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How to keep your Linux-heavy data centre up and running

Eric Hennessey, Business Continuity Solutions Evangelist, Symantec | Feb. 3, 2014
Linux is an excellent tool for creating the flexible IT environment you want, but find a technology provider to help keep your business up in the event of a disaster.

* Failover testing capability: You shouldn't wait until you have a disaster to learn how well your recovery solutions work. Look for tools that include the ability to test failover, to assess performance without affecting normal operations.

* Automation: Another requirement for fast recovery is the automation of the process. Ideally, detection and failover should occur automatically even if it's manually initiated - to maintain continuity regardless of where or when failure occurs. This also frees up IT staff to address other needs in the event of a large-scale problem and ensures you don't have to rely on their presence in the event of a disaster. Recovery should be fast and complete even if your recovery site is thousands of miles away, regardless of the different operating systems of virtualization platforms that must be supported.

* Replication across technology from different vendors: Many organizations use storage from multiple vendors, which can increase the challenge of interruption-free failover. Choose technology that will work between arrays from each storage vendor you employ. This also keeps costs lower at the disaster recovery site.

* Keep it simple: It's helpful to minimize the number of providers and solutions you are working with. Look for the tools with the most comprehensive, wide-ranging capabilities. Working with a single vendor wherever possible will enhance interoperability and keep costs lower.

* Exploit virtualization: Virtualization technologies allow users to maintain a minimal footprint at the recovery site during normal (non-disaster) processing, and to activate just the capacity needed in order to effect recovery of operations.

Visibility can also be a challenge in a Linux environment. Choosing the right technology can not only keep applications and information available in the event of a data center outage, it can also make the day-to-day operations of IT more efficient. Look for solutions that not only meet current needs, but allow for future changes.

Businesses that utilize a Linux-based infrastructure are looking to maximize their IT investments while retaining control of resources. In order to ensure consistent availability in such a highly customized environment, these organizations will be well served to utilize outside expertise when it comes to ensuring constant access to applications and information. Look for solutions that can provide fast, automated failover of all business-critical operations in case of an outage. With the right preparation, you can enjoy flexibility without worrying about how you will continue to do business in the event of a disaster.


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