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How to protect your enterprise applications against disruptions and downtime

Cheryl George

How to protect your enterprise applications against disruptions and downtimeIn August 2017, Hurricane Harvey slammed into Southeast Texas. Over 4 days, a deluge of more than 40 inches of rain caused more than $125 billion in damage and devastating countless businesses.
After a major disaster, more than 40% of businesses in the region close for good. And among those that do stay open, roughly 70% close within 2 years. Shocked? You should be!

In today’s constantly connected global business environment, organizations devise business continuity and disaster recovery plans so that IT operations can be transferred to another site following a disruption like cyberattack, power outage, equipment failure, or natural disaster. The goal is to prevent lost productivity and revenue, as well as damage to your company’s reputation. Planning for business continuity enables seamless application failover to continue service nondisruptively despite failures in the primary environment. The following figure illustrates the key requirements for business continuity.

ey requirements for business continuity NetApp® SnapMirror® Business Continuity (SM-BC) is designed to protect individual workloads, giving you the flexibility to choose which applications are protected for 0 RTO and 0 RPO, the zero data loss copy enabled by NetApp SnapMirror Synchronous. In the event of failure at the primary site, the NetApp ONTAP® Mediator facilities automated failover or transparent application failover to the secondary site at a different location. Manual intervention is not required, there is no disruption to application users, and no need to reconnect to storage.

Consistency group business continuity Your enterprise application data such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, VMware vMSC (Metro Storage Cluster), and so on can be individually protected at the consistency group. This ability, which helps maintain dependent write-order consistency, is ideal for applications that span multiple volumes. The data in the consistency group is synchronously replicated between the two storage systems.  This means that the storage layer appears to the application as a single virtual device with multiple paths (active optimized and active nonoptimized), as specified by the ALUA industry-standard protocol. Not all data is equal. Be judicious in identifying which workloads you want to protect for business continuity and add them to the consistency group accordingly.

In addition, you can extend protection to a multitarget topology to achieve zero data loss and geographic dispersion. In this topology, two data centers are located close to one another, and the third is located outside the region defined by the other two. Traditionally, a disaster recovery site implied an unused investment that came to life only in the event of a disaster. Now it is a business accelerator that allows you to maximize investments and get the most out of the IT infrastructure. Your enterprise applications can provision and use active workloads on both clusters, with primary workloads served simultaneously on both clusters. Applications are active in both sites, with the ability to reuse a secondary facility by creating space-efficient clones that can be used for business intelligence or development and testing. multitarget topology The icing on the cake —there’s no learning curve for the IT operator. Simple setup and easy administration using ONTAP System Manager give you end-to-end operations for provisioning, hardware visualization, and protection relationship at the consistency group, as shown in the following screenshot.

To conclude,

  • SnapMirror Synchronous provides synchronous replication to enable zero data loss;
  • Automated failover enables continuous application availability.
  • SM-BC means simplicity in data protection workflows
To learn more about SM-BC, watch the SnapMirror Business Continuity Technical Demo.


Also, check out the documentation for the SnapMirror Business Continuity solution.

Cheryl George

Cheryl George is a Product Manager with over 19 years of experience in the IT industry. She helps build state-of-the-art products and enterprise solutions which help solve real-world customer and business problems. And works on Go-to-Market and Messaging Strategy. Customer engagements is what she enjoys the most. Cheryl is music enthusiast. She maintains her Zen through yoga and mindful walking. She loves to travel but the irony is that it mostly happens in the head.

View all Posts by Cheryl George

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