Data is king. Data is becoming a new natural resource. This is not only the most distinctive resource in the Internet age, but also the foundation for the competitive advantage companies aim for in the Internet age. How a company makes good use of their data has become one of the hottest focus areas. However, we must not neglect the fundamental principle, that is, how to protect the source data. Accuracy and currency of data are truly invaluable treasures. Protecting your data protects your treasure and your business lifeline.
In short, disaster recovery refers to the process of using technology, management tools, and related resources to ensure that critical data, critical data processing systems, and critical business workloads can be recovered after a disaster. In the event of a disaster, the disaster backup center must take over the operations of the production center within a certain time, restore business operations within the established scope, and ensure business continuity.
Modern IT practices have also proved that data security for business continuity is vital for a company. Although many financial institutions in Europe and the United States started disaster recovery and strengthened the construction of business continuity systems as early as the era of big data, it was not until the September 11th attacks that the financial industry began to pay real attention to the construction of disaster recovery capabilities and invested in manpower and resources to improve their level of business continuity. In the September 11th attacks, the massive data housed in the World Trade Center where many financial institutions were located was lost. Recovering that lost data was a major challenge for all financial institutions:
- Deutsche Bank established a rigorous and credible Business Continuity Plan (BCP) as early as 1993. After the 9/11 disaster, Deutsche Bank mobilized resources of more than 4,000 employees and global branches. Deutsche Bank resumed business operations in an alternate site which was 30 kilometers away from Manhattan in a short time. It was well received by their customers and industry.
- When Morgan Stanley was completely destroyed on the 25th floor and more than 3,000 employees were forced to evacuate, the second office was set up in their disaster recovery center within half an hour, and the entire business was resumed the next day. This could be described as a model of financial disaster recovery.
- In contrast, the Bank of New York didn’t have a disaster recovery site nor a strong emergency business plan, so after their data center was destroyed and their communication line interrupted, a chain reaction occurred, and all relevant branches were shut down.
According to IDC (International Data Center) statistics, in the United States, 55% of companies that experienced disasters in the past 10 years before 2000 collapsed right after the disasters. Among the remaining 45%, 29% also collapsed within two years because of data loss; only 16% survived.
According to statistics, the financial industry will suffer the loss of 50% of daily turnover if their information system is shut down for two days after a disaster. If their information system is not recovered within two weeks, 75% of these companies will stop their business operations, and 43% will never open again. 60% of the companies that do not have a disaster recovery strategy will go bankrupt in the two to three years following a disaster.
In fact, businesses began to think about disaster recovery as early as the 1970s. In the 1980s, data center companies that provided disaster recovery for their customers began to be established. The disaster recovery awareness of customers has continued to grow. Relevant laws and regulations on viable disaster recovery plans were also formulated. In 1990, the famous Millennium bug made people realize the importance of business continuity based on the development of a disaster recovery plan. With the rise of the Internet and the exponential growth of e-commerce, data is more important than ever. Companies and organizations need to do better than just meet regulatory requirements when it comes to disaster preparedness and business continuity. Ensuring data security and improving business continuity have become indispensable in the increasingly fierce competition among companies.
Since the IBM mainframe was officially launched in 1964, it has played an important role in world economic activities. Many Fortune 500 customers have responded well to the challenges of the ups and downs of a global economy with the support of IBM mainframes. At the same time, these discerning customers have also made critical demands on IBM mainframes. Driven by customer demands, IBM business continuity solutions for mainframes are also becoming more comprehensive and mature.
The GDPS Family of offerings is the most recommended IBM mainframe solution for disaster recovery and business continuity. GDPS® is a multi-site or single-site end to end solution that provides the ability to automate the management of mainframe systems, disks, and data replication and to perform failure recovery from a single focal point.
GDPS also supports multiple disk replication architectures, automates the operation and maintenance of the Sysplex, takes into consideration the data of both z/OS systems and open systems, and provides an open architecture that enables high flexibility for customization and tailoring.
The GDPS family of offerings provides continuous availability and disaster recovery capabilities for a wide range of environments. It provides customers with cross-site or cross-region recovery for Sysplex failures and continuous availability solutions that help automate recovery procedures for planned and unplanned workload outages. Nearly 20 years of customer adoption has made the product offerings of the GDPS family mature and reliable. From ensuring the disk subsystems’ high availability in a data center to realize a continuous availability across three data centers located in two regions, GDPS provides customers with an automated one-click solution for sysplex or workload recovery, which greatly simplifies the complexity of production operations and maintenance, following an outage.
The list of offerings in the GDPS family are:
- The GDPS Metro HyperSwap Manager (GDPS Metro HM) provides continuous availability of data within a single data center using synchronous disk replication. The recovery time objective (RTO) of a few seconds and recovery point objective (RPO) of 0 allow the business applications to remain continuously available when a disk subsystem failure occurs.
- The GDPS Metro solution can provide continuous availability and disaster recovery solutions within the same metropolitan area using synchronous disk replication. The two data centers in the same region can be active. Depending on the configuration selected (single-site or multi-site), the RTO is a few seconds to an hour while the RPO=0.
- The GDPS Global – GM (Global Mirror) and GDPS Global – XRC (Extended Remote Copy) can provide disaster recovery capabilities for two sites that can be any distance apart using asynchronous disk replication. In this configuration, there may be data loss (RPO of seconds) and RTO is under an hour.
- GDPS Metro Global -GM is a mixture of the second and third options, providing a complete solution for three data centers in two regions. For recovery in the same region, RPO=0 and RTO is a few seconds to an hour. For recovery in the alternate regions, RPO is a few seconds and RTO is under an hour.
- The GDPS CA (Continuous Availability) solution, enables cross-site active-active and workload balancing to achieve continuous availability for business critical workloads. Data replication based on software replication technology is used to keep the data in the two sites in sync. IBM Multi-site Workload Lifeline is used to provide workload monitoring and intelligent workload balancing between the two sites. The GDPS CA product provides a complete and unified management of the solution which enables the switching of workloads between sites to be completed in one click.
The above solutions are specific to a customer’s different disaster recovery or continuous availability requirements (distance between sites, RPO, RTO):
|GDPS Metro HM
|In the same data center
|Minutes to < 1hr
|GDPS Global – GM & GDPS Global – XRC
|< 1 hr
|GDPS Metro Global – GM
|Metropolitan distance + Unlimited distance
|Metropolitan distance: 0 Unlimited distance: Seconds
|Minutes to < 1hr
The GDPS family of offerings is designed to provide not only resource sharing, workload balancing, and near continuous availability benefits of a Parallel Sysplex environment, but it can enhance the capability of an enterprise to recover from disasters and planned and unplanned workload outages. GDPS solutions enable your business to achieve its own continuous availability and disaster recovery goals with minimum application impact. Through proper planning and exploitation of IBM’s GDPS technology, your enterprise can help protect your critical business data and applications. For more information about IBM GDPS offerings, see https://www.ibm.com/it-infrastructure/z/technologies/gdps.
Li, Hong Tao is an Executive I/T Specialist of IBM China. He worked for IBM China 25 years for support Chinese mainframe customers from VSE to MV to Sysplex, from single system performance to business continuity solutions. He participated a lot of customer mainframe projects delivery, such as Active-active solution design, testing and implementation.