Using the IBM i Cloud for Disaster Recovery

In the most recent IBM i Marketplace Survey, more than 60 percent of respondents ranked High Availability/Disaster Recovery as a top priority. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your ibm disaster recovery plan meets the unique requirements of your business. Unfortunately, even small errors in your iSeries disaster recovery plans can put your company at risk of costly downtime.

In 2021, natural disasters are increasingly common and the need for more resiliency is growing, especially for businesses that depend on data to make critical decisions. In addition, regulatory compliance requires companies to have documented DR plans for their IT services.

When disasters hit, you must be prepared to take advantage of every opportunity to minimize the impact on your business and customers. This includes using cloud infrastructure to help support your business during a disaster. IBM helped KAZ Minerals, a copper mining company in Kazakhstan, do just that by building a Disaster Recovery site on the IBM Cloud to help the company protect and maintain operations, even in a disaster.

A Disaster Recovery site is a redundant, fully operational environment where you can run your business applications and systems in the event of a disaster that affects your primary data center. A disaster recovery site can be located in your data center, in a colocation facility, or in the cloud. The most important feature of a Disaster Recovery site is its ability to quickly and reliably restore your production data to your application servers. This will allow you to continue your work, serve your customers and remain compliant with regulatory requirements.

Disaster Recovery requires the use of a backup storage device that can be recovered to your Production environment. Backup and recovery must be done on a regular basis to reduce the risk of data loss or corruption. To reduce the amount of time it takes to recover a backup from tape, you can use an active-data replication solution. Alternatively, you can use a disk-based solution such as DSC. Disk-based backups eliminate the potential for tape media to degrade, become damaged or lost, and can be recovered in as little as 15 minutes.

Once a Disaster Recovery site has been implemented, you must test and document your procedures. This includes testing the recovery process for each application that you run in your Production environment. For example, you must test the order transaction process from your store to your on-premises backend systems. Ensure that the process does not insert any unwanted order information into your customer backend systems.

A comprehensive DR plan should also address your recovery time objectives (RTOs) and acceptable data loss objectives. The RPO and RTOs will determine how often your data must be backed up. For example, if you have an RPO of four hours, your system will need to be backed up at least once every four hours. A higher RPO will require more frequent backups to meet your recovery objective. RTOs are also dependent on the size of your backup set, so you must be mindful of how much data you need to store in your backup archive for the shortest possible recovery period.

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