What Can Achieving Six Nines of Storage Availability Really Do for Your Business?

In today’s new normal, businesses have to be prepared for the unexpected. While mission critical systems are usually the top priority for businesses when it comes to minimising downtime and service interruptions, they need to look at enabling the same kind of resiliency to the rest of their IT systems to prevent any sort of downtime and quickly recover from costly failures or outages.

Modern Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for IT systems are typically based on percentages of guaranteed uptime, and these help businesses choose the “acceptable” amount of downtime they could realistically handle.

The most common ones include:

  • The four nines (99.99% availability, 52.60 minutes of unscheduled downtime per year);

  • The five nines (99.999% availability, 5.26 minutes of unscheduled downtime per year);

  • The six nines (99.9999% availability, 31.56 seconds of unscheduled downtime per year), and so on.

With improvements in technology, leading vendors are driving up the numbers to inch ever closer towards achieving 100% availability. In today’s world where applications and services must be always available, achieving the six nines and beyond enables the organisation to experience as little downtime as possible and continue to provide the desired services unimpeded.

Of course, in an ideal world, every organisation would welcome the peace of mind from having an always-available system. But for a long time, it required highly complex and costly setups. With the IBM FlashSystem, which is a member of the IBM FlashSystem family of storage solutions, however, such is no longer the case.

IBM FlashSystem consists of all-flash and hybrid flash storage solutions designed to provide enterprise-grade functionalities and performance while minimising costs. But what’s truly amazing about the FlashSystem series is that whether you go with the entry-level, mid-range or high-end arrays, IBM promises “six nines” level of availability for its flash offerings with two- and three- site replication.

When you pair that with the (optional) HyperSwap feature, you can even achieve a guaranteed 100% data availability – the following diagram details how HyperSwap does this.

If cost is a concern, the IBM Spectrum Virtualize – the storage foundation that allows you to consolidate storage management not just with the FlashSystem arrays but across differing storage resources – also offers advanced data efficiency features such as thin provisioning, compression and deduplication that can be used along with HyperSwap to minimise your total cost of ownership while maintaining two copies across sites.

These capabilities from IBM not only make storage and constant data availability possible, but they also help eliminate much of the complexity and cost issues that have made the adoption of such technologies out of reach for many companies.

To find out more about how your business can make storage simple, always available and reliable, click here.


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