Using The Public Cloud For IBM i Disaster Recovery
April 24, 2023 Ash Giddings
Disasters can strike at any time, and it’s essential for organizations to have a disaster recovery plan in place to ensure business continuity. However, creating and maintaining a comprehensive disaster recovery plan can be a daunting task, particularly for organizations that rely on IBM i servers, often running business critical applications that perform key functions together with many interfaces into other servers and applications.
Previously, investments in IBM i disaster recovery solutions were an expensive outlay, requiring significant capital investment in both hardware and software, in addition to the sizable costs associated with running a datacenter.
Fortunately, with the advent of public cloud technology the landscape for IBM i disaster recovery has changed considerably, making it more accessible and affordable while offering numerous benefits, such as cost-effectiveness, scalability, and ease of deployment, making cloud an attractive option for organizations looking to either introduce or improve their disaster recovery capabilities.
One of the most significant benefits of using public cloud offerings for disaster recovery is potential cost savings. Traditional disaster recovery solutions saw customers incurring a massive primarily capital expenditure burden, especially challenging for small and mid-sized businesses. Public cloud offerings, on the other hand, allow companies to pay only for the resources they use. This means that businesses can avoid many of the upfront costs with public cloud providers typically offer pay-as-you-go pricing models, which means that companies only pay for the resources they use. Costs can be reduced further with by committing to one or three years.
When paired with software-based replication solutions such as Maxava HA, the resources required is minimal, just enough to ensure that the remote journal apply sessions maintain synchronization between the on-premise source and the cloud-based target servers. In the event of a disaster, resources such as vCPUs and memory can be quickly increased in the cloud, often dynamically and without the need to IPL. Maxava HA has long been a popular choice for those looking to use the cloud for disaster recovery and has subscription-based pricing, designed to align with cloud offerings. Further cost savings can be also be achieved with the cloud provider covering both the cost of the IBM hardware and the cost of the IBM Software Maintenance (SWMA).
Public cloud offerings are built on top of highly redundant and resilient infrastructure, often better than you’d have in your own datacenter. Furthermore, being able to house your target server in one of the many geographical locations where public cloud resides means that companies can replicate their IBM i server environment to where it makes business and regulatory sense. Low-latency network connections come as standard meaning that data can be replicated quickly and efficiently. This results in better recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs), to enable businesses to get back up and running faster after a disaster.
Five reasons to use the cloud for disaster recovery:
- The ability to align business with IT expenditure with flexibility to scale resources up and down to meet the demands.
- No hardware or software maintenance to fund.
- Geographical choices, potentially favorable for areas prone to natural disasters.
- Reduce spending on running datacenters.
- Minimize risk by validating new versions of the operating system before putting them into production.
An increasingly common trend is businesses looking to add an additional node to their current HA/DR setup, whether that’s logical replication or PowerHA, with the cloud being a sensible choice for this. Multi-node is a standard feature of Maxava HA.
The 3-2-1 backup strategy is a widely accepted backup methodology that involves creating three copies of your data, storing those copies on two different types of media, and keeping one copy offsite. This approach provides a robust backup and recovery solution that can protect against data loss due to hardware failures, natural disasters, or other unexpected events. Logical replication for IBM i can work in conjunction with the 3-2-1 backup strategy to provide additional protection and redundancy for your critical data. By replicating data in real-time to the public cloud, logical replication can help ensure that your data is always available, even in the event of a primary site failure. Combining the 3-2-1 backup strategy with logical replication for IBM i can help you create a comprehensive data protection plan that can minimize the risk of data loss and downtime. With multiple copies of your data stored on different types of media, as well as a remote copy that can be switched to if needed, you can rest assured that your critical data is safe and available when you need it.
Additional resilience can be obtained by implementing a multicloud strategy with risks spread by utilizing resources provided by multiple providers while increasing flexibility, allowing organizations to take advantage of the specific features and capabilities of different cloud providers, such as geographic coverage, compliance certifications, and specialized services. Another benefit of multicloud is the ability to reduce costs by taking advantage of different pricing models and optimization strategies across different cloud providers.
Whether you’re looking to utilize Skytap’s cloud on Microsoft Azure, IBM’s Power Virtual Server, Google’s Power clouds, or services from any of the other smaller cloud suppliers that do Power Systems – and there are many these days – Maxava HA will work seamlessly, providing simulated role swap capabilities enabling IBM i users to verify their disaster recovery plan without downtime during the normal working day, and without impacting the production server. Full role swaps are also capable. Large IFS environments are catered for with Maxava HA providing multi-threaded replication with virtually unlimited apply sessions, and it’s this approach that provides the performance required to process the vast numbers of IFS objects that is now commonplace. Again, these features are standard in Maxava HA.
For those looking to proactively monitor both servers residing in the cloud or on-premise infrastructure, Maxava offers a modern solution in Monitor Mi8, itself a solution built on the cloud infrastructure. Mi8 has capabilities to monitor IBM i, AIX, Linux, and Windows environments, irrespective of location, all via a browser interface.
Maxava recently teamed up with Tonny Bastiaans, worldwide offering manager for IBM’s Power Virtual Server where they discussed how to use the public cloud for IBM i disaster recovery. The on-demand webinar can be accessed here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2516435096208736784
Maxava is an independent, global provider of high availability and disaster recovery software and services solutions for the IBM i platform, along with innovative cloud-based monitoring for IBM i, AIX, Linux, and Windows.
Ash Giddings is a product manager at Maxava and an IBM Champion 2023.
This content is sponsored by Maxava.
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