April 5, 2016 | Written by: Jim Luneke
Categorized: B2B Integration | High Availability
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When people talk about disaster recovery, they often cite major weather events like hurricanes or tidal waves. After all, nothing good would result if your data center were subjected to a fire, flood or an earthquake. But IT disasters aren’t always related to dramatic, newsworthy events. Sometimes failures are a lot more mundane, like servers crashing. I was recently talking to a customer who had a significant bank of servers go down within a data center. They thought they had a disaster recovery plan in place, but it was an old, untested strategy that involved manual processes. This failure led to significant issues related to downtime, service level agreement penalties and lost revenue.
Today, many types of enterprises, such as retailers, globally dispersed manufacturers and financial institutions, can’t tolerate any downtime at all. In some industries, businesses must provide 24 x 7 x 365 availability, especially related to their trading partner communications. To support their operational requirements, these companies need an always-on B2B platform. Any high-availability solution needs to be able to cope with both planned and unplanned outages. It also must be able to not only handle downtime within a single data center, but enable true high availability across data centers.
IBM is helping clients address these challenges with the ability to enable highly available operations across geographically dispersed data centers. Initially, these capabilities will tie into our B2B and Managed File Transfer (MFT) product offerings, such as B2B Integrator and Sterling File Gateway.
The IBM solution offers a fault-tolerant architecture so incoming data can be replicated in near real time to other data centers. An application-level disaster recovery solution also eliminates the need to develop solutions outside of the application. Using load balancing, you are able to seamlessly connect trading partner data to the nearest available data center for transfers and to balance the processing across data centers.
The solution has geographically distributed capabilities to provide higher availability and performance while eliminating the need for custom disaster recovery approaches. During an outage, it can save you time and money when you have to switch over to a different data center. It ensures that all transactions are accounted for and provides capabilities for regional operations when needed. You have a consistent view across your data centers so you know exactly where your files are. In the event of an unplanned outage, downtime is minimized and you can satisfy your internal and external availability service level agreements.
Not all disasters and IT failures make the news, but they still can have a dramatic impact on your business.
Not too long ago, I recorded a video that goes into more detail about enabling high-availability B2B integration and improved disaster recovery.
IT architects in almost every industry struggle with a variety of B2B integration challenges, like high availability, and how to address them. So educating yourself on the topic and understanding how other companies are addressing similar issues can help you develop your own strategy. Learn about the latest capabilities and understand how to modernize your own B2B architecture.
This post is the first in the four-part high-availability series. Read the others: