Date: February 3, 2001
Achieving high availability requires more than just reliable systems. According to a 1999 Standish Group Research Note, 72% of downtime is caused by non-system factors, such as planned maintenance, application bugs, operator error, etc. Therefore, a successful strategy should address the Three P's of High Availability: People, Process and Products.
People strategy includes adequate training, documentation, assigning responsibility and authority, as well as maintaining proper security. It also includes setting availability targets, along with its measurement method.
Processes should be in place to address backup/recovery, change control, performance management and problem tracking. Change control includes staying "current" with microcode and software levels, testing all changes before implementing in production, as well as documenting all changes.
Product considerations include application resiliency, hardware reliability, middleware add-on's, and the architecture that brings it all together.
Part II of this tip will discuss some common high availability techniques.
Related link: IT Self Audit: http://dodgers.ibmus2.ibm.com/AIXtip/selfaudit.htm
February 3, 2001