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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Smart Availability vs. High Availability and Why You Should Care

August 28, 2017 No Comments

Historically, high availability (HA) has been viewed as a necessary evil – your organization (and your job) is at serious risk if you don’t have it, but its usually complicated and time consuming to manage, is expensive, and serves virtually no other purpose than mitigating unplanned outages. In today’s exclusive IT Briefcase interview, DH2i’s Co-Founder and CEO, Don Boxley, shares his thoughts on why IT professionals need to stop thinking about availability in terms of “high” and instead be more concerned about whether or not its “smart.”

  • Q. What is the difference between “Smart Availability” and high availability (HA)?  And, why should end users care?

Smart Availability is a total redefinition of the scope and function of traditional high availability. For too long IT pros have taken HA for granted as a solution that will always be extremely complex to manage, cost a fortune to own and fulfill no other purpose than mitigating unplanned outages.

With Smart Availability technology comes the promise of minimizing total downtime—planned and unplanned. And on top of that—intelligent automation to ensure your environment is always running in a configuration that’s optimized for peak performance and efficiency. In other words, Smart Availability takes the idea of HA from a reactive to a proactive concept.

Smart Availability intelligently allocates instances and containers in your environment to always run at their best execution venues. This smart automation adapts to your dynamic environment to ensure all workloads perform at a level that is compliant with business requirements and SLAs. With the unparalleled clustering flexibility that comes from leveraging standalone instances and containers—Smart Availability gives you easy workload portability from any host, to any host, anywhere, at any time. It also allows you to create an advanced HA framework on any application edition—rather than being pushed to premium editions solely for HA.

  • Q. Could you explain “best execution venue” (BEV) and why it is important?

The best execution venue is the location and conditions at which any given workload can function at peak performance and efficiency within its environment. As the architectural possibilities and choices involved in building out an IT infrastructure exponentially increase, it is very important to keep in mind that your different, critical workloads may not all perform the best on the same type of infrastructure.

Maintaining focus on a best execution venue methodology is especially important in when deploying new Smart Availability technology that actually provisions you the ability to easily rehost stateful containers and databases across different types of physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure. You want your workloads to have the freedom to run wherever they can perform best—and you want to have intelligent automation in place to ensure performance.

  • Q. Why is “Smart Availability” so important for databases and Docker containers?

Smart Availability is especially important for databases because databases support a business’s most critical workloads and require the most time dedicated to maintenance and modernization. To have Smart Availability technology in place that not only protects against OS, infrastructure and application faults—but also ensures closest-to-zero planned downtime is extremely powerful. It frees up the time of the IT team to actually pursue innovative projects that add value to the business.

These heavy-duty database workloads also have the most stringent business requirements, so it is very important to have the most advanced availability framework protecting them. Smart Availability delivers the assurance that database workloads aren’t just up, but that they also perform at a level compliant with SLAs. Smart Availability technology can quickly move workloads to their best execution venues if changes in your dynamic environment necessitate that instances or containers be rehosted somewhere else in order to maintain performance and meet business requirements.

Smart Availability plays a very important role in the realm of Docker containers as well by providing the easiest management experience and most advanced failover capability. Specifically, Smart Availability provides the power to easily manage a heterogeneous environment containing native instances or containers, on Windows or Linux, and failover stateful Docker containers between differing Linux distributions or Windows Server versions, respectively. Modern IT environments are rarely made up of standardized server and application infrastructure. They are far more commonly a conglomerate of different server versions, containers and application versions, so the unified management interface provided by Smart Availability technology goes a very long way in simplifying overall management.

  • You are launching a new version of your DxEnterprise software.  Could you tell us about it, and how it addresses “Smart Availability” and BEV?

DxEnterprise v17 is the newest release of our software to date and includes some huge innovations. This release adds support for Linux OS—specifically Ubuntu 16+, RHEL 7+ and CentOS 7+. DxEnterprise v17 also adds support for any edition of Docker and can facilitate failover of stateful Docker containers while maintaining data persistence. What really differentiates the new technology is its ability to facilitate failover of heavy-duty RDBMS workloads and stateful Docker containers—all while maintain data persistence—across different Linux distributions or Windows Server versions, respectively.

DxEnterprise v17 leverages standalone instances and containers, so there are absolutely no version-standardization requirements for clustering. This results in the most flexible and efficient HA-management experience attainable. Smart Availability is at the heart of what DxEnterprise brings to the table in terms of HA. DxEnterprise v17 manages database instances and Docker containers using intelligent automation to ensure that workloads only come up at their best execution venues. Through this smart allocation of workloads, DxEnterprise v17 Smart Availability guarantees your environment to run at peak performance. This workload portability also enables easy modernization of IT environments—minimizing unplanned and planned downtime.

  • Q. Anything else you would like to add?

The most popular use-case for DxEnterprise so far has been SQL Server on Windows, and we have customers all over the world from SMB to Global 500-sized companies. However, we are very excited to start helping customers get Smart Availability in their Linux environments and will continue to add to our list of supported distributions and workloads as quickly as possible.

GetAttachmentThumbnail IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Smart Availability vs. High Availability and Why You Should Care

Don Boxley, CEO and Co-Founder, DH2i

DATA and ANALYTICS , SOCIAL BUSINESS

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