Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Workbook: Determining Business Resiliency It s All About Recovery Time

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1 Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Workbook: Determining Business Resiliency It s All About Recovery Time

2 Introduction This is the third of a series of best practices workbooks designed to familiarize you with the basics of business continuity, disaster recovery and information availability. Written in a Q&A style, Workbook 3 involves understanding what your recovery objectives are a specific point in time for your data and how fast you need to be up and running and then moves into how to determine those objectives for your organization, how to determine your optimum availability, how to evaluate solutions to meet your objectives as well as your budget and how to calculate ROI. 1 visionsolutions.com

3 Determining Business Resiliency It s All About Recovery Time To understand the cost of downtime to your organization, see Workbook 2: How to Assess the Financial Impact of Downtime. What are recovery objectives? Is it more important to recover quickly from a failure, or to recover as close to the point of failure as possible? It depends. What is more important for your organization: guaranteed nonstop operation or absolute data integrity? Maybe both are important! A highly automated manufacturing plant probably needs to minimize the duration of any downtime that would stop its assembly line. In contrast, a bank is probably more interested in ensuring that it does not lose any customer-account data. RPO (Data Loss) minutes 1-4 hours hours hours weeks SMB market Tape Backups Information Availability Continuum: Where Are Your Tolerances? Enterprise market BCRS / Sunguard Quck Ship 2-3 days Disaster Recovery / Practical Availability 4-10 hours High Availability minutes Clustering 0 Administration + Skills + Price = Total Cost of Ownership ($$$) RTO (Application Downtime) Recovery Time Objective (RTO) RTO is the targeted amount of time required to resume and recover application functionality. Focus should be on how fast the application can be restarted. Simply put: how long can you afford to be offline? When you specify how long your business can afford to be down, then your RTO becomes obvious. The shorter the RTO, the higher availability is required up to and including a no-exceptions applications availability. Recovery Point Objective (RPO) RPO is the targeted tolerance threshold for lost business transactions or data. It defines how much data can be lost or how far you can tolerate going back in time to resume application functionality. In other words, RPO defines the point in a data stream to which you need to return in order to be able to resume business effectively. 2 visionsolutions.com

4 How do I determine my optimum availability level? Determining optimum availability is not an either or proposition. The economically appropriate level varies among systems and industries and even across applications within a single enterprise. For example, a system that runs a manufacturer s shop floor would warrant a significantly higher investment in availability than one that stores the company s personnel manuals. The challenge is to strike the right, cost-effective balance. It may be acceptable to occasionally schedule a five-minute shutdown during a slow period to switch over to a backup system when planned maintenance is required. Buying and running the backup hardware and software means incurring some extra costs; however, with the proliferation of ebusiness, globalization and other time pressures, organizations are increasingly unwilling to shut their systems down for an entire maintenance process that may last days. Furthermore, when it comes to losing just an hour of data and application access during peak business hours, very few companies are willing to accept any more than the smallest of risks. 5-Steps to Determining Your Optimum Availability Every organization will view uptime/availability differently based on its business, cost of downtime, customer needs and service commitments. 1. Determine the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) for your business. 2. Determine what data and applications you need to protect by setting priorities and performing a data inventory. 3. Assess how you will manage availability across a heterogeneous environment including understanding the skill levels of your staff, your technical infrastructure, and other issues. 4. Determine how you will assure the integrity and viability of the backup data and applications any solution must restore what you need to get your business back to normal operations. 5. Prepare a budget. Striking the right balance requires considerable knowledge of your business and IT environments. Are there ways to improve availability that do not involve software? A large percentage of unplanned downtime results not from equipment failure or natural disasters, but rather from human error. End-user and system operator education, training and documentation on the use and maintenance of each system and its components can help reduce this type of downtime. Likewise, a formal, fully documented recovery plan that is well-understood and rehearsed can significantly reduce the duration of any outages that do occur, regardless of the cause. Also, if you do not choose to use a software solution, you will need to completely document all of the steps that are involved in a complete recovery from or instantaneous failover to a backup system in the event of an unplanned downtime event. 3 visionsolutions.com

5 What are the most common availability solutions? Backup and Restore The most basic level of data protection is to backup data so that it can be easily restored, if necessary. Backups are generally performed on a regular schedule, such as nightly. To thoroughly protect data integrity, it is generally recommended that the ongoing processing of data be stopped during the backup. Otherwise, if a transaction occurs wholly or partly during a backup process, the backup file may contain an incorrect view of the results of that transaction. However, it takes a long time to backup large databases. In a 24/7 environment, it may not be possible to stop systems long enough to backup even small databases, let alone large ones. Even in a 9-to-5 business, it may not be possible to backup a particularly large database in a single overnight window. Uninterruptible Power Supplies Power outages are the most common cause of abrupt system failures. Thus, Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) go a long way toward reducing downtime frequency. When configured properly, they can also help to reduce the duration of downtime. In the event of a primary power outage, the internal power source in a UPS can maintain system operation long enough to save main storage. This protects data and simplifies system startup when the power returns. Fault-Tolerant Hardware Some hardware is designed with fault tolerance built in. It comes with internal redundancy and the means to monitor each component s operating status and seamlessly switch to a backup component when necessary. Inoperable components can typically be replaced without stopping the system. RAID There are several means of protecting data from disk failure. RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) spreads enough information across multiple disks to allow the disk subsystem controller to recalculate any missing information in case of a disk failure. RAID does not protect against the failure of other disk-related hardware, such as a controller, an I/O processor or a bus, however. Disk Mirroring Disk mirroring, when properly configured, can eliminate single points of failure. Often used in combination with RAID, this approach requires that data be concurrently written to each unit in a set of identical disks, incurring minimal CPU overhead or increase in system complexity. However, mirroring all data requires at least twice as many disks. Nonclustered Multiple Systems A multiple-systems approach that continuously maintains real-time replica systems offers an exceptionally high level of availability. Even the best planned backup strategy and most complete DASD (disk drive) mirroring scheme cannot eliminate all types of user processing interruptions. A multiple-system approach can. Multiple-system availability solutions can be quickly implemented using commercially available software and services. With the appropriate software in place, the second system needn t exactly duplicate the primary system nor be totally dedicated to providing backup protection. It can be used for other processing jobs, limited only by its capacity. Clusters The functionality of clusters varies among the platforms on which they have been implemented. High availability and continuous operations functions are supported by most implementations. Clustering for availability is similar to the nonclustered multiplesystem approach described in the preceding section. The main difference is where the continuous availability functionality is performed. A nonclustered solution relies on thirdparty software and/or hardware to perform all of the functionality replication, failure detection, switchovers and failovers. In a cluster, the operating system takes over some of 4 visionsolutions.com

6 these functions; this requires cluster-enabling modification of the application (through tools and services) to allow close integration with the operating system. In doing so, a portion of the continuous availability functionality is brought closer to the machine level and is, therefore, more responsive and flexible. The level of functionality assumed by the operating system depends on the platform. At a minimum, it typically provides some failure-detection capabilities and participates to some extent in any failover activities. Virtualization - Server virtualization provides a number of benefits, some of which are similar to utilizing clustered systems. Many vendors and analysts also suggest that virtualization automatically provides DR and HA benefits. However, these benefits are often very limited, unless serious effort is made to integrate automated physical and virtual server monitoring and fail-over processes. For example, many virtual servers are often hosted in a single physical server. While failover or recovery between "co-located" virtual servers may provide some protection against unexpected application downtime, it does nothing to protect against failure of the physical host server or its shared communications, memory or power resources. Alternate Communication Paths Core business functions often depend on a variety of systems and sites. For example, a company may take orders at one facility and fulfill them at a remote warehouse, with order data transmitted between the two over communication lines. If the line is disrupted, orders will have to be sent to the warehouse manually or, worse, they cannot be transmitted at all. Most communication failures are outside of the control of the IT organization. The only way to combat these exposures is to maintain alternate communication paths. What are the software-based data recovery and information availability solutions? There are several alternatives for solving your downtime challenges with a software-based solution. Disk-Based Data Recovery Solution With the falling cost of disk storage today, disk offers an increasingly attractive alternative or supplement to tape as a backup and recovery medium. Combined with the reasonably low cost of bandwidth, backup data can be sent anywhere, minimizing any effects from unplanned downtime. Disk-based strategies require more than once-a-night bandwidth. Transmitting a large database over network lines in burst mode would consume all of the available bandwidth for a considerable time, leaving none for regular operations. Likewise, the production server s data capture mechanism would consume the entire disk I/O capacity on that system. A better approach captures data changes on the primary system and transmits and applies them to the remote backup storage continuously or in small batches when most efficient. Depending on the software and hardware used, the backup need not be a readily useable system. This means that the remote site stores a copy of the data, without fully configuring the system and applications. All production hardware need not be duplicated at the backup site. With the low probability of all production severs becoming unavailable at the same time, the remote site can be equipped to handle only the load of a few production servers. Should an unplanned event strike a production system, the necessary equipment at the back-up site can then be configured to take over. 5 visionsolutions.com

7 Even better is continuous data protection (CDP), an any-point-in-time recovery software solution that is gaining increasing adoption. CDP is like Tivo for data, enabling you to recover or restore data to a point before accidental deletion or corruption. High Availability Solutions A true high availability software solution provides near zero data loss and near 100 percent business uptime. It offers comprehensive information protection capabilities, an array of automated management functions and the autonomics and redundancies to assure the integrity of a switchover or failover. High availability means everything is redundant. A second system, preferably in a remote location, provides optimum protection and availability regardless of planned or unplanned events. Sophisticated software provides real-time or near real-time replication of any changes to production business data, system data, applications and other system objects to keep the backup system perfectly synchronized and ready to take over operations at a moment s notice in case of disaster or other business interruption. Some tasks can be removed from the production system entirely as well. For example, since the secondary system contains an up-to-date replica of the production data, it can serve as a platform for creating backup tapes without affecting production operations. Having a redundant system enables time-consuming reports to be run without interfering in normal processing. Automatic healing and failover capabilities continuously monitor the health of the production system and automatically initiate a failover whenever necessary. When the secondary system assumes production operations, the software captures any data changes made on that system so that the software can automatically resynchronize the primary system when it comes back online. A high availability solution, using a second server in a remote location, provides instant disaster recovery. If a disaster occurs, the solution simply switches users to the backup location. With automated failover capability and IP impersonation, the switch occurs transparently to users. When maintenance must be done on the primary system, an administrator can initiate a switchover to the backup system instantly. The high availability software will capture any changes and replicate them to the production system when it returns to service. What should an information availability software solution do? The best information availability software solution will meet the availability requirements of each system in your organization and achieve optimum RTO and RPO, provide scalability for future growth and offer the most value in terms of total cost of ownership. Some organizations or some particularly critical applications within an organization may require an exceptionally high level of availability. While the probability of two geographically separated servers becoming unavailable at the same time is very low, it is not zero. Such onerous availability requirements may require additional backup servers in different locations. An appropriately robust availability solution provides options to handle this scenario. An availability solution must ensure that information and applications remain as accessible and available as needed to continue to drive revenue, profitability and productivity at 6 visionsolutions.com

8 acceptable levels no matter what planned or unplanned events occur. The availability solution you choose should: Protect your data, applications, and systems to a level that meets your business requirements and RTO and RPOs. Manage business uptime as automatically as possible to streamline operations and save time. Assure the integrity and quality of your environment during interruptions and when it returns to full operations. Calculating ROI: Risks vs Costs Compliance Government Industry Internal and external SLA Competitive advantage Greater service levels Compliant Improved responsiveness Increased customer satisfaction/capacity with more uptime Data/application backups (archiving) Data/application maintenance Increased asset utilization Application Load Balancing (I/O distribution) Off-loading Inquiry What about ROI? Application Development It should not take a disaster to recover Data distribution an investment in an information Periodic availability solution or in developing Real-time your disaster recovery plan. For Disaster recovery example, if your disaster recovery Data/application solution only addresses unplanned, Site unpredictable downtime (5-10 percent Application/data integration of all downtime) it will take a disaster to find ROI. If your disaster recovery ecommerce solution also addresses planned, predictable downtime (90+ percent of all downtime occurrences), you'll find everyday ROI without the disaster. ROI can be realized through better service and compliance. Some industries have government regulations that require them to meet certain pre-determined availability goals. Plus conforming to internal and external service level agreements (SLAs) will drive better performance for those vendors or applications because you must hold them to the agreements. Since an SLA typically enforces strict guidelines for uptime, you might experience greater competitive advantages since you may have greater service levels or meet compliance better than your competition. This will ultimately result in increased customer satisfaction because you can eliminate planned downtime and offer more accessibility for your customers. This is achieved through offloading data and application backups to other servers and moving users to other systems during data or application maintenance. Other types of ROI realized with information availability solutions include increased asset utilization through enabling load balancing for applications or off loading inquiries to other servers. Application development might also be offloaded thereby resulting in higher utilization of resources that may be currently underutilized. Disaster recovery is another added benefit as is application and data integration. 7 visionsolutions.com

9 How can I determine total cost of ownership (TCO)? To determine the total cost of ownership, you need to consider the following: Daily operations. Maintenance. Testing. Integration and automation. Integrity. For each of these categories there are several questions that should be asked. How many person-hours are required on daily/weekly/monthly basis to operate the solution? What skills are required to operate the solution? Does the solution require downtime for routine maintenance? Does the downtime for maintenance create an exposure? How many person-hours are required to perform maintenance? When can the maintenance be performed? Can the solution component be tested without causing downtime? How many person-hours and what skills are required to perform the test? How often should the solution be tested? Can the solution component be integrated into existing IT operations with minimal impact? Can the solution component adapt to changes in the business with minimal effort? Does the solution component provide hooks to ease the integration process? How can you tell if the solution component works? Does the solution component address both replication and recovery? Can the solution component be audited on demand? Summary You should have an understanding of the basic steps involved in determining the business resiliency needs of your organization, the types of hardware-based and software-based solutions for solving your disaster recovery/business continuity challenges and some guidelines for calculating ROI and total cost of ownership. Be sure to download the other workbooks and toolkit in this series if you have not already done so. These are available online at Vision Solutions DR Center. There, you will also find other information on business continuity topics, information availability software solutions and links to helpful websites on the topic. 8 visionsolutions.com

10 itera ION OR IMIXM SOLUTS ON I WHITE PAPER About Vision Solutions With over 25,000 customers globally, Vision Solutions is one of the industry s largest providers of business continuity and information availability solutions for IBM i, Windows, Linux, AIX, and Cloud environments. Vision s trusted MIMIX, itera and Double-Take brands keep business-critical information continuously protected and available. With an emphasis on affordability and ease-of-use, Vision products and services help customers achieve their IT protection and recovery goals, which in-turn improves profitability, productivity, regulation compliance and customer satisfaction. Vision Solutions also offers the tools and competency needed to migrate complex, multi-layered computing environments. These solutions are designed to eliminate the strain on resources, dramatically reduce server downtime, and offset the risks associated with migrations. Regardless of OS or hypervisor, Vision Solutions offers the technology needed to make every migration a success. Vision Solutions oversees a global partner network that includes IBM, HP, Microsoft, VMware, DellTM and hundreds of resellers and system integrators. Privately held by Thoma Bravo, Inc., Vision Solutions is headquartered in Irvine, California with development, support and sales offices worldwide. For more information call: (toll-free U.S. and Canada) or visit visionsolutions.com. Also find us on: Facebook: Twitter: YouTube: Vision Solutions Blog: Barranca Parkway Irvine, CA visionsolutions.com Copyright 2013, Vision Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved. IBM and System i are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. WP_VS_IntroDR_WBK3_E_0811

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