High Availability & Disaster Recovery Options for IBM Power Systems

In a world where most businesses rely on their computer systems to run their operations, downtime can be extremely costly.  System failures can not only negatively impact the bottom line, but they can also affect essential parts of the business, such as customer service.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for protecting your IBM Power Systems.  Each organization has their own requirements and therefore needs to select a high availability and disaster recovery solution that meets their own recovery time objectives.

There are essentially three tiers of options for IBM i and AIX environments:  mirroring, live partition mobility and journaling.  Depending on specific recovery time objectives, not every organization needs to select the highest tier option in order to keep their systems safe.

  • Mirroring – this is the highest tier option which writes changes to an IBM Power Systems environment to two separate systems simultaneously.  IBM PowerHA is a mirroring solution that provides several different levels for organizations with various business continuity requirements.

    Live Partition Mobility – with this option for IBM Power6 and Power7 servers, there is one system, “System A”, that is the active system where all the work is performed.  If there is a disk failure on System A then the disk (partition) can be switched to “System B”.  Therefore, the activity is only being written to one SAN (storage area network) and there are not two completely different systems operating like with the other two options.

    Journaling – with this process, activity is recorded on System A and then the journal entries are sent to System B where the changes are then applied.  Logical replication solutions available include those from Vision Solutions and Maxava.

Planned downtime is essential to maintaining an IT infrastructure, but unlike some may think, unplanned downtime (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters) can happen to any organization.  In order to be resilient when downtime occurs, businesses of every size need to ensure they have the proper safeguards in place to protect their mission-critical data, applications and systems.  Carefully evaluating the various options for protecting your IBM Power System environment can be the difference between your organizations success or failure.  Selecting the right managed services for your organization can also make all the difference.

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