B2B Integration

High-Availability B2B Integration: IBM’s B2B Integration & MFT Portfolio (Part Four)

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Things can get really interesting for an IT shop when the business starts to engage with a geographically dispersed network of trading partners. One of the most critical aspects of this type of business growth is the impact to availability requirements. Expanding the reach of a trading partner network means that thinking of “hours of operation” based on data-center location and its support staff becomes insufficient. Hours of operation must extend to the hours of operation of the trading partners themselves — and they may be on the other side of the world.

As an example, I think back on challenges brought forth to us by a customer who had considered serving the needs of a European partner network with a traditional solution running in North America. While maintenance windows in the wee hours of the night or on weekends in North America may have been acceptable for trading partners on the continent, they became unpalatable when one considers that those same hours may be normal hours of operation in other geographies. As much as we try to minimize it, we all know that maintenance on technology platforms (or even physical data centers) does have to occur. On top of that, there’s always the threat of unplanned issues and outages. The challenge is: How can you protect your business from these disruptions?

New technology from IBM can help in two key ways:

  • Minimizing impacts of any failures
  • Enabling IT administrators to react quickly to changes in system health

The recent release of IBM’s Global High Availability Mailbox solution for Sterling B2B Integrator is specifically designed to address these ever-increasing availability requirements and will be tremendously beneficial to businesses requiring managed file transfer and integration solutions in support of geographically dispersed trading partner networks. Its inherent support for multiple data centers via integrated (and automated!) replication of payload data across data centers in near real-time is unmatched. With the unique architecture of Global Mailbox, trading partners can be insulated from planned or unplanned component failures — and even full data center outages. In other words, they see the platform as being available even if a data center might be down.

Understanding the overall health, availability, and status of a globally deployed solution could be a challenge, but the newest release of IBM Control Center addresses this by providing integrated monitoring for Global Mailbox. Using IBM Control Center, IT administrators can quickly see the health of components across multiple data centers to take rapid, decisive actions.

Having visibility over critical B2B processes is a challenge for many IT architects. So educating yourself on the topic and understanding how other companies are addressing similar issues can help you develop your own strategy. Discover the latest capabilities and understand how to modernize your own B2B architecture.

This post is the last in the four-part high-availability series. For a full list, see below:

 

 

 

Field Adoption Leader, Partner Engagement Solutions Development IBM Commerce

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