IBM has teamed up with Indigo Stone (formerly RISC Contingency Services) to make available a new methodology that reduces enterprise system recovery time by up to 50% and gives customers a single point of control after an unplanned outage or disaster. Says IBM Global Services manager of business continuity and recovery services in South Africa, Dave Linacre: "IBM has focused on slashing recovery time because the business issue now is not just on disaster recovery but on reducing the risk to business continuity.
"The draft second King Commission report here in South Africa and the Turnbull report in the United Kingdom are two of many world-wide that emphasise the corporate governance imperative of reducing risk. With IT systems no longer merely adjuncts to business processes but the actual frameworks on which business processes are being built, disruption of those systems is one of the primary risks to business continuity. Therefore, an organisation's ability not just to recover but to recover quickly from an unplanned system outage is becoming an auditable risk management factor."
Linacre points out that optimum business continuity usually necessitates a separate facility with dedicated hardware, software, infrastructure and high-level skills and security as well as on-going specialised maintenance and management capabilities.
"For most organisations it makes sense to outsource their business continuity functions. The caveat there is to ensure that your supplier has the financial, technological and human resource sustainability and stability to be there with you in the very long-term. Because that is what business continuity is about... the long-term."
The enterprise rapid recovery methodology
The enterprise rapid recovery methodology (ERRM) that IBM makes available in partnership with Indigo Stone accelerates the ability to restore critical business operations by using intelligent-agent technology to profile vital system configuration data. The data is kept current on a secure remote server, enabling the system image to be rebuilt at a moment's notice without the customer's back-up image. The customer's applications can be recovered to any suitable hardware faster than would otherwise be the case.
Also, as more customers run multivendor environments and applications increasingly determine the hardware used, ERRM gives customers, for the first time, a single point of control across all platforms and removes the need for complex recovery documentation. ERRM has been proven on the IBM eServer p-Series and SP platforms and will soon incorporate Windows 2000, XP, HP and Novell server platforms. It is also available through IBM Global Services on Sun Microsystems Servers with full Veritas software support. Linux and NT 4 support as well as Compaq-DEC Alpha support are expected to be available in the first half of 2002.
The Indigo Stone solution is already being used by a number of South African customers - among the first in the world. There are some 350 IBM ERRM customers in four countries: the UK, USA, Canada and South Africa.
Source: Business Continuity and Recovery Services, IBM Global Services.