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The cloud is an efficient and fast way to improve your IBM i

 high availability (HA), backup and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities. In preparing an IBM i system or environment for backup and disaster recovery in the cloud, there are several key considerations to include in your strategy and project plan. For the purposes of this brief, this applies to all versions of the IBM i family including Power Systems, iSeries, System i and AS/400.

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Key considerations for your plan:

1. What are your RTO & RPO requirements?

First, establish your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) & Recovery Point Objective (RPO) goals. This drives the level of service and system architecture that you will design. A zero downtime requirement will require a very different system structure and telecommunications design, as compared to a greater-than-24-hour RTO & RPO requirement. 

2. Geographic Diversity 

Second, establish your geographic diversity goals. This drives the location of service for your primary and backup systems. 

3. High Availability Software

For a cloud based HA solution, you will want to go beyond the basic “GO SAVE: Option 21” backup solution. You will need to select a high availability solution to meet your replication requirements. A few of the high availability software solutions in the market are the High Availability® Suite from Maxava®, and Mimix® and iTera™ from Vision Solutions®. IBM® cloud providers can include this as part of the service, or if you are currently using HA software side-by-side on your existing IBM i system or parallel system, you will be able to use that same software in a cloud configuration. Key issues to address will be licensing requirements, cloud capabilities of the software and related connectivity specifications. 

4. Compliance Requirements 

You will also need to make sure that the cloud provider meets your compliance requirements with demonstrated capabilities in the areas of SSAE-16 (formerly SAS 70) compliance, HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAA) and PCI-DSS standards 

5. Understanding Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Lastly, you will need to confirm the SLA offered by the cloud provider to ensure that it meets industry standards and your requirements.

These basic planning steps should bring you well on the way to selecting an effective IBM i backup and disaster recovery solution in the cloud.

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