Today's customers and business partners expect 24/7/365 uptime. Server and infrastructure outages can cost thousands of dollars every minute, when you calculate the costs of remediation, the lost revenue and productivity, the reputation damage, and the penalties associated with SLA and regulatory non-compliance. Many companies would consider their tolerance for downtime to be zero.
Despite these pressures, power outages, severe weather, hardware issues, and human error continue to cause IT service disruptions regularly, and recovery times average 24 hours. This stagnation is due primarily to flat IT budgets, increasingly complex and interdependent systems, globally distributed business operations, and increasingly mobile workforces.
Technologies like virtualization, data replication, and cloud computing have evolved to help companies overcome these resiliency challenges. Many companies employ hybrid models to ensure high availability for their most critical business systems and cost-effective recovery for non-critical components. Because cloud services are relatively new and confusing in their service and security parameters, it's important to work closely with an expert resiliency service provider, such as IBM. This white paper explains the need for and challenges to maintaining high availability, then outlines ways that IBM services can deliver the right mix of solutions.