How to Evaluate High Availability, Disaster Recovery Solutions for BlackBerry Enterprise Server

When it comes to choosing the best high availability and disaster recovery solution for BlackBerry Enterprise Server, it's not always easy for IT professionals to separate hype from reality. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Andrew Barnes discusses 10 important points IT professionals should consider when evaluating a BlackBerry Enterprise Server high availability and disaster recovery solution for their organization.

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The widespread corporate usage of RIM BlackBerry, Apple iPhone and Microsoft Windows mobile devices is causing organizations to rethink their business continuity strategies. Employees rely on e-mail 24/7 and any downtime is costly. It's costly not just in terms of productivity but also in terms of reputation, revenue and competitiveness.

In organizations of 1,500 employees, for example, the annual productivity loss caused by e-mail downtime is estimated to be over $250,000 per year. The net effect is that organizations are looking for high availability (HA) solutions to keep e-mail flowing to mobile devices in an emergency or during vital maintenance.

There are a variety of partial solutions available. Some solutions concentrate on BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) HA, while others focus on database replication for disaster recovery (DR). But what they all share in common is a stovepiped approach to protect individual components in the e-mail flow, rather than ensuring continuous e-mail availability wherever in the world the user may be.

As the most widespread corporate mobile e-mail solution, BlackBerry smartphones are a specific area where HA demand is high. There are several approaches to protect the e-mail flow to BlackBerry smartphones, yet different technologies are often involved, with no integration between them. Coordinating failover between these disparate systems can be a manually-intensive job, resulting in increased costs and greater risk of downtime. This is something which no organization, especially in this economic climate, can afford.