5 Myths about Cloud HA and DR
October 09, 2014

Jerry Melnick
SIOS Technology

Share this

Enterprises are moving more and more applications to the cloud. The use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend, according to Gartner, Inc. 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

While the benefits of the cloud may be clear for applications that can tolerate brief periods of downtime, for mission-critical applications, such as SQL Server, Oracle and SAP, companies need a strategy for high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) protection. While traditional SAN-based clusters are not possible in these environments, SANless clusters can provide an easy, cost-efficient alternative.

According to Gartner, IT service failover automation provides end-to-end IT service startup, shutdown and failover operations for disaster recovery (DR) and continuous availability. It establishes ordering and dependency rules as well as IT service failover policies. The potential business impact of this emerging technology is high, reducing the amount of spare infrastructure that is needed to ensure DR and continuous availability, as well as helping ensure that recovery policies work when failures occur, thus improving business process uptime.

Separating the truths and myths of HA and DR in cloud deployments can dramatically reduce data center costs and risks. In this blog, I debunk the following five myths:

Myth #1 - Clouds are HA Environments

Public cloud deployments, particularly with leading cloud providers, are high availability environments where application downtime is negligible.

The Truth - Redundancy is not the same as HA. Some cloud solutions offer some measure of data protection through redundancy. However, applications such as SQL Server and file servers still need additional configuration for automating and managing high availability and disaster recovery.

Myth #2 - Protecting business critical applications in a cloud with a cluster is impossible without shared storage

You cannot provide HA for Windows applications in a cloud using Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) to create a cluster because it requires a shared storage device, such a SAN. A SAN to support WSFC is not offered in public clouds, such as Amazon EC2 and Windows Azure.

The Truth - You can provide high availability protection for Windows applications in a cloud simply by adding SANless cluster software as an ingredient and configuring a WSFC environment. The SANless software synchronizes local storage in the cloud through real-time, block level replication, providing applications with immediate access to current data in the event of a failover.

Myth #3 ­ Remote replication isn’t needed for DR

Applications and data are protected from disaster in the cloud without additional configuration.

The Truth - Cloud providers experience downtime and regional disasters like any other large organization. While providing high availability within the cloud will protect data centers from normal hardware failures and other unexpected outages within an availability zone (Amazon) or fault domain (Azure), data centers still need to protect against regional disasters. The easiest solution is to configure a multisite (geographically separated) cluster within a cloud and extend it by adding an additional node(s) in an alternate datacenter or different geographic region.

Myth #4 - Using the cloud is “all or nothing”

The Truth - Companies can use the on-premise datacenter as its primary datacenter and cloud as the hot standby DR site. DR configurations can be assembled from a single on-premise server that includes a remote cluster member hosted in the cloud. Or, the on-premise configuration could be a traditional SAN based cluster that includes a remote cluster member hosted in a cloud. Both approaches are very cost effective alternatives to building out a separate DR site, or renting rack space in a business continuity facility.

Myth #5 - HA in a cloud has to be costly and complicated

The Truth - A cluster for high availability in a cloud can be easily created using SANless clustering software with an intuitive configuration interface that lets users create a standard WSFC in a cloud without specialized skills. SANless clustering software also eliminates the need to buy costly enterprise edition versions of Windows applications to get high availability and added disaster protection or as described in Myth 4, to eliminate the need to build out a remote recovery site.

Jerry Melnick is COO of SIOS Technology.

Jerry Melnick is President and CEO of SIOS Technology
Share this

The Latest

June 25, 2020

I've had the opportunity to work with a number of organizations embarking on their AIOps journey. I always advise them to start by evaluating their needs and the possibilities AIOps can bring to them through five different levels of AIOps maturity. This is a strategic approach that allows enterprises to achieve complete automation for long-term success ...

June 24, 2020

Sumo Logic recently commissioned an independent market research study to understand the industry momentum behind continuous intelligence — and the necessity for digital organizations to embrace a cloud-native, real-time continuous intelligence platform to support the speed and agility of business for faster decision-making, optimizing security, driving new innovation and delivering world-class customer experiences. Some of the key findings include ...

June 23, 2020

When it comes to viruses, it's typically those of the computer/digital variety that IT is concerned about. But with the ongoing pandemic, IT operations teams are on the hook to maintain business functions in the midst of rapid and massive change. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is the shift to remote work at scale. Ensuring that they can continue to provide products and services — and satisfy their customers — against this backdrop is challenging for many ...

June 22, 2020

Teams tasked with developing and delivering software are under pressure to balance the business imperative for speed with high customer expectations for quality. In the course of trying to achieve this balance, engineering organizations rely on a variety of tools, techniques and processes. The 2020 State of Software Quality report provides a snapshot of the key challenges organizations encounter when it comes to delivering quality software at speed, as well as how they are approaching these hurdles. This blog introduces its key findings ...

June 18, 2020

For IT teams, run-the-business, commodity areas such as employee help desks, device support and communication platforms are regularly placed in the crosshairs for cost takeout, but these areas are also highly visible to employees. Organizations can improve employee satisfaction and business performance by building unified functions that are measured by employee experience rather than price. This approach will ultimately fund transformation, as well as increase productivity and innovation ...

June 17, 2020

In the agile DevOps framework, there is a vital piece missing; something that previous approaches to application development did well, but has since fallen by the wayside. That is, the post-delivery portion of the toolchain. Without continuous cloud optimization, the CI/CD toolchain still produces massive inefficiencies and overspend ...

June 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially accelerated digital transformation projects. To better understand where IT professionals are turning for help, we analyzed the online behaviors of IT decision-makers. Our research found an increase in demand for resources related to APM, microservices and dependence on cloud services ...

June 15, 2020

The rush to the public cloud has now slowed as organizations realized that it is not a "one size fits all" solution. The main issue is the lack of deep visibility into the performance of applications provided by the host. Our own research has recently revealed that 32% of public cloud resources are currently under-utilized, and without proper direction and guidance, this will remain the case ...

June 11, 2020

The global shift to working from home (WFH) enforced by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders has had a massive impact on everyone's working lives, not just in the way they remotely interact with their teams and IT systems, but also in how they spend their working days. With both governments and businesses committed to slowly opening up offices, it's increasingly clear that a high prevalence of remote work will continue throughout 2020 and beyond. This situation begets important questions ...

June 10, 2020
In recent years, with the emergence of newer technologies ranging from the cloud to machine learning, IT modernization has evolved from a replacement of end-of-life infrastructure to an enabler of innovation and business value. It is a complex process that can take months or even years, but a recent survey shows that the effort begins to deliver measurable results almost as soon as an organization executes the first steps on its roadmap ...