Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to achieve less than 1 minute downtime (99.9999% uptime) a year?

If you have a minute, I'd like to invite your to thinks about this:

If a cloud vendor offers 99.9% uptime, it would be about 9 hours of downtime in a year, business continuity would be affected. How does a 24x7 call center using (does not offer SLA) log cases when it goes down for 9 hours?

What if we have another independent Standby Cloud application that can cover the 9 hours at 99.9% uptime, or whenever the primary system goes down?
If my math is correct, it goes like this:
  • The downtime for the primary system: 0.1% x 365 days x 24 (hours) = 8.76 hours.
  • If the Standby Cloud application has 99.9% uptime, or 0.1% down time, during the 8.76 hours of coverage, it would be 8.76 hours x 0.1% = 0.0876 hours =31.5 seconds
  • The 31.5 seconds downtime translates into 99.9999% up time.

A Standby Cloud application can dramatically enhancement your SLA to a level that you might have never heard of.
If you think this subject is interesting, you should definitely check out our 24x7 Standby application.

Ray Zhu
Founder, Hubcase

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Deficiency in IT redundancy

Recently, an IT friend told me that the whole Oracle/Siebel system used by his company's hundreds of 24/7 call center agents has come to a standstill one week after a software upgrade. There was no going back because the amount of new transactions happened after the upgrade that has change data structure. Unfortunately, with sympathy to the situation, I am not here to solve the application problem itself. However,  I do have a solution for the business, allowing business activitiy to continue without waiting for the software problem to be solved.

What I am trying to address: the deficiency in traditional redundancy, fail-over, disaster recovery, standby and fault tolerance, and additionally, how to address the deficiency to prevent massive BUSINESS downtime.

To minimize application downtime or outages, businesses invested heavily in disaster recovery, including redundancy and fail-over infrastructure and technology. The redundant or fail-over solutions often replicate the identical application over identical hardware, then spread them geographically. While good at covering hardware, power and network failures, such redundant replica are still highly correlated because they are running the same application ,therefore the replicate will go down with the master software application if the cause of a problem is the software application. It could be as simple as a bad version upgrade like the one mentioned above.

It's actually pretty simple if you separate software from hardware

  1. Businesses run on software applications.
  2. Software applications run on hardware.
  3. Failed hardware can be replaced with an identical piece of hardware to fix the problem
  4. Failed software CANNOT be replaced with an identical piece of code to fix the problem
Deficiency: today's redundancy and fail-over systems use the same copies hardware and software, it covers hardware failure only. When software fails, redundancy is meaningless.

The answer to true redundancy is an independent app in and independent cloud, such as Hubcase cloud-based 24x7 Standby

Ray Zhu
Founder, Hubcase

Standby Service Cloud

1. What is a Standby Service Cloud?

A standby service cloud is a multi-tenancy Service Desk application in an independent cloud, providing standby, failover, and redundancy for different Service Desk, Help Desk and CRM applications used by different businesses. It allows organizations to continue conduct business when a primary application is out of service, and have the information transacted in the standby application queued and transmitted to the primary application when the primary application is recovered. In essence, it uses independent hardware and application to create redundancy to other application.

2. Why?

Where does your 24x7 call center staff log tickets or cases when Salesforce (NetSuite, Dynamics CRM online, etc) goes down?

In recently years, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings in the “Cloud” by vendors such as Microsoft, and NetSuite have dramatically changed how organizations use information technology. However, one of the problems with the cloud and SaaS offering is the dependency of customers on the cloud vendors, including scheduled and unscheduled downtime and outages. Another problem is that traditional in-house disaster recovery methods don’t apply to those cloud based applications, because organizations don’t have a way to create redundant instances of cloud applications in house, resulting the fail-over to pen, paper, and spreadsheets.

For organizations, the ability to have an independent standby solution is critical. The lack of control and the lack of redundancy are impacting the top line, bottom line, and even survival of businesses.

Hubcase created 24x7 Standby to allow 24/7 call centers using Salesforce, NetSuite, and even in house solutions to continue to log cases, and have the cases automatically sent to your primary system when it comes back.

Ray Zhu
Founder, Hubcase