|July 16, 2019||
I remember when Storage Area Networks (SAN) were introduced in the late 1990s as a way to provide very fast access to storage from all connected servers. SANs became the storage technology to deliver clustered server solutions for high availability, enabling a common shared database to be accessed by a failover server in the event a primary server failed.
SANs, although fast, were expensive and difficult to set up and manage. Other solutions that used high-speed efficient replication technology to synchronize data between two servers became a popular lower-cost alternative to provide high availability.
Fast forward 20 years, SANs are simpler and less expensive to set up and manage and are a very common solution today when failover from one server to another is required to maintain application availability Service Level Agreements (SLA). Now many companies are looking to move workloads to the cloud to provide lower cost and higher availability. Are you planning to move a workload to the cloud?
One thing many people don’t realize, until they do the research, is that a shared storage SAN infrastructure is not available in the cloud. Cloud providers talk availability of 99.9% for the infrastructure, power, cooling, storage, network, compute – but not a word on application availability!
If you require highly available applications and access to data in the cloud, you need to add a software-based high availability solution to your technology stack.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) recognizes that additional solutions for high availability are required and has a special team focused on Microsoft workloads running in AWS. On July 11, AWS awarded SIOS their Microsoft Workloads Competency status within the AWS Partner Network. This differentiates SIOS as a partner that provides demonstrated technical proficiency and proven customer success with specific tools to monitor and recover applications and data with minimum operational impact, providing high availability for Microsoft workloads, and delivering solutions seamlessly on AWS.
Here’s who’s talking about SIOS and its new AWS Microsoft Workloads Competency status:
|May 14, 2019||
FREE! Did I get your attention? Free what though…?
Everyone uses the word “free” as a way to get our attention but typically the free offering is pretty much worthless. That, or the cost is simply being wrapped into whatever is being sold. Rarely is something of actual VALUE given for free. But THIS “free” offer has real value, especially if you are still running SQL Server 2008/2008 R2. Microsoft is offering FREE security updates for SQL Server 2008 when it reaches end-of-support (EOS) on July 9, 2019.
From all accounts, there is a massive install base of SQL Server 2008. Some have indicated more than half of all SQL Server deployments are 2008. This would mean a lot of very concerned DBAs who will be losing security updates in a few months. So what? Once a vulnerability is identified, all the bad guys that want to steal your critical data will exploit it. Without security updates, these systems will be wide open for them to help themselves.
Microsoft is Offering 3 Years of Security Updates to Move SQL Server to Azure
So, what’s free that will actually help? Microsoft is offering 3 years of security updates at no cost IF you move those SQL workloads to their Azure cloud. Sure, there is a cost to hosting these systems in Azure, but that cost will be offset by the reduced cost of hosting and managing them on-premises and all the other benefits cloud offers. And let’s face it, you’ve probably been considering moving to the cloud anyway, and this may be just the right opportunity to make that leap.
Something to consider when planning your move to Azure is your clustering solution. Like most SQL Server deployments, you probably have your systems protected against downtime using a shared-storage clustering solution, like Windows Server Failover Clusters (WSFC), or they are running in VMs protected by VMware HA. The issue that you will face is that the shared-storage subsystem WSFC requires isn’t available in Azure and there is no hypervisor failover option like VMware HA either.
SIOS Provides High Availability for SQL Server 2008 in Azure
That’s where SIOS can help. SIOS solutions alleviate the need for shared storage, providing block-level data replication between two nodes that happens transparently to WSFC, allowing you to continue to provide high availability for your SQL Server 2008 instance by deploying a SQL Server SANless Failover Cluster Instance (FCI).
Together, SIOS and Microsoft enable you to confidently deploy your SQL Server instances in Azure, maintaining availability and security SLAs. Speaking of free, check out our free offer to assist you with maintaining support for SQL Server 2008 by moving it to Microsoft Azure in a highly-available cluster configuration. We will assist you in designing, deploying, configuring, and validating your SQL Server environments in Microsoft Azure.
|January 2, 2019||
Happy New Year and welcome to our new website! What a difference a year makes. For those of you who have visited us before, you’ll likely notice quite a different emphasis here. For those visiting for the first time, we’ve made a lot of changes designed to make our message more direct about our products and mission. We’re hoping it all resonates.
Our mission from the very beginning (even way back when we were known as Steeleye Technology) has always been to help companies keep their critical applications up and running and make sure they never lose data. And in fact, we were the first to do this in the Linux environment with HA clustering starting in 2000. We expanded our support to Windows shortly after.
Not too long ago, physical servers and shared storage became the infrastructure platform foundation of choice for all critical services. And HA failover clusters became the go-to solution for redundancy, recovery, and ensuring uptime.
Things are changing fast. Last year, I mentioned profound changes in our industry. Public cloud services like AWS, Azure, and GCP have grown enormously. That growth has primarily come from new SaaS or greenfield applications and to some extent, migration of less critical operations to the cloud. But, over the last 18 months, the interest by major corporations in moving their business-critical applications out of the data center and into the cloud has grown enormously. That interest is now translating to the migration of key business applications like SAP or custom applications using SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL and the like into the cloud. This is a sea change. And while these applications are somewhat late to the cloud party, we can all understand why. It is a huge leap for IT to trust their central business operations to the cloud – These are big decisions, but clearly, the value of cloud is being broadly appreciated and adoption for even the most critical apps is showing that.
What does this mean for SIOS?
So, now back to our website and our message.
This is exciting times for our industry and customers and we’re looking forward to another great year helping all of you. Stay tuned for much more news from SIOS!
Happy New Year!
-Jerry Melnick, SIOS Technology Corp. CEO
|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.
High Availability for Cloud – What Does it Mean?
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.
SIOS Protection Suite for Linux Provides Real High Availability for AWS
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.
SIOS Technology Collaborates with AWS to Provide Quick Start
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.
The SIOS Protection Suite for Linux on AWS Quick Start creates a high availability Linux cluster in a virtual private cloud (VPC) within a single AWS Region across two Availability Zones. It also supports out-of-the-box protection for SAP systems, Oracle databases, and other business-critical applications.
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.
Survey Finds Challenges in Enterprises Migrating Critical Applications to Public Cloud
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.
Additional High Availability, Reliability & Protection Needed in Cloud
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