New research released today by Vision Solutions, a high-availability solutions provider, suggests that organizations could increasingly be at risk to data loss largely due to their lack of willingness to invest in high availability technology. Research results from sponsoring vendors in general are items to be taken carefully and the same is true in this case. Without understanding more about the data set and survey design, it's hard to know the validity of Vision's conclusions.
In short, in a combination of 18 surveys of over 4,000 IBM i and AIX professionals from September 2008 to October 2009, Vision found that less than a fifth (16 percent) of enterprises today have high availability deployments. Yet at the same time, more organizations expect data restoration times to decline. Fifty-five percent of respondents this year expect their Recovery Time Object (RTO) to be under six hours. Last year that number was at 45 percent. "While companies protect against catastrophic data loss by more widely employing other technologies (i.e. tape, VTL, etc.), comparatively few are willing to employ technologies to move toward continuous availability despite expressing RTOs/ RPOs that imply otherwise," says Henry Martinez, Vision Solutions' senior vice president of engineering.
The drive for shorter RTOs, argues Vision, stems from the expanding footprint of today's organizations. Increasingly, there are fewer opportunities for downtime that would not effect some aspect of the business so keeping restoration times to a minimum is becoming more important. "In our increasingly Internet-interdependent global economy, avoiding downtime is becoming a strategic imperative," says Henry Martinez, Vision Solutions' senior vice president of engineering. "Organizations of all sizes are working with a global network of suppliers, customers and employees expecting immediate interaction with mission critical systems on a round-the-clock basis. Recovering quickly from an outage mitigates business risk by avoiding expensive exposure to supply chain disruption, missed customer revenue opportunities and loss of employee productivity."
Other top level findings from the research related to the adoption of disaster recovery (DR) and IBM's Power System. The results showed that traditionally, DR capabilities have been viewed as insurance against major disasters. Increasingly, businesses of all sizes are realizing the significant impact of the many "mini disasters" that occur quite frequently: power or network outages, maintenance and upgrade work, and even the corruption or loss of individual files. Technologies for recovering from and actively avoiding these events are maturing and gaining support.
As for IBM's Power System servers, their introduction is blurring the lines between two previously distinct groups of midrange server customers those who ran the IBM i environments and those that ran the AIX environment. The advantages offered under this converged platform are attractive to businesses across the board. As Gartner reported as well, despite the economic downturn, sales of Power Systems have been stronger than expected. This trend is only expected to continue as IBM recently slashed memory prices by 28 and 70 percent. The high cost of DDR2 main memory on Power Systems was a key reason why many in IT weren't adopting the platform. Vision Solutions will offer a webcast about the research on December 8 at 10am Central.