People want information at their fingertips, faster and more immediately than ever before. Waiting around for pages or apps to load, come back online, or restore simply isn’t an option anymore. Technology needs to be fast, efficient, and reliable—24/7.
A survey of more than 1,000 IT leaders showed that 69 percent believe that this kind of availability for services and applications is a requirement for digital transformation. Yet 82 percent see a gap between what their business requires and what they can actually deliver. This “availability gap” is said to hinder the modern enterprise, as 66 percent of those surveyed admitted that unplanned downtime was holding back digital transformation initiatives.
Clearly, companies would like to close the availability gap—it’s a crucial part of completing a digital transformation. Figuring out how to do that, however, can be trickier. Fortunately, we have some expert advice to get you started.
Technology first, everything else second
As companies increasingly focus on technology first, service or product second, their IT infrastructure going down is a much bigger problem than it was in the past.
To many, the availability gap might sound like an unavoidable, if unfortunate, circumstance. But at an average cost of $21.8 million a year per organization, it’s one that must be solved. There’s the usual costs of trying to get the system back online and missed business, but the hidden costs of lowered customer loyalty and poor impressions of your brand often go overlooked. Customers who have trouble getting into their Uber app one day, for example, may try Lyft and become loyal customers of the new car service, costing Uber even more money than the one missed trip.
Outdated hardware is what causes many of the problems associated with the availability gap. With the switch to software-based infrastructure becoming the norm, piecemeal systems and agent-based data protection systems can no longer maintain expected standards. These setups often mean that you spend more time simply maintaining, updating, and checking the capacity of your system—all things that contribute to system downtime and the availability gap. Software-based infrastructure begins to fix that problem by running, for the most part, on its own.
Chipping away at the availability gap
To overcome this, hyperconverged systems have begun to step into the limelight, as they are simpler to set up and easier to maintain, take up less space, and allow you to work on progressing the actual company—and shrinking the availability gap—rather than just keeping your lights on.
Cisco’s HyperFlex, for example, helps bring simplicity, agility, and operational efficiencies to the data by combining compute, storage, network, and virtualization into a single platform with a software-defined layer bringing the pieces together. The latest version of this hyperconverged software introduces all flash and faster networking, so that the platform is even better suited for mission-critical workloads.
However, a hyperconverged system that frees up your IT staff is only half the solution. The other half comes in the form of recoverability that is built to work seamlessly with a hyperconverged system. For example, Veeam Availability Suite backs up, replicates, and recovers hyperconverged systems, with 50 different points of recovery. Instead of your system being down for hours, or days, your information is backed up so you can get it up and running in 15 minutes or less—a hiccup in comparison to systems that take hours to reload backups onto your system.
Systems up and running
The truth is, there is no way to guarantee a zero percent availability gap. Mistakes happen, and it’s impossible to protect for every single possible situation. However, minimizing the potential for outages can save you time, money, and in the end, your business.
The combination of hyperconverged infrastructure and frequent recovery points is one way to do this—it helps maximize functionality while minimizing the chance of threats that could cause an availability gap. And in today’s on-demand, always-moving world, that’s more important than ever.