If you are evaluating availability solutions for IBM i, there are several critical functions that you need to consider. The following article provides an overview of the most essential availability functions and how MIMIX Availability addresses each:
1. Look for Scalable and Flexible Replication Technology
MIMIX Availability has a strong architectural foundation which is built on the remote journaling technology native to the IBM i operating system. For each transaction performed on your business’ production server, IBM i journals the changed data and sends it to a recovery server where MIMIX applies the changes to an active copy of the database.
Decades of experience with the IBM i operating system and its predecessors allows Vision to tailor MIMIX’s replication technology to the operating system and tune it to achieve the highest possible level of replication and recovery performance. As a result, MIMIX is highly scalable, from entry-level servers with minimum hardware capability to the largest enterprise-class servers tasked with the most demanding throughput requirements. MIMIX’s performance and scalability enable any business to meet even extremely short Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) that may be stipulated in service level agreements and regulatory mandates.
MIMIX replicates at the transaction level, allowing it to be independent of the underlying hardware and operating system version. As a result, the production and recovery server in a MIMIX replication environment can have different Power Systems hardware, different CPU and memory configurations, different IBM i operating system levels, and different storage hardware, including a mix of internal and external storage.
MIMIX’s platform-agnostic replication technology delivers complete flexibility when designing unique solutions for every business.
Because remote journaling sends the minimum amount of changed data to the recovery server, minimal bandwidth is required for replication. With greater network bandwidth flexibility comes the freedom to locate servers locally and/or remotely, across any distance.
The flexibility afforded by MIMIX’s hardware-agnostic and bandwidth-friendly technology extends to choice of physical, virtual or Cloud-hosted environments. MIMIX production and recovery servers can replicate from the ground to the Cloud, between Cloud-hosted servers, or from the Cloud to the ground. Thus, your business can choose the platforms that best meet your scalability, flexibility, financial and security needs.
With the broadcast capability built into remote journaling, MIMIX can also support replication to multiple servers, each with a real-time copy of production data. These servers can be used to increase HA/DR protection with multiple recovery servers ready to assume the production role, or they can be used as replicate servers that offload processing from the production server for data warehousing, queries, reports, month-end processing, saves to tape and more.
MIMIX’s focus on performance delivers scalability that allows businesses of all sizes to achieve HA/DR protection for their servers – whether low-powered, entry-level servers or large-scale enterprise systems.
2. Intuitive Management Interface
MIMIX Availability is managed through Vision Solutions Portal (VSP), an easy to use, highly configurable, browser-based user interface. Built on an industry-standard portal architecture, VSP enables user-selected “portlets” to be arranged visually to provide a customised view of the MIMIX environment for configuration, monitoring and management. VSP provides at-a-glance monitoring of the MIMIX status with color-coded enterprise level status displays. MIMIX Availability also allows lights-out monitoring with email notification of MIMIX events.
VSP is intuitive to use, and its high performance, push technology keeps information in the interface up to date. It also possesses an extensive context-sensitive help system with fly-over help notes that puts information at administrators’ fingertips and allows them to use the interface to its fullest.
Status information is sorted by highest severity conditions, with smart prompting to assist in addressing the steps necessary for resolution of any issues.
VSP is kept secure by giving administrators control of which users can sign on to the interface and whether they can configure the interface or just monitor the system. Standardised views can be configured for use by groups of users. Product level security is honored by VSP to determine which users can perform actions such as switch.
The Vision Solutions Portal home page provides color-coded, at-a-glance status for your MIMIX Availability protection. Clicking on the status icon takes you to more detailed pages for additional configuration and management of your environment.
3. MIMIX is Simple to Configure Monitor and Manage
Data-protection reports in VSP provide on-demand visibility into the protection status of libraries, folders and directories. They form the basis for easy configuration of the MIMIX replication environment.
Wizards enable libraries, folders, and directories to be added easily to the replication configuration. These wizards leverage built-in analysis and best-practice rules to create an optimal configuration.
MIMIX also allows management of the replication environment at the application level, providing high-level control of the multiple remote journal paths, the multi-threaded apply processes, and the configurations of multiple HA/DR servers. Management at the application level facilitates single-button operations for starting, stopping and switching the MIMIX environment.
A historical record of actions taken as well as graphs showing the current incoming transaction rate and apply backlog are also provided by VSP. This data can be analysed to assess past performance and to plan for future operations.
4. Customisable Automation
MIMIX Availability comes with pre-defined HA procedures that are each comprised of a series of steps. These procedures form the framework for customisable automation in MIMIX. Pre-defined procedures are provided for planned switches, unplanned switches, switch pre-checks, ending application group replication, ending target processes, and starting application group replication. Administrators can customise these pre-defined procedures, create new procedures, or create new steps within a procedure. MIMIX Availability includes templates for creating new procedures and for creating new steps in a procedure.
MIMIX Availability also provides tracking and logging of each procedure and step, giving you the ability to track a procedure’s progress at a fine level of granularity and obtain logs of past procedure performance.
The automation capabilities of MIMIX Availability are very powerful, allowing you to increase the reliability and predictability of your availability operations. The use of standardised procedures eliminates human error. And the flexibility to modify and extend them as needed provides administrators with the power to tailor the process to meet their needs.
Single-button switches are performed from VSP with a simple click. And MIMIX Availability’s fully tested, automated switch operations facilitate reliable, repeatable procedures, increasing the confidence that your HA/DR environment will be ready to switch at a moment’s notice.
5. MIMIX Data Integrity Auditing
Regularly monitoring replicated objects to identify any that have become out of sync with the production system and then bringing those out-of-sync objects back into synchronisation is critical. The auditing that MIMIX Availability performs ensures the integrity of the objects on your recovery server and allows you to be confident that switches will complete successfully.
MIMIX Availability provides both scheduled audits and priority-based audits. Scheduled audits perform comprehensive, object-level audits on your replicated data. Eight individually scheduled audits are performed on each Data Group for thorough coverage. Objects that have become out of sync on the recovery server are automatically repaired.
Priority-based auditing maintains the audit status of every object and bases the individual object audit frequency on this status, improving audit performance and decreasing the amount of auditing required to maintain synchronisation.
Administrators have the ability to customise audit frequency for new objects, changed objects, unchanged objects, and objects that have been audited in the past without differences. Priority-based auditing allows audits to complete more quickly and efficiently, an important consideration for very large environments.
MIMIX Availability also continuously monitors the data on the recovery server and notifies administrators of unauthorised changes and the identity of the user that made each change. Because MIMIX Availability detects object changes on the recovery server in real time, it gives you the option of automatically repairing objects based on policy, rather than waiting for the next scheduled audit. With self-healing audits and real-time monitoring, MIMIX Availability gives you total confidence that your recovery server is in sync and ready to switch.
6. Ultimate protection with additional servers
With a single production server and a single recovery server located in the same datacenter, MIMIX Availability provides superior High Availability for your business. However, a third server located in a different geographical region adds true Disaster Recovery protection. Third servers are also desirable for an additional level of protection from downtime. With an added HA/DR server, your production server can be taken down for maintenance while maintaining HA protection with the other two nodes. The result is the ultimate in HA/DR protection.
MIMIX Global is a companion product to MIMIX availability that allows multiple backup servers to offer an even higher level of protection for your business, while also enabling multiple query servers to provide access to real-time business data.
With MIMIX Global, a switch or failover operation to any of a number of recovery servers will automatically adjust replication to all other HA/DR servers and query servers, keeping them in sync with the new production server. The complexity involved is hidden by seamless integration with the MIMIX VSP interface for easy switch management in multi-node environments.
7. Integrated, automated IBM i server optimisation
An optimised, healthy production server is the building block of an efficient, reliable HA environment. MIMIX Availability is the only HA/DR solution that, through its iOptimize feature, includes broad platform optimisation as a core part of its offering. iOptimize is an innovative, automated optimization tool that maximises storage utilisation, accelerates performance and enhances system resilience.
iOptimize continuously optimises IBM i servers for improved efficiency and resource utilisation to help improve disk, CPU and memory utilisation; defer hardware upgrades and maximise your return on investment in hardware expenditures; improve interactive response times; shorten batch job run times; shrink nightly backup run times; improve high availability mirroring; and reduce or eliminate manual effort and downtime during optimisation.
A comprehensive set of over 70 localisable, graphical health reports are also generated by iOptimize to assist administrators and management with making critical infrastructure decisions. When metrics are viewed in the browser-based VSP interface, actions can be initiated directly from those metrics. When exported, the reports can be used to identify trends and demonstrate compliance with CPU and disk SLAs.
Improving server health and accelerating performance with iOptimize results in less replication latency, faster replication and better storage utilisation for a more efficient availability environment.
iOptimize uses the VSP user interface. Flexible sorting and display capabilities for optimization and monitoring make iOptimize simple to use. In addition, iOptimize provides more than 70 localisable, printable health reports These reports can be used to demonstrate compliance with SLAs.
The 8th Reason: Mynah Bird Implementation and Support for MIMIX
Mynah Bird MIMIX Availability Consultants have decades of product experience and are trained to the highest standards. This together with our customer focus and consultative approach make us the perfect choice as a MIMIX implementation and support partner.