Network-based technologies help ensure uptime
See how storage area networks can help you to meet your most stringent uptime needs.
One of the most important aspects of running a data center is ensuring availability of the information that serves the business. Particularly in today's global companies, where data is shared across geographies and time zones, minimizing of planned or unplanned downtime is crucial to an uninterrupted business, no matter whether it's affected by a natural disaster, security threat, or component failure.
That's where a business continuance plan comes in, encompassing the processes, procedures and technology solutions an organization puts in place to ensure that essential business functions can continue despite a disruption. Such a plan consists of risk analysis, contingency planning, and disaster recovery, including technology solutions to address recovery and data protection needs of business-critical applications.
As data availability becomes a critical requirement, many busiensses are spending an increasing amount of resources on ensuring continuous operations. These companies are provisioning dedicated networks to guarantee performance metrics as well as security for backup applications. Intelligent storage networks provide a new dimension to backup and recovery. In addition, remote data replication solutions offer higher degrees of availability and can be scaled to meet the requirements of the enterprise.
Although maintaining uninterruptible access to all data center applications is desirable, the economics of business continuance require managers to prioritize applications according to their importance to the business. As a result, data centers need a range of business continuance solutions to accommodate these goals, from simple tape backup and remote replication to synchronous mirroring and mirrored distributed data centers
Along with its storage networking partners, Cisco delivers state-of-the-art technology that helps enterprises build end-to-end backup and recovery solutions along with disaster recovery solutions in a more scalable, secure and cost-effective fashion.
These solutions include:
- High-availability data center networking and storage area networks for non-stop access to applications and data
- Synchronized distributed data centers for continuous service over wide-area networks in the event of site disruptions
- Synchronous disk mirroring and replication over wide-area networks for fast recovery and zero data loss
- Asynchronous data replication over IP Networks for remote data protection;
- Consolidated backup to tape or near-line disk and remote electronic vaulting over enterprise-wide storage networks for consistent protection of distributed data
Each of these solutions requires the appropriate network infrastructure to help ensure you can meet user-specific availability, performance, distance, and latency requirements. In addition, enterprises require a resilient, integrated business continuance network infrastructure to protect three key areasdata, applications, and user accessin the event of a disruption, using various technologies. For example:
Companies must protect, replicate and backup data, whether using ?high-capacity, low-latency network interconnections; SAN extension technologies (such as Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP), compression, and encryption); and s upport for business continuance applications (such as those that provide replication and data protection). These solutions, used in conjunction with wide-area networking technology, can protect user sessions, prevent transaction loss, and support automatic failovers between mirrored sites.
Companies can enhance a pplication resilience in a number of ways. They can remove single points of server failure by deploying high-availability clusters or load-balancing technology across Web and application servers. They can also extend connectivity between clusters in different data centers to protect against major disruptions (this type of redundancy requires a high-speed, low-latency network).
Just as important as downtime protection and data recovery is user accesshow long can the business afford for users to go without access to applications following a disruption? Companies can employ technologies such as virtual private networks, to allow customers from branch offices and telecommuters to reconnect to applications quickly, or global site selector technology that allows users to manually or automatically connect to an alternate site running the application they need.
Businesses run tens and often hundreds of applications, each of which may have differing continuance requirements, measured in a time-to-recovery and data-loss perspective. IT groups need to match the associated characteristics and cost of a business-continuance solution to the business impact experienced, and think about which technologies to deploy where problems impact data, applications, and user access.