Maxava Prepares For DR and HA Growth Through Partnerships
December 7, 2016 Dan Burger
As we prepare to step onto the IBM midrange escalator to 2017, one of the areas of high interest is disaster recovery and high availability. Maxava, one of the leading vendors in those fields, added subscription-based, multi-platform systems monitoring to its feature set in early 2016 and as the year winds down it is expanding its managed service provider (MSP) business to take its software to a more localized level.
Most would agree the number of IBM i shops that depend on MSPs to handle some of the IT workload is expected to grow in the coming years. Disaster recovery and high availability, which traditionally have been the most likely services IBM i shops look to outsource, should remain at the top of the services list, at least for the near future.
Maxava has been a provider of DR as a service for many years. John Dominic, a vice president of business development, says DR as a service offers a much lower total cost of ownership than a company buying the necessary hardware and software and devoting staff to a backup and recovery operation.
He estimates approximately 50 percent of IBM i customers rely on tape for recovery and believes that tape-based recovery efforts typically lose as much as 24 hours of data in the event of a system failure and a restart from the last transaction. In a comparison with DR as a service, he notes that even customers with older operating systems (as far back as V5) can eliminate data loss.
“The more we allow partners to leverage a combination of software, services, and hardware to address these customer needs, the better,” Dominic says.
One of Maxava’s MSP partners, CMA Technology Solutions, has successfully implemented recovery services for IBM i clients in the South Central states that have the worry of system outages caused by hurricanes. CMA, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, uses Maxava monitoring software to keep 24x7x365 watch on IBM i, AIX, Windows, and Linux systems. It currently has four customers on the monitoring software and claims more are in the pipeline.
“Recovery has traditionally hinged on downtime, but as the amount of data generated on a daily basis reaches unprecedented levels, customers have shifted their DR strategy to focus on reducing data loss,” Dominic says.
He cites an advance Maxava’s partnership with Meridian IT as an example of bringing enhanced services to IBM i shops. One of those enhancements is an emphasis on testing the system preparedness by performing role swaps, a practice that has haunted many DR and HA implementations. Many avoid role swap testing and therefore can’t be sure that the process can work flawlessly when the need arises.
The trusted relationship with an MSP depends on system availability. The simulated role swap capability, a feature available on Maxava’s high availability offering called Enterprise+, is incorporated into Meridian IT’s worldwide datacenters. The company’s headquarters is in Deerfield, Illinois.
AS Networks, a disaster recovery services provider in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia, specializes in a suite of high availability and disaster recovery solutions for the IBM i platform. It recently partnered with Maxava to enhance its high availability and disaster recovery services.
Since 2014, AS Networks has expanded its areas of expertise to stay ahead of the rapidly changing data management trends and expectations, says Andrew Lim, CEO of AS Networks. Lim says AS Networks chose Maxava after reviewing several IBM i HA/DR solutions.
AS Networks implemented Maxava at Maybank, the largest bank in Malaysia, and at CIMB, the world’s largest Islamic bank. An additional four banks in the region are ready to implement Maxava, according to Lim. IBM i customers that previously relied on magnetic tape media or older solutions for their disaster recovery strategies have shown interest.
“We are busy bringing a whole new set of monitoring solutions to the table to meet the demand of partners and customers for automating monitoring on Power Systems,” says Maxava’s Dominic. “From a customer perspective, especially the SMBs, there is a huge demand for tools that can be easily managed by partners on their behalf, but without breaking the bank. To stay competitive, our partners need a way to deliver this service without absorbing huge Capex costs themselves. The more we automate this process for both sides, the more we can drive down the cost, and the more we all benefit. You can expect that developing IBM Power solutions that benefit customers and partners when they work together will be our channel focus moving forward.”
Along these lines, Maxava has added monitoring and recovery support for JD Edwards Enterprise One and World applications.
“To meet the demands of our JDE customers, we are sharpening our Maxava Monitor Mi8 to focus on the applications elements running on AIX, Linux, Windows, and IBM i,” Dominic says. The enhanced HA function ensures data replication is not only automatic, but automatically sequenced.
Maxava has supported JD Edwards recovery efforts for years. JDE is heavily entrenched in the IBM Power Systems marketplace, especially in verticals like manufacturing and distribution.