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Blog September 14, 2021

How Connectria Helps You Meet Your Disaster Recovery Goals

Connectria data centers have highly available and diverse multi-path connectivity to support replication between production and disaster recovery (DR) sites. We support both SAN-to-SAN and logical replication using software-based tools.

Most folks find that our SAN-to-SAN solution is very economical and allows them to avoid the costs associated with having to entitle the IBM i or AIX operating systems in the DR facility. This article will focus on Connectria’s available methods to safeguard your IBM i disaster recovery strategy as we provide added strength and resiliency.

What is Logical Replication?

Logical replication uses a software-based mechanism to replicate transactions from source to target system at its core. Logical replication of an IBM i system copies changes on a production system to a DR target system. This is done using third-party software, such as MIMIX, which leverages IBM’s remote journaling. Once a change is made on the production system, it is written to the local journal, then replicated over the wire to the remote journal of the DR system, then that change is applied to the DR system.

Logical replication provides real-time replication, with self-healing audits. We can also leverage logical replication to replicate to multiple sites, so you can maintain your existing DR location while you are going through the process, or for the purpose of having multiple DR locations.

What is SAN-to-SAN Replication?

Storage area network replication (SAN), or SAN-to-SAN, is a service where a centralized repository of archived or stored data is reproduced to another centralized data repository. This method of replication provides an additional measure of redundancy in the event of a proprietary storage system failure.

SAN-to-SAN replication offers a solution with similar RPO and RTO as logical replication, without the additional cost of logical replication software. This solution requires both the production and the disaster recovery IBM i server to be operating on the same type of external storage array. In addition, the process utilized to recover dirty blocks is inherent in the OS/DB2 recovery routines that are part of iOS.

Connectria has already created a SAN-to-SAN DR solution, purpose-built to support our Power Systems Cloud in each of our data centers.

On-Prem, in the Cloud, or in Our Hybrid Environment

Connectria is well-known for its history and expertise in supporting IBM customers’ on-premise environments. Within the last few years, we have expanded our support to also include support for cloud environments such as AWS and Azure. This past year we ventured into a new hybrid cloud solution enabling us to meet customers wherever they are, not the other way around.

Our hybrid architecture enables us to house our client’s IBM i workloads in one of our purpose-built data centers designed to deliver connection speeds of <2 ms between the IBM i and x86 workloads. Using tools like SAN-to-SAN replication and Logical Replication software, we leverage this same hybrid architecture environment to deliver high-availability disaster recovery options for our clients, whether they’re looking to increase system resiliency for an existing monolithic IBM environment or for their hybrid cloud environment.

Goals Our Hybrid Can Help You Achieve

Often organizations have leveraged the IBM i/AS400 platform for years if not decades. Entire businesses have been built upon the platform and all the business logic encompassed in those systems is critical. A lot of organizations can’t abandon this investment but are looking to move to the cloud or leverage hyperscale cloud resources.

Connectria’s Hybrid offering can provide a location to “park” these critical assets and allow them to continue to be leveraged for critical business functions. Data augmentation strategies can allow organizations to leverage technologies inherent in the cloud to build voice-activated services or dashboards and extend the capabilities of the platform.

Leveraging our capabilities of placing these workloads next to hyperscale clouds can allow you to pursue long-term re-platforming or re-factoring strategies that can take months or years to complete. Lastly, adding disaster recovery to an existing environment just got easier. You can leverage lower-cost hyperscale resources that you can use on-demand and bring your IBM i/AS400 environment into scope as well.

Benefits of a Managed DRaaS

It takes a significant amount of resources and effort to refactor applications. Therefore, if you aren’t in a position where this is manageable while running a Power Systems environment, a DRaaS service where you’re not paying for it natively in AWS can be a fantastic option. A pared-down pilot light staging environment includes benefits such as:

  • Low cost
  • Ability to spin up instances quickly
  • Ability to provide superior RPO/RTO

Connectria now has the ability to pair these benefits with the IBM Power Systems platform. We can manage it soup to nuts while securing the environment, enabling you to save the costs of running DR yourself.

For example, when Connectria manages your DRaaS inside of our data center, the cost is generally about 50 percent less than if we were to leverage a tool such as AWS CloudEndure. This means your monthly run rate providing DR comes at a significant cost saving.

There is also an important consideration. For example, if we’re running DR for an IBM Power Systems environment where Intel workloads are running in a VMware or hyper VMware environment, you are essentially spinning up a lifted and shifted environment so your run costs when you actually spin the DR environment up may be high. Ultimately, I think the cost savings that you experience over the course of a year will be well worth it.

With our hybrid environment, it’s a relatively simple process to manage. Connectria can provide the ultra-low latency interconnectivity between workloads, both the IBM Power Systems and the Intel workloads on native AWS. Overall, it’s just a good fit.

Getting Started with Hybrid Cloud

A large number of our prospects and current customers have leadership eyeing a move to the cloud. They come to us needing help connecting the dots from where they are today to where they want to be. Our experience has taught us that this direction of forward-thinking tends to cause dissonance between your leadership teams and your technical teams of cloud engineers and IBM sysadmins.

It can be costly to bring in a full-time equivalent (FTE) or multiple FTEs needed to make the push to the cloud, sometimes to the point where this is cost-prohibitive. Connectria is a more affordable and reliable option for working towards that for your customers.

Help with Hybrid

IBM i and Power Systems DR can be costly to run. Connectria can provide you guidance with your DR strategy and help you avoid the pitfalls that organizations often face when looking at how they would execute a DR strategy with an existing environment.

With Connectria, you consume an LPAR and everything that goes around consuming an LPAR (CPU, RAM, Storage, etc.). However, you’re not buying an entire compute box with storage to support the DR environment. Connectria provides a lot of cost efficiency and frees up your team’s time to focus on innovation rather than infrastructure. This allows your IT team to drive more value to your organization.

Connect with Us

Contact us today if you’re running enterprise workloads. There are potentially huge cost efficiencies in allowing Connectria to run the day-to-day operations and to run your DR environment in our hybrid solution. Across the board, it saves you and your business a lot of time and a lot of money. Focus your time and capital on more important projects and initiatives.

To learn more about Connectria’s hybrid architecture for IBM i and AIX modernization, view our on-demand webinar:

AWS Hybrid Architecture – A Path to IBM i/AIX Modernization.

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