User connectivity is imperative in today’s enterprises and IT managers need to ensure that employees remain productive in the event of a system failure, otherwise the organisation suffers financially and industry reputation can be compromised if customer demands cannot be met. Infrastructure resilience is not only useful; it is needed to reassure customers, shareholders and partners that the business can remain afloat with a view to guaranteeing a certain level of service to sustain the current customer base and attract prospective clients. With a robust business continuity solution in place, organisations can maintain their business and reputation even in the event of unforeseen disasters.
Both Forrester and Gartner have reported that business continuity is one of the top business drivers for mid-market customers. This has also been reflected in recent high profile cloud outages which have illustrated the detrimental effects of downtime on the balance sheet. Therefore a continuous availability solution designed to protect the fundamental workings of the datacentre ensures critical business processes and operations can remain functional. If a problem occurs, the solution can take automated action and failover components within the ecosystem to a disaster recovery site and users are able to continue working without interruption.
In advance of deploying business continuity and disaster recovery software from vendors like Neverfail, datacentre managers will need to determine which of the organisation’s applications will benefit most from continuous availability support. In doing this they will ensure they get the maximum return from their investment. Prioritising applications, such as email and key business applications, showcases continuity cold spots that could cause large re-percussions during downtime scenarios.
In addition, when IT administrators are deploying Neverfail they will need to ensure that the hardware, application software and infrastructure can fully support continuous availability solutions.
To determine which applications will receive maximum returns from Neverfail technology, datacentre managers must estimate the likely cost to the business caused by data loss or downtime for their most critical applications. Typically they will gather this data by asking business owners to estimate the cost to the business incurred from downtime and data loss separately for periods of 4 hours, 1 hour and 15 minutes. This will allow managers to define minimum downtime requirements as a Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and minimum loss of data requirements, as a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) for each application. Managers can then determine the priority for implementing Neverfail by choosing those applications that do not support the required RTO or RPO calculated, and ranking these in terms of costs to the business if objectives are not met.
Before deploying Neverfail for a specific application, an IT administrator runs a Neverfail tool called SCOPE on each of the servers where they plan to deploy Neverfail. SCOPE will typically gather data for a one day period. A SCOPE report can then recommend changes to the customer’s environment to ensure it will meet the required RPO and RTO times. Examples of suggested changes are upgrading applications to their latest service packs, or verifying that the standby servers being used to protect the primary servers have sufficient disk storage.
IT managers should look for a single solution that protects against every potential failure mode for all their business critical applications. Specifically, IT managers need to avoid trying to deploy multiple availability solutions for different components. They may, for example, consider choosing a range of availability solutions to protect specific applications, virtual machines running on a single hypervisor, physical machines, or different types of storage device. The cost of deploying and managing various availability solutions will typically be high, and the resulting complexity can itself result in the applications being at more at risk of becoming unavailable.
Neverfail technology provides a single continuous availability solution supporting both high availability and disaster recovery for any Windows application across heterogeneous environments and runs independently of the type of storage used. This also means that when the IT infrastructure evolves with new versions of applications being introduced, as well as migrations to VMs and initiating new storage add-ons, the same Neverfail solution will continue to provide protection to eliminate any single point of failure.