As end users’ patience levels decline and expect that systems should be available 24×7, this is placing new and more aggressive pressures on the business to meet those needs and surpass the competition. As a result, the IT organization is tasked with implementing capabilities and technology solutions that, among many other core responsibilities, keep key business applications operating within acceptable criteria under a range of damaging or interfering conditions.
Typically, primary investments may be in traditional Disaster Recovery products and practices. But for databases that support applications requiring higher availability targets (recovery time objectives/RTOs and recovery point objectives/RPOs), DR technologies alone are not likely to be sufficient.
Extreme Data Control, leveraging its Enterprise Data Management (EDM) software platform, delivers excellent solutions that improve availability and recovery times for our customers’ more critical data systems.
Solutions for “Three States” of High Availability
High availability of applications and their underlying systems should be assessed from the position of the end user. In other words, regardless of the root cause, does the user perceive the system to be down or unavailable?
At any given time, the business can be concerned with any one of three (3) states for the same system — each state with different underlying technical considerations and potential solutions, but all affecting the availability for end users in the same way (it’s either seen as “down” or “running smoothly”). Understanding those three states makes it easier to categorize and evaluate potential solutions:
Unplanned Outage – Unplanned outages may be caused by one of two primary failure types: system-level failures, or data-level failures. The business will want to confidently failover to a backup as quickly as possible, and also be able to easily revert back to normal operating conditions once the primary system is back online.
Live Standby — A high availability software implementation that significantly improves recovery time for business-critical systems, enabling a real-time high integrity backup system that can be re-synchronized with the primary system.
Planned Outage – There are essential events that still require the IT group to schedule downtime, such as modifying hardware or database software, upgrading applications or databases, applying software patches, migrating to different computing architectures, etc. Since such events are not conceived via an unplanned or unexpected event, they are aptly classified as “planned outages.”
Zero-Downtime Operations — An exceptional solution for reducing planned outages, by enabling uninterrupted business operations and application high availability during necessary system upgrade, migration, and maintenance activities.
Active – In this state, your application and/or database is technically up and running, but is experiencing some degree of degradation that is noticeably affecting performance, throughput, and subsequently response time.
Active-Active (Dual-Active) — A load-sharing, high availability solution for improving performance and reliability for two (or more) systems, including data conflict detection and resolution capabilities.
Database Tiering — An unlimited scalability solution for improved performance and availability of critical systems, achieved by off-loading reporting and read-only activity from critical primary transaction processing systems.