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Business continuity is the ability of an organization to maintain its essential functions during and after a disaster. Business continuity planning focuses on establishing risk management procedures to prevent interruptions to mission-critical services and re-establish full functionality with as little downtime as possible. A business continuity plan considers various unpredictable events such as natural disasters, hardware and software failure, fires, disease outbreaks, loss of key personnel, cyberattacks, supply chain failures, market upheavals and other external threats. All sources of possible business disruption must be identified and assessed for their probability and harm to the organization’s operation.

Business continuity includes building resilience into critical business functions and their supporting IT infrastructures. They must be designed in a way that is unaffected by disruptions, for example, through the use of redundancy, spares and mirroring. In addition to risk management, business continuity may also include governance, information security and compliance.

Large enterprises may use geo clustering for both data center high availability and business continuity. Geo clustering allows organizations to have multiple, geographically dispersed sites with a local cluster each. In the event of a regional disaster, mission-critical workloads can automatically failover or be manually transferred to another data center or cluster outside of the disaster zone. Extending data center capabilities across unlimited distances maximizes an organization’s tolerance for regional catastrophic events, ensuring it maintains business continuity, protects data integrity and minimizes unplanned downtime for its mission-critical workloads. Geo Clustering for SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension enables business continuity by deploying physical and virtual Linux clusters between data centers located anywhere in the world.