Get up to speed on HA/DR in Part 1 of this series.
An additional key aspect to consider in your Infor & IBM environment is planned downtime events, and the ability of your business to tolerate downtime events for regular backups, system upgrades, etc. Specifically for Infor XA, the daily backup requires that the XA system is down while the backup is running. For many companies that need 7x24 access to their system – this daily downtime may no longer be acceptable.
In addition to the technical considerations surrounding HA/DR decisions, your company may also have business requirements affecting HA/DR strategy. For instance, customers may require a documented HA/DR strategy from all their vendors, or preferred vendors. Publicly traded companies may need to prove their ability to maintain business continuity.
IBM i natively provides database journaling technology that serves as a fundamental foundation for replication between systems. Beyond the OS and the database, 2 common approaches exist for replication.
Through 3rd party vendors, software is provided to define and manage replication strategies, and to keep the 2 systems in sync, generally at a library or file level. Advantages of software replication are
- tends to offer simpler recovery options if the systems become out-of-sync
- requires less bandwidth than hardware replication
- provides a simpler approach to allowing for elimination of down-time for running tape backups.
Hardware Replication or Mirroring
The most common hardware mirroring option is the PowerHA suite from IBM. Advantages of hardware replication tend to be less time needed for initial configuration, less upkeep and monitoring. And shorter time needed for actual failover.
What are the costs?
For an approach that includes 2 systems, with active replication and all necessary licensing, assume a price of $100,000 or more. High-end implementations can approach $200,000 or more. Costs to consider are the following:
- Redundant hardware. Generally this is matched to the capabilities of the production system.
- Replication software. This is the software needed to manage communications and replication between the 2 systems.
- Application Licensing. Most Infor licensing allows for the software to be installed on only one system at a time. To accomplish true redundancy and active replication, a failover license of application software is also required.
- WAN connectivity. A reliable and appropriately sized WAN connection is needed between the 2 sites
- Implementation services
- Long term management of the system. Generally an internal resource, who monitors day-to-day status. Vendors also offer annual subscription based services to address these requirements.
- Co-Location costs, if one or both systems are to be off-premise
More and more options are available to move Production or Fail-over systems to the cloud.
This will be the starting point of our discussion in Part 3 of this series, as we discuss cloud-based options and co-location sites. To be published soon.
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