IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2018 - 31
A Plan in Place
Determine which of the 7 levels of business continuity is right for you
By Tony Pearson
usiness continuity (BC) and
disaster recovery (DR) are
important aspects of any
organization. Being proactive
before a disaster strikes is important. If you don't have a plan, it's
time to develop one. If you do
have a plan, it might be time to
examine if it's current and meeting today's needs and demands.
Organizations should consider
three primary aspects of BC:
High availability: Keeping
the environment running,
even if a single component
fails. Individual servers and
storage often have redundant
components, designed for no
single point of failure. Server
and storage systems can also
be clustered, so that any
system failure doesn't bring
down the environment.
Continuous operations: The
ability to perform routine operations without having to plan
for shutdown. This includes
taking online backups of
databases, adding or upgrad-
ing hardware capacity, or upgrading firmware or
software on running systems.
DR: The ability to recover an environment after
an unplanned outage occurs. This may be at a
different location, or to the same location after
the problems have been resolved.
For many organizations, the first two are handled
through purchasing hardware and software and
configuring them to follow best practices. But the
third one, DR, seems to elude many companies. An
NTT Communications survey of organizations (bit.
ly/2zKvlOh) found that:
50 percent don't have a documented DR plan
50 percent use data backup as their only DR plan
55 percent aren't testing recovery plans regularly
23 percent have never conducted testing of
Look at Disaster Effects
Shocked? You should be; disasters happen. Focusing on a disaster's effects, rather than causes,
is helpful for BC/DR planning to find a solution
quicker. All effects generally fall into one of four
categories: workforce shortage, loss of technology,
loss of facilities or failure in the supply chain. This
article discusses loss of technology and facilities,
and what organizations can do to prepare ahead
of a disaster.
Ideally, operations should
continue or resume quickly after
a disaster. Failure to do so can
mean loss in business and trust.
The recovery methodology should
be reliable, predictable and at a
manageable cost. Critical personal and business data should
be protected and secure throughout the process. A typical recovery
involves a bottom-up approach
with the following steps:
1. Identify the location. When
an outage occurs, management should assess a course
of action and decide where
the recovery will occur. This
could be another location you
own, a third-party facility or a
cloud service provider.
2. Recover the data. Do you
know what data you had at
the time of the disaster? What
data can you recover? How
will you handle the rest?
3. Re-host applications.
The applications need to
be restarted, possibly on
bare metal servers that are
ibmsystemsmag.com JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 // 31