Epicure Protects Business Critical SQL Server with Amazon EC2 and SIOS SANLess Clustering Software

SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition Software Provides High Availability and Disaster Protection.

Epicure, Canada’s leading direct sales company, sells healthy, easy-to-prepare food products through a network of over 16,000 consultants. The company relies on two websites for its critical business operations. Their public website provides company and product information, recipes, blogs, and enrollment information to its customers and to people interested in becoming a consultant. Their internal website provides consultants with important information about products and enables them to place all of their orders. “Our websites are vital to our business,” said Russell Born, Senior Network Infrastructure Administrator at Epicure.

The Environment

Both of Epicure’s websites run on a single server using two instances of SQL Server Standard Edition—one for each website. As the company expanded its products and services, the Epicure IT department needed to update and to ensure both of its business-critical websites would continue to operate in the event of failures or disasters. They decided to move both websites from a third-party hosted facility to its on-premises data center and to use Amazon Web Services EC2 cloud for disaster recovery. “By bringing the sites in-house, we could ensure that our websites would deliver excellent user experiences for both our customers and consultants as our business continues to grow,” said Born.

The Challenge

As part of this website update process, Epicure IT staff wanted an efficient, cost- effective way to provide high availability and disaster protection for both websites while continuing to run them on two instances of SQL Server Standard Edition.

“We didn’t want the added expense of moving to SQL Server Enterprise Edition if we could provide HA and DR with the more cost- effective Standard Edition,” Born said.

The Solution

Using SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition software, Epicure IT staff created a two-node SANLess cluster in an active-passive failover configuration that enables each SQL instance to failover independently. One cluster node is in the Epicure on-premises data center and the second node is in an instance of the AWS EC2 cloud. Epicure IT staff created the SIOS SANLess clusters and configured them using the software’s intuitive graphical user interface.

The Results

The SIOS software provided Epicure with an easy, cost-efficient way to provide HA and DR protection for its business-critical SQL Server applications without the cost and complexity of building out a remote DR site or purchasing costly SAN storage or SQL Server Enterprise Edition licenses. “The SIOS software has allowed us to create a hybrid solution that provides the cost savings of running on-premises and the reliability and flexibility of running in the cloud,” said Born. “Because we know that if there is a website outage, it will failover automatically, our IT team can now focus their attention on other priorities to strengthen our business.”

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