Embracing the PowerHA Advantage
As companies increasingly decide that 24x365 data and application access is no longer an illusory hope but rather a business demand, high-availability solutions have been an increasingly popular topic of discussion. IBM responded to pent-up customer demand with the release of a hardware-based alternative in PowerHA several years ago, but adoption rates have still been surprisingly sluggish. This issue is most likely attributable to IT decision-makers having insufficient information regarding PowerHA's distinctive benefits and the implementation paths customers can take.
PowerHA promotes data and application resiliency through fundamental failover concepts that will be recognizable to any IT administrator. The (up to 32) computers dedicated to the high-availability cluster scan can detect active server faults and automatically restart a replica of the soon-to-be affected application on a separate system. The PowerHA SystemMirror for IBM i simplifies and strengthens this process, however, producing an integrated environment to support both high availability and disaster recovery objectives in a storage-based clustering environment. Independent auxiliary storage pools (IASPs) are mirrored in real-time across the cluster to eliminate any syncing issues that would create lag time and demand extra attention from administrators to resolve.
These features are particularly attractive when it comes time for IBM i shops to conduct role swap operations in accordance with new and updated best practices. No manual intervention is required to perform the switches as IASP data remains in a constant state of readiness awaiting marching orders from an automated dispatch. In testing this role swap, customers should try to simulate both a controlled switchover and an abnormal switch over while users are in the system. This will help to fully test whether a software replication or hardware replication (PowerHA) solution is right for your application.
PowerHA users can also breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the product is effectively an extension of the trusted operating system environment. This resulting ecosystem is then far less prone to errors that might be trigger by the misaligned communication of disparate components manufactured by multiple vendors.
Although the business cases for applying a hardware-based replication strategy within the IBM i environment is clear to anyone looking for the speed and simplicity of an automated and tightly integrated environment, decision-makers still have some trepidation about whether the time is right to move to PowerHA. One calming thought is that building out an IASP for your application data is a building block for the future of replication.
Though they often suffer from a lack of proper discussion, IASPs are already fueling the efforts of a number of IBM i shops by supporting library file systems and serving as directory systems to simplify data center administration. But as the era of big data comes into full effect, companies will want a faster and more precise means of recognizing and responding to disaster events and growth issues.
Your business depends on the resiliency of your servers. The right high availability solutions can help you strengthen your recovery plan, minimize the impact of outages, recover operations at a remote location, simplify role swaps, and optimize the staff needed to maintain your HA environment.
Knowing your options with these strategic solutions is crucial. Start by watching this webinar.