4 Best Practices to Ensure High Availability

Every company wants to reach the Holy Grail of 99.999% availability. Customers are more tech-savvy than ever, and they have high expectations when it comes to service availability and continuity. When your company achieves a high level of business continuity, your customers and clients remain loyal. They know your business will always be there for them.

Now more than ever, your business depends on technology to function, so you want to do everything you can to ensure that your systems are available to your staff and customers.

Here are 4 best practices for you to follow. With these steps, you can achieve the highest possible availability for your technology infrastructure:

1. Set Data Synchronization to Meet Your RPO

Your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the maximum amount of time your company is willing to lose data during a major outage. The RPO gives you a benchmark to guide your solution design. If you set your RPO to 30 minutes, for example, then you may lose up to 30-minutes worth of your data.

If your goal is maximum availability, you will want to set your RPO for 60 seconds or less. Set up your source and target solution so your data will not be more than 60 seconds out of sync. If your main source were to fail, you would not lose more than 60-seconds worth of data. Test your source and target switching to measure its performance and make sure it meets your RPO specifications.

2. Ensure Target System Is Switch-Ready to Meet RTOs

Your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the established maximum amount of time allowed to restore a business process to a specific service level following a disruption or disaster. If your goal is 99.999% availability, then your RTO should be set to 30 seconds or less.

To make sure your system is ready to recover in the event of a disruption or disaster, you should test your target system and make certain it is ready to switch over if the source fails.

3. Make Sure IT Infrastructure Can Switch From Source to Target at Any Time

Once your system has been designed, you should prepare your network configurations, servers, and switches to switch over from source production processing to target system processing at a moment’s notice. This standby method is also known as hot standby. Your data is mirrored in near real time, and both your source and target will contain identical data. Hot standby will give you a recovery time of a few seconds.

There is another option that will give you instantaneous recovery time: Load balanced, or active-active. For this method, both the primary and target will be active to process requests in parallel, and data replication will be bi-directional.

4. Test Switch From Production to Target System

Once your system has been set up to meet your RPO and RTO, you should test the switch from production to target to make sure everything is functional and meets your system requirements and goals. You should re-test your systems on a regular basis.

If you follow the 4 recommendations we’ve outlined here, your systems will be ready and available no matter what happens. If you don’t have the in-house expertise to design, configure, and test your backup system, ABC Services can help. We offer ezAvailability, a high availability and reliable business continuity solution for your mission-critical applications that offers RPOs under a minute, RTOs under 30 minutes, and fully managed real-time replication services.

Contact an ABC Services business continuity expert to discuss your backup and recovery needs.

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