|May 27, 2020||
We all need to buy insurance – for our cars, our houses, our lives. Nobody likes to pay money for a service that we hope we never have to use, but we all know that we should have it just in case. Most people either put off insurance until something awful happens, buy the cheapest, or actually do their homework and buy it from someone they trust. This last group usually fares the best.
High Availability Software is Insurance Against Downtime
Insurance is often for consumers, but it’s critical to businesses too. You have computer systems and applications that run your business. If they fail for some reason, you want your business to continue to run or it could cost millions of dollars in lost business through lost transactions and customer data, and irreparable damage to your reputation with your customers. High availability software is your “insurance” against system downtime. This is not something you can ignore. This is not something you can trust that will come along with your hardware or software infrastructure. You want to use high availability solutions from a company that has decades of expertise in high availability and knows how to keep your systems up and running.
A trusted high availability software company should:
One of the key applications used in enterprises today is SAP S/4HANA, based on the HANA in-memory database. Most SAP customers will be required to run the HANA database with SAP by 2025. You want to find an intelligent HANA availability solution from a company that knows high availability, that knows SAP, knows HANA, and knows what to do to ensure that your critical SAP applications, and your business, continue to run smoothly.
SIOS Technology is the company you can trust. The 9.5 release of the LifeKeeper for Linux product contains a new HANA Application Recovery Kit, which will provide you with all you need to keep your SAP and HANA environment running. Want more information about this release? Watch this interview.
|May 19, 2020||
SIOS AppKeeper allows Hobby Japan to produce the best content possible with peace of mind while using Amazon AWS EC2.
We often work with companies who are moving to the AWS cloud and realize that they don’t have the skills and tools in place to do so with confidence that their applications will maintain availability . Hobby Japan was one such customer who we helped via monitoring of the AWS EC2 environment and automated EC2 restart. Hobby Japan is a publishing company with diverse businesses related to hobbies (e.g. anime, action figures, card games, etc.) that includes publishing young-adult books and magazines such as “Hobby Japan”, “Monthly Arms” and “Card Game.”
Hobby Japan used to rely on a hosting services company to manage their web server, but they experienced a disaster when they had a hard drive failure. While they were able to eventually recover the data, the situation exposed that they needed better data backup and security processes. This caused them to start to evaluate a move to the cloud.
Hobby Japan Faces Challenges with Monitoring EC2
But Hobby Japan had a unique set of challenges. They don’t have a dedicated IT team, and, instead, they rely on their employees to wear many hats. Yuichiro Fukabori from the Public Relations, Business Administration department of Hobby Japan says “Since there is no IT department within the company, I am in charge of the operation of all servers except those that are managed by individual departments.” If they moved to the cloud they needed reliability and partners who could help them manage their environment.
Mr. Fukabori led the migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2013, freeing Hobby Japan from various problems they had experienced in the past. But website traffic started to increase steadily, putting pressure on their environment.
Hobby Japan was monitoring their EC2 environment with AWS Cloud Watch. But Mr. Fukabori was unable to respond properly when the webserver traffic spiked. He only received a notification at the time of the server downtime. They were experiencing systems issues about 10 times a month. Alerts would often occur in the middle of the night, disturbing Mr. Fukabori’s sleep and home life. They needed a solution that took some of the burdens off his shoulders.
AppKeeper Provides Better Application Availability in EC2
AWS introduced Hobby Japan to ForgeVision, an AWS consulting partner in Tokyo, who quickly assessed the situation and made several recommendations to stabilize and scale their cloud environment. One was to recommend that they use SIOS AppKeeper for better application availability.
SIOS AppKeeper is a software-as-a-service solution that supports the automatic monitoring and restoration of AWS EC2 services and instances. It monitors them via the AWS API and detects and recovers from failures quickly.
We started working with Hobby Japan in April 2019. According to Mr. Fukahori, it was an easy decision. “We understood the functionality and didn’t need to spend time on a special evaluation process. We started using it immediately,” said Mr. Fukahori.
Since implementing AppKeeper, Hobby Japan has not experienced any issues with EC2 instances that could not be automatically recovered from, giving them the reassurance of knowing that they had a fail-safe mechanism to automatically recover their systems if a failure occurred. We invite you to review our complete case study on Hobby Japan and their decision to use SIOS AppKeeper here.
|May 13, 2020||
Have you ever found yourself having to manage a complex cloud environment? One with both mission-critical customer applications as well as internal applications? Where you have very specific uptime SLAs that have revenue impact if they are not met? But have to rely on expensive outside resources because you don’t have the internal expertise and staff necessary? You are not alone.
That was the situation I found with a new prospective customer after we launched SIOS AppKeeper in 2017. Yu Amano, the IT Division Manager, at INFOBAHN Group, a leading advertising agency in Tokyo, and his team provides complete webserver management services for media owned by its customers and by INFOBAHN’s sister company, Mediagene Inc., who runs sites such as Gizmodo Japan, Life Hacker Japan, and Business Insider Japan. They needed a better solution for protecting their AWS EC2 applications while eliminating the stress of managing alerts and reducing costs.
Amano found that they were having to outsource the monitoring of their customers’ servers and some of their internal servers to an MSP. They were paying nearly $1,400 per month just to monitor the internal servers. And he and his team were receiving failure notifications night and day. Each one required Amano or his colleagues to drop everything, investigate and resolve the issue. Something had to change.
AppKeeper Helps Meet SLAs via Automation
We spoke with Amano and his team about what a great fit SIOS AppKeeper would be, to help meet SLAs by continuously monitoring and protecting their AWS EC2 applications from service interruptions and downtime while eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming interventions. So they agreed to give it a try.
They decided to use AppKeeper on their WordPress server. Amano quickly installed and configured AppKeeper and found it to be intuitive. “We found that after a very simple configuration process, it provided automatic monitoring and restoration of service,” he said.
They then tested it out and found it to be to their liking. “We performed many verification tests, including stopping a service, and we confirmed that it restarted as expected. We could see that AppKeeper was reliable,” said Amano.
INFOBAHN Uses AppKeeper to Automatically Address AWS EC2 Failures
In early March 2017, INFOBAHN signed up to monitor its internal servers using AppKeeper. Since they have started using AppKeeper there have been no AWS EC2 failures that they were unable to automatically recover from. AppKeeper even helps protect them from human error. “Sometimes other IT members have unintentionally brought the Active Directory server down. I received email notifications from AppKeeper when I was out saying that the service had been restored. Restores were so smooth that I didn’t even notice it until I was told,” Amano laughed.
Another happy AppKeeper customer, freed from the anxiety of having to respond to multiple alerts while also lowering their monthly costs. Click here if you would like to read the complete case study.
What can we do for you and your team as you start to manage your AWS EC2 environments? We invite you to learn more about SIOS AppKeeper by watching this short video or by signing up for a free trial of AppKeeper. Then you can see for yourself what it’s like to have systems failures in AWS EC2 automatically addressed.
– Daisuke Yoshioka, Manager, Business Development for SIOS AppKeeper
|May 12, 2020||
We are proud to announce the availability of SIOS Protection Suite for Linux version 9.5. This product introduces advanced automation and application-aware monitoring making it the most comprehensive, out-of-the-box SAP S/4HANA clustering software in the industry.
We know what a hassle it is to try to manually build an SAP S/4HANA cluster, making sure that all of the HANA services will failover to the right locations and start up in the right order. Hours of scripting, testing, and aggravation. And the stakes are high. Getting it wrong can mean failover doesn’t happen or worse – downtime, data loss, lots of aggravated users calling.
That’s why we added intelligent application availability for two-node SAP S/4HANA database configurations that are using HANA System replication (HSR). We’ve built this release to take the hassle and risk out of building and managing a cluster.
SIOS Protection Suite v9.5 Automates and Monitors
Starting from easy, wizard-driven configuration that actually validates your input. No hours of manual scripting… or searching for a mistaken keystroke when things don’t go right.
It monitors all the processes in the HANA stack from the application to the hardware, servers, and network – not just checking that the server is operational like other clustering software.
And unlike other clustering solutions that trigger a failover for everything, if SIOS Protection Suite detects an issue, it automatically takes the appropriate recovery action – whether that’s simply restarting a service, recovering on the node that is in service or orchestrating a failover to a secondary node.
Speaking of failover orchestration, it will automatically ensure that SAP-specific best practices are maintained throughout. For example, it makes sure that on failover or switchover, ASCS is never on a server with the primary application or on the same server with the ERS.
If the wizard-driven configuration isn’t easy enough, we also added a new command-line interface (CLI) cloning feature that lets you deploy a SIOS cluster simply by importing the CLI instructions for configuration. You can also export the CLI instructions of an existing cluster to create a clone of it.
Now you can create a high availability cluster quickly and easily to protect any application, including SQL Server, Oracle, SAP and S/4HANA, from downtime and disasters.
|May 7, 2020||
As a software engineer for customer experience with SIOS, I often help companies who are migrating their on-premises high availability clustering environments to the cloud.
Cloud migration is a process, not a destination. When we engage a customer transitioning to the cloud, it’s often late in the planning process, which isn’t ideal, but not unusual in a cloud migration. Below are six cloud migration challenges we see all too frequently.
Executing a successful cloud migration requires input from all stakeholders. Availability and disaster recovery are core aspects of any enterprise workload. Whether SIOS is already part of your current system or will be part of your future cloud migration, get us involved!
-Harrison Howell, Software Engineer for Customer Experience