide significant, near-term ROI.

Overall, the state of resilience is improving among IBM i and AIX customers. Under financial pressure, businesses see most notable gains with technologies and projects well suited to cost containment. What remains to be seen is if this trend will continue or whether the path to higher resilience will change with the economy in the coming year.

Wm. Edward Vesely is the senior vice president of marketing and business development at Vision Solutions.



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2019 Solutions Edition

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POWER > SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT > HIGH AVAILABILITY

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Data is Money

A recent survey explores the state of Power Systems resilience

POWER > SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT > HIGH AVAILABILITY

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