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
ray.zhu@hubcase.com
http://www.hubcase.com/

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