September 29, 2022

In the past, almost all mainframe customers brought physical tapes from off-site storage to a third-party hot site to restore their environments after a disaster. Only the largest customers invested in their own disaster recovery equipment.

This distinction may not make as much sense today. Now, regardless of your company’s size, you can decide when it is appropriate to use a third-party service for mainframe disaster recovery and when you should set up your own equipment.

To help you choose what’s right for your business, here are 5 rationales for either using a service provider or building your own mainframe disaster recovery solution.

1) Need to Follow Industry Regulations

Government and industry regulations may demand a recovery point objective (RPO) of near time. An RPO window this tight requires disk-level replication.

To achieve disk-level replication, your company will need its own disaster recovery disk array in most cases. When you can own your equipment, it doesn’t make sense to use a hot site or colocation in this scenario.

2) Using Tape Recovery

If you have smaller or older mainframe equipment and use tape for recovery, this may lead to a longer RPO and recovery time objective (RTO). To cut down on RTOs and RPOs, it might make sense to use a hot site.

When choosing an off-premises hot site, make sure that it has back-leveled mainframes to run your unsupported software. Not all hot sites have this capability.

3) Already Have a Colocation

If you already use a colocation facility for other server platforms, you can add your mainframe equipment to this arrangement easily. The right colocation provider will know how to relocate your mainframe workloads without interrupting production and creating costly downtime.

To make this option work, your colocation provider should have resources available that are compatible with the mainframe.

4) Lowered Equipment Costs

If budget concerns have prevented your company from acquiring its own equipment for mainframe disaster recovery, now might be the time to revisit this option. Today, the cost of mainframe equipment for a disaster recovery location is more reasonable than ever.

For example, IBM offers an entry-level mainframe with capacity backup, allowing the processing speed to increase during a test or disaster. The lower cost of maintenance — and the availability of no-charge software for a disaster recovery machine in most cases — make having your own disaster recovery site an attractive option.

5) Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid options save you from having to make a choice. Hybrid disaster recovery uses both in-house and off-site resources to protect and recover your mainframe.

You can work with a provider, such as PSR, that will deliver mainframe disaster recovery processing capability while hosting your disk or virtual tape equipment.

Spoiled for Choice

Now that companies have so many choices when it comes to mainframe disaster recovery, you don’t want to choose a provider that limits you. Make sure your technology partner can present you with a full range of options. That way, you can work with your partner to make the ultimate decision about how to provide disaster recovery for your mainframe.

At PSR, we provide a range of options for mainframe disaster recovery, including colocation, hosted mainframe, and replication for in-house disaster recovery. We are dedicated to the mainframe and have systems programmers who can develop disaster recovery services to fit your company’s mainframe requirements.

As the only IBM partner focusing exclusively on mainframes, we can help your company take advantage of cost-efficient options for provisioning your own disaster recovery equipment, if that is the best option to fit your circumstances.

Learn more about our mainframe disaster recovery services. Check out the PSR Solution Brief.