How BIG is a GIG?

Do you know how many Gigabytes of data changes your organization generates each day?  Did you know that most IBM i sites change more than three pickup trucks’ worth of data per day?


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At Maxava, it’s our business to keep an eye on the availability of our customers’ data.  To perform this task effectively we need to understand our customers’ daily transaction volumes.   We’re finding that for the most part even the most efficient and well-resourced organizations just don’t have this information – which does make it very difficult for them to adequately plan for disaster recovery.

To set realistic recovery objectives, a business must understand how much new data they store or ‘change’ over a given period – which of course shows them how much data they stand to lose in the same period.  Their recovery point objective (RPO) must take this into account along with the amount of data that can be manually recaptured, and of course the cost of that exercise.

After nearly 16 years in this business, we’re now getting a very solid understanding on the data volumes processed by IBM i sites around the world.   A large percentage of our customers had previously set RPOs of 24 hours simply because they didn’t realize just how much data that really meant for their business.  Sometimes the IT team, without realizing it, were planning for a different RPO to what the business owners thought they were getting.

So, how much data is the average IBM i site changing on a daily basis? A single transaction can be made up of many data adds, updates, deletes, moves and changes.  We’ve found that on average a small IBM i site will replicate around 3 Gigabytes of journal transactions over 24 hours, while a medium site generates around 17 Gigabytes and a large customer can move well over 40 Gigabytes per day. In fact many of our larger customers will replicate as much as 200 plus Gigabytes per day!

To really put this into perspective, the University of Berkeley describes 1 Gigabyte of data as being roughly equivalent to a pickup truck filled with books.  So that’s saying that even a small IBM i site changes the equivalent of three pickup trucks’ worth of data per day. View How BIG is a GIG Infographic here.

Who can afford to lose that much data in a disaster?  There are still a lot of IBM i sites out there that are currently backing up their systems to magnetic tape media – my suggestion is: It might be time for a review.

If you run IBM i and you don’t know how much data you actually change on a daily basis, Maxava can run a free, no obligation discovery review for you – and then you will know the magic number that’s your daily change volume and start updating your Disaster Recovery plan for more realistic recovery time and point objectives.

About Maxava’s Discovery

Maxava’s High Availability software is designed to capture each transaction the second it occurs and replicate it to a duplicate system – often many hundreds of miles away in a remote location. Maxava monitors these transactions and ensures they are safely transported across the communication lines, and written to the backup database without any backlog. We normally run Maxava HA’s Discovery tool for a prospective customer who is looking into their Business Continuity strategy.  The Discovery tool runs in the background on your IBM i and tells us the data volumes, as well as showing which libraries and files are most active.  Maxava can also run snapshots over a desired period to allow businesses to compare daily, weekly and monthly activity. No information from within your database is collected; the tool is simply identifying the databases in use, and measuring their size.  The program will also provide us with an estimate on the bandwidth that’s required to send your data to a remote location.

How much data does your IBM i site change? Find out by registering your interest. 




This blog is written by Simon O’Sullivan, Co-founder and Senior VP, Maxava. Follow Simon on LinkedIn.

Simon Simon O’Sullivan was a co-founder of Maxava and is the senior Maxava executive responsible for the Asia Pacific region. With nearly 15 years’ Maxava experience and more than 10 years of prior systems experience in NZ, England, Japan and Saudi Arabia, Simon has worked with an impressive portfolio of businesses to deploy secure, reliable DR solutions including many household names and a number of Fortune 500 customers. For questions about Maxava, contact Simon.



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To find more about managing data on IBM i, read Are You Ready for the Data Explosion?

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