Operations

In the coming days, I’ll be heading to the SHARE conference that’s taking place in Pittsburgh to give a talk on disaster recovery (DR) and agile data centers. Basically, I intend the talk to be a gentle nudge to the newbies, encouraging them to stop believing the nonsense they’re reading about cloud, software-defined data center, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), etc. and their supposed high-availability architectures that “negate” the need for traditional continuity planning. I’ve been seeing this meme about “the death of DR” pop up in a lot of trade press articles and analyst reports of late and it’s beginning to grind my gears…

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The article “Architecting for a Private Cloud: From Caching Framework to Elastic Caching Cloud Platform Service” (available at http://entsys.me/f2ivm) discussed an elastic caching service for private clouds. Interestingly enough, the majority of questions and feedback we received were actually related to the subject of private clouds rather than elastic caching. The spectrum of views and opinions was remarkably wide, including suggestions that private clouds don’t really exist; i.e., clouds can only be public. This article explores the subject of private cloud as well as the drivers and technologies behind it, and examines two architectural models for establishing a private cloud…

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Recently, on a cable news program, discussions turned from Apple’s “cash on hand” position (several hundred billion dollars or “enough to buy several countries”) to an emerging trend that will see tech companies shortly replacing banks and financial institutions as the new “bad guys” of world economics. The reasons tech companies will become the target of populist ire are familiar. Simply put, for all their talk about delivering tools for helping companies compete in existing markets and create new ones, tech vendors really seem to be about “wealth extraction”—or so the lines will be drawn. …

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There was a time when IT determined the computing services that business users were allowed to have and how those services would be accessed. Those days are long gone. With the advent of mobile devices and social media, the center of gravity has shifted, and users are driving IT to behave differently and deliver computing services in new ways. This phenomenon has been coined “the consumerization of IT,” and it has far-reaching effects on the IT organization, including the choices that IT makes for infrastructure and automation tools…

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Are three data centers better than two for Disaster Recovery (DR)? Using technologies such as Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS), which facilitates near continuous availability, more organizations are aiming for uninterrupted uptime. The rule of thumb used to be simple failover in a single data center with a hotsite or coldsite backup with more relaxed Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs). Now more enterprises are looking at two separate data centers, and in some cases, a three data center DR and failover model that minimizes or eliminates RTO lag time altogether. Let’s consider these newer DR data center models and review the critical decision points for sites to consider as they chart out the role of data centers in their DR strategies…

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Advanced Function Printing (AFP) is an IBM proprietary protocol used for printing bulk documents such as bank statements. We have an application that takes as input user text messages, typically marketing messages in specific fonts and sizes, and generates the corresponding AFP overlays. These overlays are merged with the main customer documents, also in AFP form, and printed. This application used to be written in Visual Basic, and a third-party tool was used in the application for generating AFP overlays from the user input text…

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Your company’s investment in backup and recovery tools can be leveraged in a variety of ways that you may not have considered. These resources aren’t just for managing disasters or significant unplanned outages, which happen infrequently. The following examples describe how to maximize your investment in these tools by also using them to support your day-to-day operations:…

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