Standby Data Processing Centers

Escalation of information system role in provision of enterprise and organization business processes leads to growth of risks connected to unavailability of data and information services vital for the main business processes. The business continuity and performance directly depends on availability of the enterprise information system.

Availability of data and information services depends on reliability of all information system elements and organization of their interaction but not limited to it: information system availability level can be influenced by errors or malevolent attacks of users and external factors such as man-made disasters, natural disasters, etc. The last circumstance means that even information systems all components of which are duplicated for cases of failure but localized cannot be a guarantee of full data availability. In this case the most efficient solution is creation of standby data processing center (SDPC).

Standby data processing center is required in cases when the time for recovery of failed main computing center exceeds permitted downtime of information systems. Decision about creation of SDPC is based on risk analysis which shown the level of possible losses incurred due to failure of information system.

Within the frames of standby data processing center creation Open Technologies offers solution minimizing risks occurring in case of various emergency situations caused by Acts of God, intended data destruction or corruption, errors of application complexes, incorrect actions of maintenance personnel, etc.

Standby DPC shall not be a shadow copy of the main one but it shall duplicate its most critical functions absence of which makes enterprise operation impossible. For this it shall ensure:

  • Availability of updated data copies allowing continuous work of operation system with standby center resources in case of failure of the main computing center; 
  • Transition of information services to standby computing center resources.

Taking into account the role of information systems in business processes, the SDPC data copies shall be transfered in real time mode. That is why the main and standby computing centers shall be connected by high performance communication channels and equipped with technologies of data replication and backup.

Today's approach to creation of high availability computing systems implies deployment of storage area network (SAN) which ensures the required communication channel performance level and replication and backup methods insignificantly affecting the general availability of information services. The storage area network deployed at the main and standby spaces as remote plants ensures real-time data backup thus ensuring presence of relevant copies of corporate data at the standby facility.

High-speed Fibre Channel protocol acting as the main SAN allows transmission of data units at speed up to 2 Gb/sec up to 100 km far. These characteristics allow synchronized data replication into standby computing center. In case when standby computing center is located far from the main computing center the Fibre Channel traffic transfer can be ensured by DWDM – Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing technology or protocols allowing Fibre channel encapsulation into IP packages.

Permissible time for IS operation recovery also defines which modes - hot standby or gradual recovery - the SDPC shall work in. The hot standby mode means that the standby center computing capacity is ready to operate at any moment. In this case transition of operations to SDPC facility can be made automatically. This can be solved by cluster technologies uniting server complexes of the main and standby computing centers into unified cluster complex with remote nodes.

Along with backup, SDPC can be used to partially unload the computing complex of the main computing complex. In this case the computing centers shall ensure mutual backup and their resources will be used in optimum way. Moreover, SDPC can be used to prepare and test software and hardware facilities planned to be implemented.

Today's trends to increase the level of IT infrastructure virtualization and transfer of even larger number of the business critical services lead to necessity to develop and construct standby center solutions with virtual IT infrastructure. This is a separate task class solved with additional products supplied by virtualization facilities developers. As a rule, these products ensure process automation of emergency recovery, creation and testing of recovery plans after disasters, ensure integration with data replication mechanisms with the help of storage system facilities, integration with disc volumes snapshot creation mechanisms used for emergency recovery testing.

Open Technologies accumulated vast experience in designing, construction and support of standby data processing center. Our customers include largest Russian and international enterprises and organizations.