Slicing the Availability Cake

Verizon BlackBerry Tour 9630

Image via Wikipedia

By Bob Roudebush
VP of Marketing, Neverfail

We’re participating in BlackBerry World 2011 this week where we’re talking to BlackBerry customers about our continuous availability solution for BlackBerry Enterprise Server which provides high availability and disaster recovery capabilities for the software which drives their mobile messaging devices.  It’s good timing, then, that Continuity Central posted about the results of a recent survey on BlackBerry business continuity issues.

The report, conducted by Incisive Media, has a lot of great information in it.  You can read Continuity Central’s commentary and get a full copy of the report by reading the full article, “BlackBerry Business Continuity Issues Explored“.  Especially interesting were statistics about Blackberry downtime:

  • 35% of IT teams admit that their organization has experienced a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) outage in the past 12 months
  • 34% of IT organizations suffered a Microsoft Exchange Server outage in the past 12 months

These statistics highlight the need for a new approach to high availability and disaster recovery.  Traditionally, these solutions have been deployed on a server-by-server basis – servers are backed up daily or software agents are installed on individual servers to provide some level of replication and failover capabilities.  As applications and IT services have become more complex, it’s become evident that this approach doesn’t leave organizations completely protected.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the messaging infrastructures powering the communications infrastructures that power most companies.

Today’s messaging systems are composed of email services, anti-virus protection, unified communications software, collaboration tools and (for those organizations which depend on BlackBerry devices) software such as BlackBerry Enterprise Server.  Protecting the messaging system, in this case, requires protection for each of the individual components in a way which allows IT administrators to aggregate them together and define, monitor and manage availability for the entire ecosystem as a whole.  The key to ensuring availability of this new breed of applications and services requires IT organizations to “slice the availability cake” vertically rather than horizontally.  Instead of choosing and implementing a variety of different availability solutions for each layer (component) of the service, IT organizations should look for a solution which allows them to protect each component (layer) in aggregate.

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