Every company has systems and applications that must remain operational. Always-on or available, so to speak.
Today’s companies are globalized with 24x7 operations that simply cannot go down. They have applications and systems that store proprietary IP, keep ecommerce sites and air traffic control running, logistics and ERP tools working, and make financial transactions feasible. In these cases, downtime for even minutes could cause irreparable damage to revenue and productivity. Quite literally, backup and recovery is no longer good enough.
To protect these systems and applications, organizations must change their approach from backup to continuous data protection. They must move from recovery time and point objectives (RTOs/RPOs) to never needing to recover.
But with so much at stake, it’s important that organizations truly understand the concept of “availability,” which is so often muddled and used to describe technology that doesn’t deliver on this promise. So, what does true application and system availability mean? Maybe it’s easier to start with what it’s not.
When you hear: “Continuous availability for the modern enterprise”
You may not be getting what you bargained for. Most solutions say they can support the modern IT environment with always-on availability or continuous uptime, but the reality is they’re often snapshot-based backups that aren’t intended to provide continuous availability. And while this type of technology may be great for many of your systems and applications, you’re still forced to deal with RTOs and RPOs. And, no matter how you slice it, backups mean you’re recovering from – not preventing – downtime.
For your most critical systems and applications that absolutely can’t be disrupted, look for a solution with a journal-based process that replicates data in real-time at the file system level of files/folders, applications, and full physical or virtual systems. Combined with heartbeat-powered automatic failover, you’ll never need to worry about recovery time or data loss again.
When you hear: “Keep downtime to a minimum”
You should know this may not apply to all environments or support application-level replication. If you have propriety systems or critical applications running on physical servers, you’ll likely need another alternative to ensure availability during a disruption. Further, many require a duplicate production environment, which can increase costs immensely.
Instead, look for a completely agnostic solution that can protect applications as well as physical and virtual servers, and offers high availability locally or in remote locations, including the cloud. Application-aware and multi-environment replication offers flexibility while dependency mapping allows you to set application failover triggers to ensure you deliver business continuity, not backup and recovery, in the event of a disruption.
When you hear: “The future of backup and recovery is continuous”
You should know that some “high availability” solutions require manual failover, increasing time from detection to mitigation. This means it’s not high availability – it’s just replication with a short RPO. Moreover, some ONLY support virtual environments with VM-level replication, so you’re left on your own to handle application and/or system-level replication for your other environments. This not only leaves your business exposed, but often adds additional complexity and significantly more cost.
To make sure your businesses remains fully operational during an outage, you’ll need asynchronous replication technology combined with heartbeat-triggered automatic failover for continuous data protection of applications and systems on-premises, remote and in the cloud.
When you hear: “Native replication tools”
You should know they are focused on a specific application or environment, which may sound like a good choice because you’d be working within the same application to manage its replication and high availability. The problem? If you have 100 applications, you’d have 100 different tools to manage. And, you may have proprietary applications that wouldn’t be covered. There may also be restrictions if your environment is virtual or physical, not all the tools are user-friendly, and you may break your budget on license upgrades. Bonus: If you need to test your environment, or temporarily move your production because of a planned downtime, the process can be slow and painful. Not to mention needing application experts to monitor the entire process of running multiple applications in your DR site.
Eliminate the high costs and headaches with a completely agnostic solution that can work in dissimilar hardware with one-to-one, many-to-one, and one-to-many replications. Deploy and manage from a browser-based console with SLA reporting and real-time application and server monitoring to examine performance at a quick glance.
A true approach to business continuity
Ninety-three percent of IT decision makers told us they could tolerate minimal, if any, data loss from critical business applications, with 50 percent stating they have less than one hour to recover before it starts impacting revenue.1 But the consequences of unplanned downtime don’t just hit the IT department. In most cases, it’s far-reaching – jeopardizing business and personal reputation, loss of customers and compliance issues relative to compromised operations. Frustrated employees have a lower output and ecommerce comes to a halt. It’s clear that modern organizations need to change their approach to ensure applications and data are available nonstop.
So, what would it be like for systems and applications to never fail? What if you could completely remove RPOs/RTOs for these systems – never needing to worry about recovery?
For high-priority systems, that ideal can become a reality. Arcserve Continuous Availability takes the hype out of “hyper-availability” with actual high availability, combined with heartbeat-powered automatic failover, and continuous data protection for Windows and Linux applications and systems on-premises, remote, and in the cloud. Experience a true approach to business continuity.
1. Arcserve and MayHill Strategies survey, September 2018.