Admin Alert: Five Benefits of a High-Availability System
November 7, 2007 Joe Hertvik
I recently wrote a column describing i5/OS features that enable high availability functionality in your shop. This week, I’m narrowing the focus and discussing five benefits you can realize when installing a Capacity BackUp System (CBU) for System i failover in case of disaster. Some of these benefits are to be expected, but others might cause you to rethink your idea of a CBU and what it provides.
What Is a CBU?
As I described in my earlier piece, a CBU is a specially configured System i machine or partition that communicates with your main production box and replicates production data and applications through the use of high availability software installed on both machines. When configured correctly, the CBU duplicates your production system and, in the event of a disaster that takes out the main production box, the CBU can be switched over to “impersonate” the production box, and service your users, devices, and companion servers, with very little downtime. When the main production machine comes back up, the CBU can relinquish its role and production is switched back to the regular system.
While the benefits of a CBU as an understudy system are pretty well understood, a CBU system offers a number of other benefits, many of which depend on its ability to duplicate the database on your main system. In no particular order, here are five other benefits that I’ve realized in running a CBU.
So as you can see, there are some benefits to running a CBU that extend beyond the its central purpose in life: backing up and replacing your production box in the event of an emergency. A CBU opens up some new ground in your shop, and it’s worth taking a little bit of time to understand everything it can do for you.
Correction: Adding Another System i HA Vendor to the List
In my Admin Alert on The System i High Availability Roadmap, I mentioned the different high availability solutions offered by Vision Solutions (MIMIX HA, iTera HA, and ORION HA) as well as the DataMirror products offered by IBM. However, Bruce Lesnick of Bug Busters Software Engineering wrote in to remind me that Bug Busters also offers System i HA in its latest version of its Remote Software Facility package, RSF 8.1. So if you are looking for HA solutions for your System i box, be sure to add Bug Busters RSF to your evaluation list.