How to Maintain Data Availability (and Avoid Downtime Disaster)
How many times do you access your data on a daily basis? It could be just a few or 100 times a day, but in either case, you depend on that data for almost every decision you make. So imagine what would happen if that data availability became unavailable for any reason.
As companies become ever more data-driven, the issue of availability becomes ever more important. Right now, inaccessible data might just be an annoyance. In a few years, however, it will be an existential issue. When companies act using only some or none of their data there is no way to ensure they’re making the best decisions. It’s a risky gamble with guaranteed consequences.
Tips to maintain data availability
Ensuring that all data is available at all times needs to be a mission-critical priority for every enterprise. Follows these tips to keep your most important resource online and accessible:
Tip 1: Improve your physical infrastructure
Your servers and disks can either facilitate or inhibit availability. They should be designed to emphasize availability by spreading data across clusters so that if one fails the entirety of the data is not lost.
You should also be able to track and monitor availability in order to respond to issues quickly. Load balancing and resiliency to DDoS attacks are other issues to consider. Without an optimized infrastructure, it will always be a choke point for your data.
Tip 2: Speed up recovery times
Not even Amazon guarantees perfect availability. When issues arise, you need to be able to resolve them ASAP. That effort includes troubleshooting the issues, replacing the hardware if necessary, and rebooting the operating systems and database services.
It’s a lengthy process beginning to end, and for every minute that it lasts, IT is basically inoperable. Speeding up recovery times requires the right mix of talent and technology.
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Tip 3: Eliminate corrupted data
Corrupted data is like bacterial cells—it doesn’t take a lot to do a lot of damage. Corruption can happen when data is incomplete, incorrect, out-of-date, or simply unavailable. Essentially, it’s any data that you can’t trust entirely, which is a lot of data in some organizations.
Taking a systematic approach is the only way to catch and resolve all the errors. Ideally, this process is automated because handling it manually is a massive distraction.
Tip 4: Streamline your formatting and organization
The worst situation is when data exists and is accurate, but you simply can’t get to it as quickly or as easily as you would like. This usually happens because data is formatted differently and either can’t reformat or is slow about it. Formatting issues are common but avoidable as long as you have a tool that integrates data onto a shared platform.
Availability issues are difficult to avoid even if you’re proactive. Managing data only gets harder as it increases in volume and velocity. Data is also constantly under attack from a growing criminal cohort. You can’t afford to go without this resource, yet it’s only going to get more unstable and uncertain.
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