HelpSystems Blog

DRaaS and Other Ways to Keep High Availability Costs Down

The industry standard suggests 99.99 percent uptime is expected for your primary business servers, like IBM i. Of course, executives expect more than just high availability and resiliency—they assume that your servers will never go down. But how much are they willing to spend to ensure continuity?

Replication infrastructure is reportedly expensive. But if cost has been a roadblock for you in the past, it’s time to take another look at the world of high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) on IBM i.

Rest assured, there’s more than one way to go about HA. Today you’ll find hardware- and software-based replication tools, cloud and on-premise solutions, entry-level infrastructure offerings, subscription-based pricing models, and more!

Let’s take a look at just a few of the lower-cost options that can help you get going with HA/DR on IBM i.

IBM Capacity Backup (CBU)

What is it?

Capacity Backup or CBU has been around for many years yet many customers don’t know about it. IBM created this program specifically to give customers looking at HA a lower cost of entry into a target HA server.

How do I get it?

Simply ask your trusted hardware provider and fill out a form for CBU. Keep in mind that your hardware provider might rather sell you another full-blown server. They make money by selling more hardware, so while it might be in your best interest to start with a CBU box at a lower cost, it might not be in theirs.

Colocation Data Centers

As you plan to replicate your system to another server, there are other costs to consider outside of your secondary server, including a target data center, communication lines, environmental, travel, and annual tests. These all factor into the cost of having high availability.

So, while a CBU box will cost you less for the IBM server, but you still need a target data center that you can use for replication. It must be safe, secure, and more substantial than a closet at another company office. If you don’t have easy access to such a location, consider sending your server to a colocation facility.

What is it?

A colocation (colo) data center provider will host your servers and other computing hardware. They may also perform monitoring and backups so that your staff won’t have to spend time managing the servers remotely.

How do I get it?

Seek out a colocation data center provider in a geographically advantageous location.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

Now, if colocation with a CBU box is still outside of our preferred price range, consider disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS).

What is it?

DRaaS providers rent out servers or partitions in the cloud on a subscription basis. The rented partition becomes your target server—no need to build a second data center, physically own a box, or worry about monitoring and executing backups.

Most DRaaS subscriptions last between one and three years, so you can easily walk away or renegotiate if you are not happy with the arrangement.

In addition to hardware and software, you gain an experienced partner who can coach you through role swaps and provide other knowledge that your team may not otherwise have had.

How do I get it?

HelpSystems has a DRaaS offering that can help you get to high availability faster, supports your IBM i cloud initiative, and checks a lot of boxes on your list of DR-related regulations.

DRaaS with HelpSystems boasts the lowest cost of entry, injects an immediate knowledge boost, provides distance between source and target servers, creates redundancy for irreplaceable business data, and delivers managed data backups and system monitoring. 

This solution will work with software replication like Robot HA or hardware offerings like PowerHA. Your team must help with the procedure of doing a role swap, but after that it’s our responsibility to keep the technology rolling for you.

 

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