Preventive Medicine

By Rich Krause  |  Posted 2009-09-25 Print this article Print

Preventive medicine

Given enough time, data-destroying calamities will happen but they don't have to impair the availability of data or applications in any significant way. Thus, the ultimate in DR arises when companies do not have to recover from a disaster in the traditional sense at all-and that's more than just wishful thinking.

Advanced DR strategies, tactics and technologies break the life insurance mold and deliver something more akin to health insurance. They do so by providing not only the ability to recover from a disaster, but also the ability to overcome or even avoid many problems that threaten operations much more frequently than disasters.

Modern high availability (HA) software can replicate, in real-time, all production applications and data (including system data) to create and maintain hot-standby backup servers. Then, when the primary server is unavailable-regardless of whether that is due to a disaster or simply planned maintenance-users can be switched to the backup server. If a sufficient distance separates the two servers, a disaster that strikes one will not affect the other.

A DR environment which uses redundant servers and replicated data and applications makes it possible to keep operations running healthy under almost any circumstances. If, for example, a disaster strikes, production hardware or software needs to be upgraded or a database needs to be reorganized, users can be switched to the backup server with little or no downtime.

This DR approach is somewhat of a departure from classic AIX HA, which typically depends on shared disks. In a shared disk environment, replication and geographic separation are not necessarily inherent components, and that means the solution may not provide protection against disasters.

Rich Krause is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Vision Solutions. Rich has more than 20 years of experience in product marketing, product management and product development in the enterprise software marketplace. Rich is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to data protection and business continuity. Prior to joining Vision Solutions, Rich was director of technical services for Clear Communications. He can be reached at

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