This is a question posed to me by, Aaron Goldberg of Ziff Davis Publishing and Eric Lundquist of Ziff Davis Publishing, during an IBM sponsored webinar this morning.

The fundamental questions focused around two areas, starting with, “Do Information Technology (IT) shops need to staff and prep for 24×7 operations?” In a polling question, 81% said, “Yes” they do need to do that. The subsequent discussion revolved around what options IT shops have to do that since they normally don’t have the budget, nor the human resources, required to do server monitoring and application monitoring combined with after hours staffing and remediation of issues. One solution to avoid building your own, was to contract with a firm that can provide augmented support 16×5 or 1

6×5+2×24 for after hours and weekends. Other options were what are known as follow-the-sun approaches for globally deployed IT teams and peering relationships with similar firms. This is where the international team member or partner that has daylight in their global region, takes responsibility while the others are sleeping.

The other discussion revolved around RPO and RTO, (recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives) for back-up and disaster recovery/business continuity, when things do go wrong. Having a plan and a tested system in place to minimize downtime, and lessen the amount of data loss, is an essential component to providing high-levels of service and availability. It was also suggested that server and storage virtualization are vital components within a backup and disaster recovery/business continuity strategy.

It was pointed out that Alvaka Networks’ DRworX ( backup and Disaster Recovery service is exactly the type of service required to help meet these demanding business continuity needs.