Downtime is a top concern for IT organizations. Disruptions from cyberattacks and natural disasters to equipment failures and power outages can cause downtime, and the longer the downtime, the greater the loss of productivity and, often, revenues. This is especially true when it comes to protecting IBM Power Systems environments.
The Veeam 2020 Data Protection Trends Report, a survey of more than 1,500 global enterprises, found that 95% regularly suffer unexpected outages which, on average, last nearly two hours. The average cost of downtime for an enterprise application was estimated at $64,650 per hour. For many smaller companies, a few hours of downtime could be a catastrophe.
Fortunately, a good disaster recovery solution can mitigate downtime as well as ensure your organization’s data remains safe and secure during a disaster or cyberattack.
Disaster Recovery solutions vary considerably, with the best ones capable of recovering nearly 100% of data and restoring IT operations within a minute or two. However, the better the Disaster Recovery solution, the more costly and labor intensive it tends to be. Traditional Disaster Recovery requires investments in on or off-site data centers, servers and other hardware, Disaster Recovery software licenses, and IT staff with DR expertise.
Another option for Disaster Recovery is DRaaS, or Disaster Recovery as a Service. DRaaS is a complete recovery environment in the cloud, enabling rapid failover and recovery. The infrastructure and DR environment are owned and managed by the DRaaS provider. Organizations pay a monthly fee to maintain their recovery site, including ongoing data replication and Disaster Recovery testing.
We know this is the case for x86 environments, but is this still true for environments based on IBM Power Systems? In this post, we explore how DRaaS works with IBM Power Systems with help from our IBM partner experts at APSU Inc.
Does DRaaS work for IBM Power Systems?
DRaaS for IBM Power Systems environments is similar to DRaaS for x86 environments, except that the DRaaS solution is hosted and managed on IBM Power Systems servers within secure data centers. Customers get the benefit of a managed Disaster Recovery environment with IBM hardware and expertise at a fraction of the cost of a private DR solution.
IBM supports several methods for replicating data, including logical replication, SAN to SAN, or virtual tape libraries (VTL).
- Logical replication, which makes use of IBM’s built-in journaling capabilities, continuously copies the most recent data to the recovery site. It’s possible to capture data and transactions almost immediately after they’re written to the production environment.
- SAN to SAN replication in the cloud is a slightly lower cost method that is often used for large volumes of data. Transactions written to the local SAN are copied to a remote virtual SAN in the provider’s cloud.
- Virtual tape replication is digital, virtual disk space designed to emulate tape drives but faster.
Any of those data replication technologies can be used in a DRaaS for IBM environment.
The cost of DRaaS will depend mainly on how much data, and how fast, an organization needs to recover. Different businesses have different recovery needs. An ecommerce company will want to recover every last transaction, while a brick and mortar furniture store might be able to lose two or three hours of transactions without it substantially hurting business.
The two key metrics in disaster recovery are the recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).
Recovery time objective (RTO) - The targeted length of time from failure to restoration of business systems and services after a disaster.
Recovery point objective (RPO) – The maximum amount of data loss the business deems acceptable following a disaster or failure.
If you need to get your IT systems restored within minutes, you’ll pay more for it than if you can wait an hour or so. Likewise, if you can’t afford to lose more than a second or so of data, then your DRaaS costs will be higher than someone willing to lose an hour’s worth of data.
Read more about how DRaaS works.
The value of managed DRaaS for IBM Power Systems
Managing your own Disaster Recovery environment is possible, but costly and time consuming. It gets more costly and time consuming the better the Disaster Recovery environment. Experiencing any of these scenarios with your in-house IBM Power Systems environment?
- Infrastructure costs for power, space and equipment are growing
- IT budgets are constantly shrinking
- Finding IBM expertise is challenging. Finding staff with IBM and Disaster Recovery expertise is even more challenging.
Managed services providers can take the burden of infrastructure costs (while turning your cap-ex costs into op-ex costs), right-size a DR solution for your business with your budget in mind and provide that IBM expertise – all so your IT staff can focus on other IT projects important to your organization.
TierPoint & APSU can help with Disaster Recovery for IBM Power Systems
With our partner APSU Inc., TierPoint provides IBM Disaster Recovery Service for IBM Power Systems provides real-time replication and continuous monitoring, as well as IBM and DRaaS experts to assist in planning and service selection. APSU is our cloud services partner who specializes in IBM Power systems and provides fully-managed DRaaS for IBM Power I, AIX and Linux. Together, we handle maintenance, hardware upgrades, software licenses, storage, networking, and monitoring to create a seamless DRaaS experience for our customers.
Learn more about IBM Disaster Recovery and DRaaS for IBM Power Systems.