In 2013, IBM® conducted an IBM Academy of Technology initiative in which we reviewed the end-to-end aspects of continuous availability (governance, technological advancements, architectural patterns, design and operational practices). We identified specific business requirements that mandate continuous availability and also found organizations that have continuous availability as part of their DNA.
However, most organizations have invested in high availability or disaster recovery but not in continuous availability. For these organizations, continuous availability might not be a requirement today, but as we increasingly depend on IT, it becomes a critical success factor.
This IBM Redguides™ publication describes the findings and recommendations from that IBM Academy of Technology project. First, we define continuous availability from the business perspective and discuss new business influences, such as social networks and mobile devices, which emphasize the demand for continuous availability. Then, we describe specific continuous availability incentives and benefits, along with the inhibitors, such as cost and complexity. With that as context, we provide recommendations to address these findings and discuss communicating with C-level executives and quantifying cost.