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Everything You Need to Know About High Availability Architecture

By May 14, 2020 No Comments

Every company wants to achieve business continuity. There are many disadvantages to downtime. It can result in data loss.

You can solve this problem by using high availability architecture. Almost every business is using the internet for delivering its servers. Thus, it is important to ensure that your servers are always running. If you are looking for a hosting option, then you should consider high availability. In this article, we are going to talk about the importance of High Availability Architecture.

Definition of High Availability:

High availability architecture uses various components for ensuring that your services are always available. It will help you in avoiding downtime. All your available systems should be online and responsive both.

If you are implementing cloud architecture, then you should ensure that it is available. This will help you in ensuring that you can access our critical services and applications. These applications will stay online even if other systems are offline. Thus, you can always access your critical applications and servers.

Highly available systems will ensure that you can easily recover from downtime. You can move your processes to the backup components. This will help you in eliminating downtime. You need to regularly maintain these systems. Also, you need to monitor your systems. Proper testing will help you in eliminating weak points from these systems.

These environments contain server clusters. Also, you need to continuously monitor your system performance. It is important to prevent downtime. If some of your servers are not working, then it should not affect your business productivity.

It is important to stay operational during downtime. If you have a large enterprise, then this is even more important for you. Downtime can eventually lead to monetary and reputation loss. You can lose your loyal customers due to downtime. Highly available systems don’t care about glitches until it doesn’t affect the business operations.

Your infrastructure should be hardware redundant. Also, it should support data redundancy. It is important to remove all the points of failure from your architecture. This will help you in creating a highly available architecture.

How your business can achieve high availability

It is difficult to implement highly available systems. You need to understand about various different components. There are various requirements that your system must fulfill. It is important to ensure that your critical applications are always running. This will help you in maintaining business operability and continuity. We are going to share some tips that will help you in achieving high availability. You can follow these tips for creating a highly available architecture.

  1. Eliminate redundancy vs points of failure

If you want to create highly available architecture, then you need to remove all the single points of failure from these systems. Also, you need to achieve redundancy in every area. There can be various reasons behind downtime like power failure, hardware, and natural disaster. It is important to ensure that you have backup components for replacing these systems.

There are various levels of redundancy you can achieve. The most common form of redundancy is:

  • N+1 Model:

It is very easy to understand these models. This model requires an N+1 system for keeping N systems up. You only need one extra backup component for every component. If there is a component failure, then you can replace it with backup. For example, most companies have an additional power supply for dealing with power outages. The backup systems will be always ready. They will replace the main systems in case of a failure. You can also create an active and active system. In this, your backup components will always work. However, it is not actually considered as a truly redundant system.

  • N+2 Model:

This model is also pretty similar to the N+1 model. However, it can handle the failure of two similar components. This is enough to ensure that your organization is always online.

  • 2N Model:

This model will contain double the amount of components for every component. The best thing about this model is that you don’t need to find the point of the failure. You can directly start all your backup components. This is the best way to deal with downtime. However, it is also very costly for small companies.

  • 2N+1 Model:

This model is very similar to the 2N model. However, it has an additional component for increasing the level of redundancy. If you have a large enterprise, then this level of protection is perfect for you.

You can achieve the best redundancy by using different geographical locations. This is the best method to protect your business from natural disasters and other events. You can store your servers in different locations. These sites must be in different cities and countries. If one of your sites is not working, then you can switch to the other site. This will ensure that your business is always running.

However, geographic redundancy can be very expensive. You should work with different data centers for achieving this. If some provider already has data centers in every location, then you can work with time. This will help you in saving a lot of money.

A power outage is not the only reason behind downtime. Sometimes downtime also occurs due to network failures. You can avoid this by building a good network. This will help you in avoiding these network failures. You must have alternate network paths in your plan. Also, you should use redundant routers and switches.

  1. Data recovery and backup

Data safety is becoming the most important thing for business. Thus, your highly available systems must have some DR plans. You need to take proper backups of your system. Also, your systems must quickly recover from a data loss. If your enterprise needs low RPOs and RTOs, then you can’t lose your data. You can use data replication for protecting your data. There are many amazing backup plans available in the market. Thus, you can find a perfect plan for your business.

Data replication and backup are very important for high availability architecture. You need to do prepare planning before implementing data replication and backup. It is important to create a full backup of your infrastructure. This will ensure data resilience.

  1. Failure Detection

If there is a failure, then a highly available system will automatically redirect the request to backup systems. This is known as failover. It is important to detect a failure in its early system. This will ensure that your systems are always available. There are many tools available in the market that is perfect for both physical and virtual systems.

There are also cloud solutions available in the market. These solutions will help you in protecting your cloud-based infrastructure from failover. This failover process can be applied to your entire system also. If your component is not working, then the failover process must be very smooth.

For example, consider that you have two different machines. Machine 2 is a replica of Machine 1. Your Machine 2 must always check the status of Machine 1. It should scan the Machine 1 for any known issues. If Machine 1 is not working, then it will automatically shut down. Your backup machine should automatically start working. Machine 1 should re-route all the requests to Machine 2. Your end-users shouldn’t know about this process. You have to ensure that your users are not interrupted. If you have fixed the first machine, then it should start doing this work.

The duration of this whole process will depend on your network. If you have a small network, then this might only take a few minutes. However, in complex networks, this process can also take up to a few hours. Thus, you should consider this factor while planning for high availability. This will help you in achieving the best results. You need to fine-tune your systems for achieving at least 99.999% uptime.

  1. Load Balancing

You can also add load balancers in your network. These can be both software solutions and hardware devices. The main purpose of the load balancer is to distribute your applications in your multiple servers. Thus, it will help you in improving the overall performance of your network. Also, it will help you in building a more reliable infrastructure. A load balancer will optimize the network and computing resources. It will help you in efficiently managing the loads. Thus, you can monitor the health of your servers.

You can use various different methods for distributing the load in your server loop. Your loader will analyze various factors before distributing the load. They will check the applications that need to be served. Also, it will check the status of your corporate network. Some loaders will also check the health of your servers. They can use various algorithms for finding the best server. We are going to discuss some common algorithms that load balancers use.

  • Source IP hash:

This is a very simple load balancer algorithm. It will check the source IP address for selecting the server. The load balancer will automatically generate a unique hash key. This will hash key will depend on your destination and source IP address. You can use this hash key for directing the user request back to the same system.

  • Least Connection:

In this, your load balancer will find the server with the minimum connections. It will redirect the request to the server with minimum active connections. This algorithm is very different from the Round-robin. In the round-robin, it will select the next server from the list. However, in this, it will look for the server with minimum connections. This is a perfect algorithm for avoiding overloading your servers. Thus, you can use it for avoiding the overloading issue.

  • Round Robin:

This algorithm is also used in operating systems. In this, the balancer will send the request to the first server in your list. After that, the server will go to the last of the list. Thus, your server will be standing on the ending. It is very easy to implement this load balancer algorithm. Thus, most companies are using this algorithm. However, this algorithm doesn’t care about the hardware configurations of your server. Thus, it can overload your servers.

If you want a highly available architecture, then load balancers are very important for you. However, you can’t achieve high availability by just using these load balancers. If your load balancers are only re-routing your traffic, then it will decrease the traffic from a single server. However, it will not make your system available. You can eliminate all the single points of failure by implementing redundancy and load balancers.

Conclusion

Network downtime has become the biggest nightmare for companies. Almost every company is using the internet for providing its services to customers. Thus, most companies can’t afford downtime. You should have a proper cloud DR solution. This will help you in avoiding downtime.

The worst thing about downtime is that it can affect your business reputation. Thus, you might lose your loyal customers. You can use the practices that we have mentioned in this article for reducing the probability of downtime. If you don’t have a high availability architecture, then your systems can go offline.

The cost of downtime will always remain higher when compared to the infrastructure costs. You should invest your money in building a highly available IT infrastructure. New technologies are becoming popular because they are helping companies in reducing their IT costs.

There are various benefits of having a high availability architecture. It will help you in saving a lot of time and money. You don’t have time to rebuild your storage due to system failures. Thus, it is important to have a highly available system. Less downtime will also improve your brand image. This architecture will help you in improving the performance of your services. You can provide the best SLA agreement to your users. Thus, high availability architecture is becoming important for modern companies. If you need more information regarding high availability architecture, then you can contact Bleuwire.

Contact us today to learn about Bleuwire™  services and solutions in how we can help your business.

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