What is High Availability (HA) and Do I Need It?
Many businesses have shifted significant portions of their operations to the cloud in recent years, alleviating the stress once associated with running servers and maintaining infrastructure in-house. With that shift, though, has come a potential peril: a loss of service due to equipment failure, power outages or dropped internet connections.
If you’re relying on the cloud or a hybrid system for your business operations — including critical data storage, company intranets, public-facing websites and other applications — you know that minimizing downtime is critical for business continuity.
High Availability: Achieving the ‘Five 9s’
High availability — or HA — provides a method for organizations to protect against the lost revenue and other negative outcomes caused by a service outage. With systems and infrastructure designed for maximum uptime, defined as 99.999 percent or the “five 9s,” businesses mitigate their risks.
HA is an approach that uses specific components and methods to ensure the best possible performance of the system, even during periods of high traffic or stress. Situations like power outages and equipment failure are unavoidable in the real world, but HA provides a way for businesses to minimize the negative consequences.
The Importance of High Availability
Even short periods of downtime can cause consequential losses for your business, including incomplete purchases, lack of access to critical data, and damage to your brand reputation. Direct financial losses can prove significant, but the loss of trust among your customers can create long-term barriers to success and growth.
The purpose of HA architecture is ensuring that your server, website or application can endure different demand loads and different types of failures with the least possible downtime. By using best practices designed to ensure high availability, you help your organization achieve maximum productivity and reliability.
With a high availability strategy in place, you reduce the negative impacts of downtime and implement automatic recovery from system failures.
Characteristics of HA Systems
High availability systems can be designed and implemented in a variety of ways to best meet your specific business needs. However, HA systems typically are created with certain best practices in mind.
- Redundancy of systems and data, through multiple machines or partitions.
- Applications deployed over multiple servers to avoid overburdening of any one machine in times of high load.
- Smart use of components to ensure maximum stability and availability.
- Shifts to standby resources as needed in the event of component or service failure.
- Rigorous testing of components and services to ensure maximum availability, performance, and security.
HA systems also include comprehensive strategies for backup and recovery in the event of data corruption or destruction. Full data backups, combined with incremental testing, ensure data integrity to avoid issues with billing, customer authentication, and other sensitive business processes.
The primary goal of HA is eliminating single failure points in your systems and infrastructure that would lead to interruption of your operations or services. Redundancy — along with methods for spotting failures and taking corrective actions — helps keep your systems up and running at peak efficiency.
Are Your Business Processes Highly Available?
When you implement a high availability strategy within your organization, you reduce the risk that service outages can pose to your business continuity, profits, and reputation. With scalable, cloud-based services, you can have a highly available system up and running quickly and cost-effectively.
Call Servers Australia today and let’s talk solutions. We can tailor a high availability solution that makes sense for your business – 1300 788 862.