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What replication software is being trusted by IBM i users to ensure that their data is available, and reliably so?
2016’s High Availability Solutions
While more users have implemented high availability (HA) solutions in 2016 compared to 2015, it’s shocking that 47% still don’t have HA solutions in place. Out of those who do, the most popular replication software in use is MIMIX (20%), followed by PowerHA (9%) and iTera (8%). Fewer users utilize Quick-EDD/HA (6%), iCluster (3%), Maxava (3%), or another software not listed (4%).
Considering nearly 40% of users listed HA as one of their top concerns for the next 5-10 years, and more than 25% of users listed HA solutions as an item on their current to-do list, it is evident that IBM i users are recognizing just how critical HA is for their systems, even if they haven’t implemented it yet. Users should expect to see HA implementation continue to rise in the years to come.
RECOMMENDATION: IBM i is a great platform for HA solutions, especially for business abiding by regulatory compliance. In fact, standards set by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Basel II, and others can be met with the aid of HA solutions.
How The Replication Software Works
When it comes to HA, real-time data replication is the name of the game. There are three main ways to get the job done: working above the operating system (OS), working within the OS, or based within external storage (SAN).
HA solutions like MIMIX, iTera and iCluster work above the OS mainly through journaling, which captures changes to the database as they occur and applies them to the target system. With journaling, very little needs to be done to the system for HA to be implemented. The biggest challenge becomes ensuring that everything you need is being journaled, since the application only journals what it is specifically told to.
Other software, such as PowerHA, uses a technique called “Geographic Mirroring.” This accomplishes replication within the virtual storage layer of the OS. Clustering between the two servers manages the process and holds it all together. The benefit of this is that software like PowerHA can be utilized regardless of what storage is being used (including internal and external storage), giving users added flexibility.
The third scenario – SAN-based replication – is somewhat similar, but in this case replication is integrated with the particular storage type being used. Although this is OS-independent, vendors often require users to replicate from and to similar storage arrays, giving users slightly less flexibility with their replication.
RECOMMENDATION: Full failover isn’t the only solution for effective business continuity. If only a subset of servers fail, partial failover is an essential solution to have in your toolset. Don’t limit your company to an “all or none” approach.
For more information on which replication software is best for your IBM i/AS400 systems, contact us today at 317-707-3941.
Source: 2016 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results by HelpSystems