IBM i Disaster Recovery Statistics

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April 20, 2017 Disaster Recovery Blog, Disaster Recovery News Blog, High Availability Blog Articles, Legacy System Blog Articles

Here we take a look at disaster recovery statistics showing how many companies have effective DR in place, and specifically how they’re keeping critical data secure. Compared to previous years, these stats show that IBM i/AS400 users have continuously been stepping up their disaster recovery (DR) game.


How Companies Are Preparing

It’s debatable whether or not tape usage is decreasing as a disaster recovery method. While rates were lower in 2016 than 2015 (from almost 60% to 37.9%), this could be due to a few factors. Firstly, some companies use their high availability (HA) services as a sort of makeshift DR solution (although in one of our other articles, we see why this is not a good idea). Secondly, more users from Europe answered this 2016’s survey, and European companies are much less likely to recover from tape than those located in the U.S.

In 2016, the most popular choice for DR is actually HA (44.2%). This is surprising, considering that HA and DR have some crucial differences. Following that, users utilize tape recovery (37.9%), disk backups (8.3%), and vaulting services (7.1%). Only 2.5% of companies had no DR solution at all.

So in summary, the most popular DR solutions are:

  • High availability (44.2%)
  • Tape recovery (37.9%)
  • Disk backups (8.3%)
  • Vaulting services (7.1%)

RECOMMENDATION: No single DR solution is flawless or all-encompassing. Test and audit your plan at least annually to avoid leaving fatal gaps or flaws in your plan, and consider having a secondary recovery solution in place.


HA, DR, Tape, Disks – What’s What?

The best-known DR solutions are tried-and-true recovery methods, such as tape or disk.

These solutions are not without their faults, since companies have to be careful with whatever third party they allow to take them off-site for storage. Plus, although tape is cheap, it isn’t necessarily the fastest way to recover your data. Recovery from disk can be faster, but also more costly. Virtual tape libraries (VTLs) are not faultless either, since any storage that must communicate through the internet is subject to network issues. Despite that, the time efficiency, ease of use and affordability of VTLs might encourage more companies to move away from physical tape in the future.


Why HA Does Not Equal DR – In a Nutshell

A surprising fact from these disaster recovery statistics is how many users are treating HA and DR as interchangeable solutions. Users should note that these solutions have many distinct differences, and one cannot be used to substitute the other. Although HA solutions do make your data available, it does this regardless of what that data actually is. So if an employee mistakenly updates or deletes certain datasets, HA will replicate this undesired data to the target site as well. In that case, you will simply have multiple sets of the same bad data.

This same type of scenario is true for spiteful employees, or data affected by hackers. Only effective DR solutions aided by the right DR partner can ensure that your data is correct and available, whether deleted, corrupted, or altered when you don’t want it to be. This isn’t meant to put down HA; on the contrary, HA serves an indispensable purpose that DR solutions can’t quite meet. In fact, HA solutions combined with effective DR solutions can make your company truly resilient to data loss and downtime, and should be considered essential complements to each other.

RECOMMENDATION: Don’t make the mistake of confusing HA and DR as interchangeable solutions. Make sure you have a secondary method in addition to HA to ensure safety from critical data loss.


For more information on disaster recovery statistics and solutions for your company, contact us today at 317-707-3941.

Source: 2016 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results by HelpSystems

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