|September 27, 2018||
Let’s say you are a company that is migrating SAP, Oracle or other business-critical applications on the AWS cloud. You may be doing this yourself or working with an implementation partner to ensure that everything goes smoothly. As a business, you depended on clusters with your on-premise applications to ensure that you achieved high availability.
The term “High Availability” means many different things to many different people and can lead to confusion for those moving to the cloud. You will see all kinds of claims of uptime in the cloud, sometimes as high as 99.999% uptime, which means only 5.26 minutes of downtime per year. That sounds great in theory, but if you read the fine print, you will see that there are no guarantees and many exclusions. In practice, these lead to real downtime and real lost revenue for your business. All you need is one downtime event like the recent major cloud outage that took customers off line for way more than 5.26 minutes. Without real high availability, you may be helpless until the cloud comes back on-line. In addition, you want a solution that not only protects you from failure, but also allows you to do maintenance and upgrades without downtime and to rollback in case of issues. You also want to avoid duplicating the same issues that brought your primary application server down propagating through to your secondary servers. It is up to you to make sure these scenarios don’t happen to you and that your high availability requirements are met.
While cloud providers like AWS provide availability options, they do not provide the level of high availability and breadth of protection across the whole application infrastructure that customers demand and that you achieved by using clusters before there were clouds. AWS customers know this and know that they need real availability and clustering software tools that provide actual levels of high availability (at least 99.99% uptime). That is why AWS is partnering with SIOS and our SIOS Protection Suite for Linux to achieve these desired levels of high availability for our mutual customers and the critical applications they are moving, to the AWS cloud.
SIOS Protection Suite for Linux provides a tightly integrated combination of high availability failover clustering, continuous application monitoring, data replication, and configurable recovery policies. SIOS Protection Suite for Linux includes SIOS LifeKeeper, SIOS DataKeeper, and multiple Application Recovery Kits (ARKs) to protect your business-critical applications and data from downtime and disasters.
To make the deployment of SIOS Protection Suite for Linux as easy as possible on the AWS Cloud, a Quick Start was created by SIOS Technology in collaboration with AWS. Quick Starts are automated reference deployments that use AWS CloudFormation templates to deploy key technologies on AWS, following AWS best practices. This Quick Start is for enterprise users who want to deploy SIOS Protection Suite for Linux on AWS into their test or production environment.
To get started:
SIOS has been selling high availability clusters for over 20 years. In that time, we have become experts in enterprise applications. We have a keen understanding of the amount of risk customers are willing to take when servicing their customer’s most critical application needs. But even we were surprised by the speed at which enterprises of all sizes have decided to migrate their business critical enterprise applications to the public cloud, including Amazon, Azure, Google, and others. We conducted a survey recently to understand more about this trend. We found that out of the respondents to our survey, 56% are operating Oracle workloads, 49% are running Microsoft SQL Server, and 28% have SAP/HANA in production.
The amount of risk hasn’t changed, but enterprises have gained more confidence in cloud platforms and the associated tools that can keep their applications safe and running at 99.99% availability. Even though we inherently knew that occasional and regular performance issues in applications are the norm, 98% of respondents confirmed that this is what they in fact experience. When these issues occur, respondents state that it usually takes between 3-5 hours to identify the cause and correct the issue and 2-4 tools to do so.
The survey showed that most (86%) organizations understand the need for high availability and use some kind of clustering or high availability solution. Out of those that have high availability, organizations have reported on the reliability of these systems with 95% seeing occasional failure in the underlying high availability services that support their mission-critical applications.
That means that even though they have proactively protected their applications, the very protection they have applied is not reliable enough. These issues can be even more pronounced in the cloud. The need to control application environments is a key reason why many workloads remain on-premises for many of the respondents to the survey (60%). The biggest migration to the cloud is among small companies, where more than half (54%) intend to be running more than 50% of their business-critical applications in the cloud by the end of 2018. Even though large companies were moving more slowly to the cloud, 46% plan to have 50% or more of their applications in the cloud by 2018.
The fact that mission-critical applications, like SAP HANA, SQL Server, and Oracle is happening now is a strong testament of the sophisticated tools available to ensure the high availability of applications in the cloud. This is great news and a big win for enterprises, cloud providers, and application vendors who can look toward proven high availability products like SIOS Protection Suite for Linux to maintain control over their availability and performance in an efficient and cost-effective way in the cloud.
By: Jonathan Meltzer, SIOS Director, Product Management
|July 12, 2018||
If you are planning to implement a high availability cluster to protect SQL Server, you need to understand your Windows Server cluster quorum options. I explained these options in a recently recorded webinar which is available here. You may also be interested in a free white paper, “Understanding Windows Server Quorum Options for SQL Server Clustering” Here are some Q&As from the session.
Q: if we have a three node on premises cluster running Windows 2012 R2 is it possible to put another node in the Azure cloud and failover to it? Azure node?
Q: If you failover from an on-premises SAN-based cluster to a node in the cloud, is the SAN storage just for the local machines? Do they have a separate set of storage in the cloud, or is the cloud server actually able to access the SAN storage?
Q: Can you failover and failback when you have a cluster with both on-premises nodes such as SAN and nodes the cloud?
Q: If you have multiple nodes in a cluster, are there limitations with clustering as far as what can be accessed in terms of the RAM and CPU limitations – or is it based on the Windows operating system and the version of SQL Server?
– Dave Bermingham, SIOS Technology Corp. Technical Evangelist; Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP
|July 2, 2018||
Celebration time! Big party and big changes for SIOS and an exciting week at the University of South Carolina. More on that party a little later…
After two years of searching, we finally moved. Our R & D team is now in downtown Columbia, SC. Office moves happen all the time. But this wasn’t just any move. We moved right onto the campus of the University of South Carolina. USC, my alma mater. And right into the heart of the Department of Engineering and Computing at the brand new Innovation Center building alongside IBM and other tech companies.
The fit is perfect, for us and the university. We have great, real-world experience in bringing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to life with our SIOS iQ product and the university has made AI a centerpiece for their academic focus as they build their curricula.
This is a unique setup. The university is large, 34,000 strong. And it’s one of the fastest growing communities in the country. The leaders here are forward thinking – by putting this building smack in the center of campus, they’ve created the perfect environment for tech companies like ours to work alongside faculty and staff towards innovation and learning. And we’re there with them!
We have given the university a $475,000 grant for SIOS iQ, our AI-based software. I’ll work directly with the faculty and students to define research projects and programs in AI and machine learning. SIOS iQ will be an important part of that research.
Have I mentioned what our new office looks like? It is a beautiful modern environment with lots of glass, open space, and great working areas with a huge kitchen filled with the goods! Our meetups are going to be special here!
Now, back to the celebration. Faculty, staff, and guests gathered for opening remarks from President Pastides, Dean Haj-Hariri, CEO, Jerry Melnick and our own board chairman, Nobuo Kita. Then came the ribbon cutting, champagne toast, and catered party in our new suite. A great time had by all and a great start for our team at USC.
– Sergey Razin, SIOS Technology Corp. Chief Technology Officer
|May 18, 2018||
SIOS DataKeeper™, an AWS Customer Ready Solution: High Availability and Disaster Recovery for Microsoft SQL Server
More and more companies are looking to run SQL Server in the cloud to take advantage of the flexibility and cost-savings that it delivers. However, many cloud migration projects have been plagued by confusion about high availability protection options in the cloud where the shared storage needed for traditional failover clusters is not available. IT teams are understandably cautious. Downtime for these databases and the applications running on them can have costly consequences, including interruption of essential business operations, reduced end-user productivity, and poor customer satisfaction.
High Availability Options in AWS
But, good news! IT teams have more high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) protection options in the cloud than many realize. You can even save thousands of dollars while still delivering comprehensive HA failover clustering protection for Microsoft SQL Server in AWS.
To simplify and accelerate the deployment of high availability SQL Server clusters in the cloud, Amazon Web Services is offering SIOS DataKeeper™ Cluster Edition on AWS Marketplace and can be deployed automatically using an AWS Quick Start. The AWS Quick Start deployment is perfect for organizations starting their venture into high availability clusters in the cloud.
With the AWS Quick Start program, system administrators and managers can use the SIOS Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) on AWS Marketplace to see firsthand how easy it is to deploy a two-node SQL Server cluster in AWS with SIOS DataKeeper™. The SIOS AMIs on AWS Marketplace provide a customer-ready solution to protect business-critical applications in AWS.
SIOS DataKeeper™ Cluster Edition for HA & DR in AWS
SIOS DataKeeper™ Cluster Edition is the first high availability and disaster recovery solution to combine fully automated, application-centric clustering and efficient data replication. SIOS DataKeeper™ integrates seamlessly into Windows Server Failover Clustering environments, enabling them to work in a cloud where shared storage is not possible.
SIOS, an APN Standard Technology Partner, solves the problem of HA and DR by replicating your SQL Server data between availability zones and/or Regions on AWS and integrates with failover clusters to allow you to build SANless clusters on AWS. SIOS DataKeeper™ overcomes the lack of a SAN on AWS, enabling you to build failover cluster instances just using local attached storage.
Leverage the AWS Quick Start to set up an AWS environment for SIOS DataKeeper™ Cluster Edition and deploy it to your AWS account. This Quick Start uses AWS CloudFormation templates to deploy SIOS DataKeeper™ into a new or existing virtual private cloud (VPC).