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Windows and Linux

IT Hosting Perspectives in the Midmarket
The needs of customers that are moving increasing amounts of IT services to the cloud, and the impact this is having on hosting providers' operations and infrastructure, are rapidly changing as the sophistication and maturity of services evolves. To better understand the impact of this, IDC led a roundtable discussion between Microsoft, Vision Solutions, TeleComputing (a leading hosting provider in Scandinavia), and two major customers of TeleComputing.

The topics discussed varied across the provisioning, adoption, and evolution of hosted and cloud services as well as the practical realities of business relationships and service and support. This IDC Technology Spotlight summarizes the discussion and the approaches to hosted services taken by both customers and TeleComputing, and examines any gaps that need to be tackled in future in order to be more successful.

What to Consider When Choosing Virtual Machine Protection
IT administrators are faced with a number of important considerations when weighing data protection methodologies for virtual machines. They must choose between scheduled, periodic backup solutions or real-time replication and availability solutions; various levels of availability or recovery, agent-based solutions or agentless protection, and even host-level versus storage-level replication. These choices are not all mutually exclusive. This White Paper explores several different approaches so you can select the solution that will provide the right kind of coverage for your virtual machine workloads.

Seven Virtualisation DR Myths
New disaster recovery and high availability technologies have emerged based on server virtualisation, and many assert themselves as the best way to protect virtual machines and data. Myths about virtual server and data protection have risen from these virtual technologies, and it is time to debunk at least seven of them.

Why Real-Time Replication Is Better Than Periodic Replication
High Availability and Migration solutions are not typically a one-size-fits-all proposition. The underlying architecture of solutions that rely on replication varies in several important ways. This informative Technical Overview delves into these differences so you can make an informed decision on what type of replication method is best for your organisation.

Optimised WAN Performance and Rapid Recovery – SMB Exclusive
Real-time replication technologies are playing an increasingly critical role in SMB datacentres as the number of Windows and Linux computing workloads requiring uninterrupted availability increase. Sometimes, however, existing network resources have to be stretched to accommodate the additional traffic.

Double-Take Availability 6.0 – A Technical Overview
Well-conceived designs endure. They entrench themselves within the culture of their respective disciplines and follow an adaptive path toward refinement. Over the course of twenty years, Vision Solutions has been developing solutions with unmatched capabilities for ensuring application availability and data integrity. Double-Take Availability—now in version 6.0—offers exceptional application and data protection in virtual, cloud and physical computing environments. Thanks to a single, unified management console, it is easier to use than ever before and requires far fewer resources than other availability options. Double-Take Availability represents the most affordable solution for complete data protection.

Solving the Technology Migration Puzzle
Resembling puzzles, complex technology migrations require a commitment of time and thought to successfully complete. Today, business environments require uninterrupted server availability leaving network administrators few convenient opportunities to perform critical tasks—such as migrations. Companies simply cannot afford to have their systems be offline. Learn how a complete 360◦ migration competency will ensure a successful outcome with no downtime.

Migrating Workloads to and from the Cloud with Platform Independent Replication
When an organisation needs to reduce their IT infrastructure costs and improve scalability and flexibility, it simply needs to look no further than how it migrates workloads to and from the Cloud with platform independent replication Cloud technologies. Yet, how can it get there quickly and easily? Vision has a solution. This executive overview explains how migration tools packaged as virtual appliances can help you move between two very different topologies and also avoid downtime and risk.

The Importance of Data Protection in the Health Care Industry
Working in the health care industry you know that staying compliant is a constant tug-of-war between resources and regulation. Acting responsibly on behalf of your colleagues and patients and ensuring that you remain compliant means staying on top of regulatory legislation. This paper looks at some of the regulations imposed on the health care industry and discusses their implications.

System Migrations without Business Downtime - An Executive Overview
All businesses strive for growth. It keeps shareholders happy and staff gainfully employed. To improve productivity, companies also automate processes that were previously performed manually. And as technologies advance and data storage costs decline, organisations collect more data and put it to more uses. Consequently, system upgrades inevitably become necessary...

Linux - Beyond Backup
Linux, once an operating system for computer enthusiasts and contrarians, is now installed on primary production servers in business computing environments around the globe. The deployment of Linux saw a dramatic uptick in 2008, in part because of macroeconomic events that took place in primary trade centres around the world. Today, Linux, in its various forms, is going strong. Even first-tier computer hardware manufacturers like IBM have embraced specific distros of Linux for their System x hardware.

Be Nice. Share Your Data
Information is the fuel for click-driven commerce as well as bricks and mortar businesses. How you use information is a critical way to differentiate the organisation from every other competitor. Organisations that use information in new, vital ways can now reach more informed decisions faster. This accelerating pace of decision-making can surely deliver an advantage. Small and mid-sized businesses, looking for every opportunity to compete, will surely benefit the most.

There are many replication tools available and no two are the same. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your requirements, and then look for a solution that doesn’t add an additional layer of complexity.

Double-Take Availability® Theory of Operations
This document provides a high-level overview of the basic theory of operation for Vision Solutions’ Double-Take Availability replication engine on a Windows® 2003 server. It will detail the flow of data from the originating server (source) through the network to the receiving server (target). This document is designed as a level 300 resource, and requires a fundamental knowledge of basic Double-Take Availability® theories and operations.

Virtualised Disaster Recovery from VMware and Vision Solutions
Ensuring business-critical data and applications survive a site outage is paramount to the life of your business. But growing data volumes, complex applications and the cost of additional hardware, tools and training for a secondary location can make the insurance policy of an effective disaster recovery plan prohibitively expensive and hard to implement. Virtualisation continues to gain widespread adoption in mainstream IT, and the benefits are evident - it allows businesses to improve their IT efficiency while continuing to drive down costs through consolidation. Virtualised disaster recovery infrastructure to match your production virtual infrastructure can extend these efficiencies to the DR plan, but is there a way to realise the benefits of a virtualised disaster recovery plan even for physical servers?

Lightning Fast Recovery to and from the Cloud
Software applications and electronic data are the life blood of a business. When they aren’t available due to a disaster or outage, business is slowed or stopped altogether. In the short term, outages result in data loss, employee and customer frustration and lost revenue. The long term penalties of an outage can affect a business for a lifetime; lost records, transactions and accounting files can even put a business at risk of regulatory violations.

Real-Time Protection for Microsoft Hyper-V™
Computer virtualisation has come a long way in a very short time, triggered primarily by the rapid rate of customer adoption. Moving resources to virtual platforms have allowed IT Computer virtualisation has come a long way in a very short time, triggered primarily by the rapid rate of customer adoption. Moving resources to virtual platforms have allowed IT departments to consolidate and better utilise computer resources. However, many methods for system protection that were tried and true in the physical world haven’t lived up to their expectations when tasked with protecting virtual machines. Protecting virtual machines is not always as simple as backing up the virtual disk files and special care must be taken.

Easy Server, Operating System and Storage Migrations, Without Downtime
All businesses strive for growth. It keeps shareholders happy and staff gainfully employed. To improve productivity, companies also automate processes that were previously performed manually. And as technologies advance and data storage costs decline, organisations collect more data and put it to more uses. Consequently, system upgrades inevitably become necessary.

Windows Server Multi-site Clustering
Applications, like all man-made creations, fail; it’s just a fact of life in the information technology world. The goal of the IT department is to mitigate the risk of downtime and prepare for recoverability of critical applications in an efficient manner. There are many different methods for restoring application service depending on the criticality of the application including rebuilding servers and restoring from backups, which may take days to complete. For business critical applications, faster recovery is imperative to keeping the business processes which depend on them going. Most organisations consider applications like e-mail, financial accounting software, ERP and CRM applications to be the backbone of their business processes. So what’s an IT administrator to do.

Six Data protection Tips for SMBs
Just like major corporations, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are increasingly reliant on the critical data stored on their servers. Limited resources and vulnerability to interruptions put small and midsize businesses at higher risk, and relying on native backup for a small business server can leave gaps in the disaster recovery plan. While native backup for Windows Small Business Server provides a small measure of protection, periodic tape backup can leave small businesses vulnerable to data and time loss in quantities they cannot afford. The key to getting back on track quickly is a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, including fast access to an up-to-the minute copy of your data. This whitepaper provides six tips for an SMB approach to protecting critical data. These tips used in conjunction with Double-Take® Availability from Double-Take® Software can help SMBs defend against crippling downtime and data loss.

Practical Guide to Disaster Recovery
When you think about your disaster recovery plan, does your tape backup system come to mind? Does the mere mention of disaster recovery make you a bit nervous? If so, you’re not alone. Many businesses risk grave losses due to failures and disasters yet continue to depend on their tape backups to help them recover successfully should a major outage occur. The thought of implementing a more appropriate disaster recovery plan can be daunting; to the point which many simply push it off until later. Unfortunately ‘later’ often ends up being after the business has suffered a major loss from which it could not recover.

Data Protection, Planning and Recovery for Regulated Industries
Regulations imposed by the U.S. government exist to keep consumers safe and provide peace of mind. However, if you are on the compliance side of these complex and ever-changing regulations, you know that staying compliant is a constant tug-of-war between resources and regulation. Acting responsibly on behalf of your consumers and avoiding fines brought on by non-compliance means staying on top of regulatory legislation. Workload availability solutions for data replication, application availability and system state protection from Double-Take® Software can reduce the costs of managing a data protection strategy while increasing confidence that your systems remain compliant and your data and applications remain available.

Disaster Recovery Planning with Virtualisation Technologies
Business continuity is not just a good business practice – it can mean success or failure if data and applications on a production server are lost. Disaster recovery planning ensures organisations have the capability to continue essential functions across a wide range of situations that could disrupt normal operations. High availability is the cornerstone for most business continuity plans and is one of the most compelling reasons for evaluating and deploying data protection solutions. However, traditional data protection strategies focus on just the data and not the application.

Remote and Branch Office Protection: Next Generation Backup (ROBO)
In a survey conducted in 2005 by the Ad Council, most businesses agreed that emergency preparedness is important, yet only 39% said their company had a plan in place. In companies with distributed branch offices, data protection strategies may not have kept up with the reality that branch or remote offices now contain customer databases, email servers and financial information that are critical to the company’s day-to-day operation. The traditional approach - relying on tape backup for branch-office data protection - is costly and risky. This white paper examines some of the strategies and technologies available for backing up remote or branch offices.

Beyond Tape: Better Backups with Replication
We know all too well that the only way to ensure data protection and business continuity in the face of disasters – floods, storms and power outages – is to establish a remote recovery site at a significant distance from the main and branch offices. Every night many companies already back up their main and branch office systems to tape, and transport them to a site anywhere from 50 to over 1,000 miles away. However, what they may not understand is just how vulnerable their data, and therefore their business, remains.

Reducing the Costs and Risks of Branch Office Data Protection
Regardless of size, form or fury, disasters can take their toll on any business. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security puts businesses in two categories: those who have already experienced the pain of losing valuable electronic data, and those who will at some point in the future.

The Future and Present is Virtual
Virtualisation has received considerable coverage in the IT trade press over the past few years, but is virtual real for the majority of IT shops? The answer is clear. Yes, it is. According to IDC, despite 2009 being a very tough year for the IT industry and the economy in general, the virtual machine software market grew by 1.4 percent to $1.8-billion that year. And a growing body of evidence shows that virtualisation is being adopted by a large percentage of companies in all industries and in all but the smallest of organisations—and even in some of them as well.

Real-Time Database Sharing: What Can It Do for Your Business?
Got business-critical information residing on your System i as well as other databases? It’s likely you have silos of information that are difficult to share, which puts people at risk of making decisions based upon inaccurate or outdated information. Learn how new data sharing software can replicate and transform data in real-time from and between IBM i and today’s most popular databases.

Migrating to Virtual Machines with DBTK VRA
Though server virtualisation technology has changed the IT landscape for the better in many ways, it has also presented several new challenges. One of the chief concerns that IT decision makers face is how to most effectively migrate between disparate server and storage infrastructures without halting production applications or requiring extensive manual intervention. Using a combination of real-time data replication and full-server failover technologies for workload migration can be an effective way to address this challenge.

Double-Take Move
Migrating applications, systems and data has always been a challenge for IT staff; in fact, most have just gotten used to the pain and suffering that comes with migrations. To properly migrate applications and data to new platforms involves risk and takes time to complete, meanwhile users have to stop changing data while it’s migrated. The larger the storage footprint, the longer that it’s going to take, and migrations routinely take hours or days to complete.

SAN Array-based Replication
Many storage area networks (SANs) today can replicate data across distances between similar models of storage hardware and this can be an important part of any business continuity or disaster recovery strategy. Double-Take Availability is a software-based solution that also replicates data but at the host level, providing higher availability when systems are at the same location and disaster protection and recovery when they are not.

IBM Power Systems

Five Disaster Recovery Tips for Small to Midsize Businesses running IBM i
Gaps in protection caused by tape backup strategies can put small and midsize businesses at a higher risk for data loss and extended periods of downtime. This paper provides a roadmap to a successful modern-day disaster recovery strategy. It also offers an overview of MIMIX DR, a cost-effective disaster recovery solution for SMBs.

MIMIX Availability:
Faster recovery. Stronger data protection. And a smarter way to manage high availability for IBM i. A Technology Overview
This Executive Overview offers details on how MIMIX Availability has evolved into an advanced solution that offers faster recovery, stronger data protection and a smarter way to manage high availability for IBM i. When evaluating any availability solution, there are a handful of critical functions that must be considered. This paper offers an overview of seven of the most essential availability functions and how each is addressed by MIMIX Availability.

System i Management Best Practices
System i provides a wealth of data to help analyze performance and storage usage. This information can be employed to liberate wasted space and tune the system. The problem is that, using System i administration tools alone, much of this information is cumbersome to access and, in many cases, its existence is far from obvious. Thus, putting the information to full advantage requires third-party system management tools. This executive overview explores the requirements for these tools and reviews one of Vision Solutions’ offerings in this area, Vision Director™.

Information Availability: What Every Retail IT Manager Needs to Know
How to Solve Downtime Challenges and Turn Your Business into a Highly Productive, Nimble and Profitable Operation

The Essential Guide to Disaster Recovery (platform agnostic)
For today’s small and mid-sized businesses, the risk and effects from any unplanned outage (downtime) grow with each additional critical application, network enhancement or system upgrade. We don’t have to look back very far to see the consequences of sudden or unexpected disasters affecting the IT infrastructure of major cities and businesses of every description.

An Introduction to System i High Availability
Every company faces critical hours when system downtime is unwelcome—whether it’s planned or unplanned. One company’s important hours might only be from 9-to-5, while for another it’s 24x7. Increasingly, shops that were able to accommodate some periods of downtime for backups and system maintenance are finding that this window is quickly shrinking (or has disappeared altogether) because of increased system demands—especially from global and online business. Because of the need to keep systems available for increasing amounts of time, companies are realising that a system failure or a site disaster would create an enormous disruption and expense, especially if it went on for longer than a few hours. For many companies, exposure to this amount of potential downtime has become unacceptable. Shops that thought they weren’t candidates for a high availability solution are now realising an urgent need to start looking at their options.

Five Reasons Why Smaller Organisations Should Consider High Availability
Until recently, high availability solutions for IBM Power Systems servers running IBM i were reserved mostly for large enterprises. Now that high availability is dramatically easier to use and less expensive to own and manage, the landscape has changed. Thousands of small and mid-sized companies can now afford the “luxury” of real-time, offsite data protection, as well as rapid and complete data recovery.

Next Generation Disaster Recovery and Availability Technologies for IBM Power Systems
Due to globalisation, Web-based sales and service, more vigorous competition, and more stringent regulations, the goal of ensuring the availability and recoverability of data and applications has risen considerably on the priority lists of today’s CIOs. A wide range of technologies is available to address this goal. At the apex of a spectrum of solutions sits a strategy that maintains highly redundant, geographically dispersed systems and data, commonly identified as High Availability (HA) or Disaster Recovery (DR). Occupying the lower extreme is traditional tape-based backups, which provide reliable but rudimentary disaster recovery capabilities. But between the two sit a variety of technologies offering various levels of system availability and recovery speed and completeness.

High Availability for IBM i - A Technical Review of Software and Hardware-Based Solutions
This paper briefly describes what you need to know in order to make an informed decision with regard to IBMi high availability strategies so that your business requirements for Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) are not compromised. With the advent of the unified Power Systems platform, common storage platforms, and virtualisation, maintaining high availability protection for an IBM i environment requires careful thought and clear understanding of its underlying architecture and technologies.

Assessing the Financial Impact of Downtime (platform agnostic)
Fiduciary responsibility. Due diligence. Such are the key watchwords for businesses everywhere. Indeed, these simple phrases are in fact the core concepts underlying regulations that cover stockholder rights, contracts for merger and acquisition, and many other areas of business conduct. With the ever-increasing reliance of businesses upon their IT systems and electronically stored business data comes an equivalent increase in management’s duty to ensure due diligence and fiduciary responsibility with respect to protecting them against all causes of loss or damage. The potential costs of failing to do so can be enormous. This white paper will address the assessment of threats to your IT operations, inclusive of systems, applications, and data, and will guide you through the process of developing solid numbers around the potential costs they represent.

The Constructive Road to Business Continuity
Interruptions to the smooth flow of business are things that happen to someone else. Until it happens to your business. Then, the finger-pointing and assignment of fault can begin, and time can be wasted appointing blame rather than fixing the underlying problems. It would be much better spending a portion of this time up front to ensure the business is prepared and capable of handling any situation as it arises. Too frequently, department managers and corporate executives look to information technology management (IT) as both scapegoat and saviour. In exploring the constructive road to business continuity, it will become clear that business continuity is a shared challenge, demanding shared solution-building. IT is an essential building block, but only in partnership with other business stakeholders.

Get the Facts on Information Availability: How to Solve Downtime Challenges to Manufacturing and Supply Chain Operations
Every manufacturer—from heavy-duty industrial and automotive to consumer products and packaged goods—faces one ongoing challenge: time. Time— all the delay and latency still remaining within your business processes— impacts every level of the organisation, adds to your costs, saps your productivity and reduces profits. Ultimately, time reduces the value you can return to expectant shareholders. Through relentless cost-cutting and deep investments in ERP, supply chain management and other technologies you’ve focused on achieving optimum performance—higher productivity and efficiencies to drive profit and value. But as you continue those strategies, do more with less and drive revenue growth, shareholders want evidence of new value-producing opportunities. Meanwhile, an unprecedented wave of new regulations and the heightened awareness of corporate governance standards demand attention and investment.

System Migration without Downtime
All businesses strive for growth. It’s what keeps shareholders happy and staff gainfully employed. To improve productivity, companies also endeavour to automate processes. In addition, as technologies advance and data storage costs decline, organisations collect more data and put it to more uses. Consequently, you have to upgrade your systems, and it definitely won’t be the last time you do. The question is, how can you migrate from your old, overburdened server to a new, more powerful one without stopping operations?

Breakthrough Data Recovery for AIX Environments
Businesses face a variety of risks to their data such as accidentally deleted files, data corruption from viruses or hacker attacks, software/hardware failures, power outages, or larger-scale disasters that can disable an entire geographic region. In today’s world, data protection goals are not confined to providing a timely offsite disaster recovery plan. Continuous, ongoing data protection and quick local recovery are also required because the majority of downtime events.

The Benefits of Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
Downtime and data loss pose intolerable risks to every business today. From IT departments to the Board Room, managers recognise the importance of business uptime and data protection to maintain continued success, productivity and profitability. Business and IT managers need a data protection strategy that keeps the organisation’s business doing business. For IT departments, this is a high priority.

Achieving Rapid Data Recovery for IBM AIX Environments
Planning for recovery is a requirement in businesses of all sizes. In implementing an operational plan that ensures that both data and applications can be recovered, IT personnel are generally confronted with several challenges ...