Vision Touts MIMIX Success Stories
November 18, 2015 Alex Woodie
When it comes to high availability, few products have the installed base enjoyed by MIMIX. Owned by Vision Solutions, the logical replication-based HA solution is used by thousands of IBM i shops around the world. Vision recently published a handful of those successes in customer case studies.
One of those customers, Gränges Sweden AB, originally installed Vision Solution’s OMS/ODS, the HA product Vision sold before it bought its rival Lakeview Technology way back in 2007.
When Gränges installed the HA solution in 2001, the aluminum manufacturer was seeking a way to reduce downtime caused by nightly backups, as well as to improve the recovery time objective (RTO, or the time it takes to get back up and running) and recovery point objective (RPO, or how much data they are willing to lose in an event).
In 2011, Gränges upgraded to MIMIX Availability, which has become Vision’s flagship IBM i-based HA solution for large enterprises. Initially, the length of time required to complete a role swap was a concern, but since then it’s been less of an issue.
“The first time we switched from production to backup with MIMIX the switch time was seven minutes,” IT System Developer Tim Granroth says in the case study. “It’s gone down since then. Now, a switch takes us about two minutes.”
Like Gränges, the IT administrator at Bank Sinar Harapan Bali was concerned about relying on tape cartridges to protect the bank from potentially devastating incidents.
With more than 93 branches across Bali, Bank Sinar had a lot of transactional data to back up every night from its IBM i-based Wincore banking software. If an incident happened right before the nightly backup, the bank stood to lose a day’s worth of data. It also worried about relying on tapes, which can be damaged or lost.
To prevent this scenario from occurring, the bank implemented MIMIX Availability. The HA software now replicates data from the bank’s production system, a Power 750 in its data center in Jakarta, to a secondary system, a System i 525 based in the DR center in Lippo Cikarang, about 25 miles away.
“We are now more confident in doing business because all of our critical data backup processes are carefully managed by MIMIX, in real time,” says Alit Asmarajaya, director of business operation, support and systems at Sinar Bank. “We can now put more focus on developing our core business and better serving our customers.”
The final MIMIX case study involves Takaful Malaysia, a bank that provides Islamic insurance solutions based on the Takaful concept of shared risks among a pool of participants.
The Kuala Lumpur company had been running two applications on Power hardware, including Group Takaful on an older iSeries server equipped with i5/OS V5R3, and General Takaful (PREMIA) running on a pSeries server equipped with AIX 5.3.
However, a handful of factors–including slow performance, high maintenance demands, looming end-of-life for the OSes, and the desire for new functionality such as data replication and encryption–forced the bank to rethink the whole stack.
After a thorough evaluation, Takaful Malaysia opted to standardize on Computer Science Corp.‘s Takaful Integral Group and Integral P&C Takaful running on IBM i-based IBM Power 720 servers. The company also built and deployed a customer and agent portal running atop the SQL Server database.
Vision Solutions was called in to provide logical replication, in the form of MIMIX Availability for the CSC applications running atop the Power 720 servers, while its Double-Take Availability software protected the SQL Server-based portal. Double-Take Share, meanwhile, replicates data from the back-end DB2 for i databases to the SQL Server database powering the frontline systems.
The implementation went well, according to Takaful Malaysia’s CIO, Patrick Wong. “Due to the nature of our business, we depend on IT to strategically differentiate us from our competitors,” Wong says in Vision’s case study. “We use IT to not only fulfill our ongoing commitment to serve external and internal customers, but also to ensure that systems and data are continuously available.”