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The 'Four 9s' of Availability | Open Minds

The ‘Four 9s’ of Availability

“The internet broke!” I heard one client shout. We all know that the internet doesn’t break but having any technology system can one day ‘fail’ or ‘break’. Your business-critical databases suddenly are gone because there was a single point of failure – if the system fails, your data warehouse, your financial system, your supply chain etc. is lost – a scary thought.

So, organisations require protection that would eliminate this single point of failure. Let us introduce you to ‘high availability’ (HA).

What is high availability?

Imagine having a system that is continually operating without interruption for long periods, no downtime; a system that never fails. We can measure that as 100% – perfection! To indicate where most systems stand, we would say they experience between 99% and 100% uptime. Microsoft, for example, offers a cloud Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 99.9%.

So, what is the next level up from that? Yes, it’s the “four nines” or 99.99% – 52 minutes, 36 seconds downtime per year. Seem a lot? Well, no considering you can vary your SLAs for just 8.65 seconds in an entire day, including peak traffic hours.

Of course, there is always a need to think about what is ‘acceptable downtime’. Mission-critical applications such as eCommerce systems would fit into the four nines, but for non-critical systems such as desktops, HA would slot into the ‘two nines’ or 99% (8.77 hours of downtime per year). So how would SIOS fit in here?

How does SIOS help you to achieve high availability?

Of course, you could use a SAN (Storage Area Network). But there are some key drawbacks. Firstly the cost! Having to buy SAN hardware (two sets), pay a SAN administrator to configure the system, and find a place for it – it will cost you. Then there is the threat of the single point of failure mentioned earlier.

SIOS SANless technology has been made readily available, allowing immediate recovery from disaster (or ‘hot site’ recovery), even eliminating the need for shared storage.

SIOS allows you to build clusters the way you want, using your choice of server and storage hardware to protect business-critical applications in both Windows and Linux environments. Make use of any combination of physical, virtual or cloud environments.

SIOS clusters adopt a HA configuration which supports synchronous and asynchronous replication across multiple servers and data centres. It can use high-speed storage solutions such as PCIe-based flash and SSDs (Solid State Disk). The performance is fast and much cheaper. Not only are SQL databases protected, but they will run very smoothly.

Along with a superb automated wizard-based deployment and GUI-based management and monitoring system lowering the complexity of installation, SIOS technology is an enormous boost to the momentum of cloud-based migration. The current Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of having reliable access to mission-critical applications, not just now but more so in the future with companies thinking about smaller offices and more remote working.

So, in short, cloud-based platforms usually provide ‘three nines’ availability, a SIOS solution will adopt the four nines!

Future – more remote working?

A real solution

Let us give you an idea of how this works in the real world. Consider how one large retail company needed a high availability solution to support day-to-day sales through a SIOS protection suite. If there were to be a system failure, employees could not price products or weigh goods, bringing operations to a standstill. The SIOS Protection Suite for Linux was just the solution to protect their data. The suit offered them a plethora of protection tools – an independent virtual environment, high-availability, and continuous data protection.

The result?

Along with training, the company has met its requirements for high availability with the SIOS easy-to-use solution. More flexibility, reliability and simplicity of HA and data protection products ensured continuous monitoring of servers, storage, applications, databases and network connections like



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