What is an “Always-On” Data Center?

The always-on data center is a data center that can provide application availability to its users no matter what technical problems may occur. To meet this lofty expectation, IT professionals need to change the way they approach data protection and recovery service level objectives.

More Frequent Data Capture

The first step in achieving always-on availability is to make sure new data and changed data are captured more frequently than the typical once-per-night protection schemes common with traditional backup methodologies. In fact, even capturing point-in-times snapshots once every few hours will not meet the definition of always-on if data is being frequently changed. IT professionals need to change their measurement of data protection from something done after a certain amount of time to something done after a certain amount of changes to data.

More frequent protection of data changes can occur with technologies that leverage block level change detection so only the blocks modified since the last protection event are copied to a separate backup storage device.

Better Positioned Recoveries

The second step in achieving always-on status is to make sure data is pre-positioned for recovery. The means making sure the backup target can act, at least temporarily, as a primary storage device. And making sure the data protection solution has the ability to present its protected data as an active volume, ready to be used by the server.

StorageSwiss Take

More frequent data capture and better positioned recoveries are two of the key steps in achieving always-on status. To learn more about how service level objectives need to change to keep up with the always-on demands of the digital economy, join our on demand webinar “The Always-on Enterprise Requires New Service Level Objectives“.

Watch On Demand

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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