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The need for infrastructure resilience has never been higher. Over the last two years, high-profile outages have made the news in multiple territories with cascading failures occurring in many data centers. The cause? Extreme weather events caused significant damage to utility services and even cooling systems. In systems with low resiliency, this kind of destruction can cripple your systems and cause permanent damage to both your infrastructure and your service’s reputation.
A distributed infrastructure with built-in resiliency can help overcome these challenges and protect your systems in critical moments. To maximize availability and coordinate failover effectively, let’s look at how to build resiliency into your data center infrastructure.
What Is Resiliency in a Distributed Infrastructure?
Resiliency can be described as the ability of a system to maintain its intended service levels in the face of planned or unplanned disruptions. Application developers now use cloud-native architecture to improve the resiliency of software. However, building resiliency into the physical infrastructure required to host these services often depends on designing the system with multiple redundancies in-mind.
Disruptions to any mission-critical supplies or systems without adequate redundancies available can lead to extended outages that will have a cost implication and can cause major damage to a provider’s reputation.
Service outages have real business consequences, including:
- Negative perceptions about the organization or team responsible for managing the system’s availability
- Lost revenues due to either losing customers, using temporary systems to restore services, or lost-time incidents (LTIs) that reduce organizational productivity
Distributed infrastructure enables you to increase resilience by orchestrating hardware availability across different sites. Using the latest replication and synchronization solutions with infrastructure management and monitoring technologies, you can avoid outages by quickly switching your services from a site experiencing disruption to another active site.
How Does Distributed Infrastructure Work?
The architecture design required to increase resilience will likely depend on the type of services (or software) you are required to host. Cloud-native applications have improved resilience built into the software layer which allows them to automatically adjust their resource load. By using tools that provide information on the host environment, applications can automatically provision additional resources or shift their processes away from a disrupted site. If the service’s performance dips below a specific threshold, or if the services go down entirely, the application will move its processes to another server in the Distributed Network. Using this methodology, services can maintain near 100% uptime even during planned server outages, cyber security threats, or natural disasters.
Additionally, if an application requires a group of dedicated servers to manage communication requests, databases, file storage, and backups, distributed infrastructure provides critical protection for these resources. Losing any of the essential services to a single facility could spell disaster for an organization without access to additional infrastructure.
In these situations, the best approach is to deploy a distributed infrastructure model where you replicate and synchronize servers across multiple sites. Although disaster recovery planning often relies on a primary or backup data center deployment, it’s common for the backup site to only host data and not the applications, services, or middleware required to switch over entirely. The time, internal resources, and financial capital required to implement the services not covered by backup sites can cost your business immeasurably during a critical outage or emergency.
Distributed data center infrastructure not only covers these critical items, it also enables:
- Multi-directional replication of all the hosts across multiple locations for improved failover
- Insight into each specific site and the health of the ancillary systems required to remain operational
- Performance improvements such as reduced latency between geographically distributed workforces
- Reduced resource consumption using a content delivery network (CDN) or caching services between all the sites
You can also review each federated site’s health and performance from a centralized control and monitoring panel.
Improve IT Infrastructure Resilience With
Even with distributed infrastructure, the equipment and ancillary systems at each facility will need to operate reliably. All the distribution in the world won’t help improve your service if your basics aren’t covered. Here’s a brief checklist to ensure your systems are in good health:
- Do your servers, workstations, and networking hardware meet the following criteria?
- Backed up with appropriate UPS units.
- On scheduled replacement plans to ensure your service quality is maintained.
- Protected with the following services:
- Regular patch management
- Daily and weekly computer health checks
- Behavioral Anti-Virus
- Automated resolutions for common issues
- Do you have IT resources (either external or in-house) with an acceptable SLA for critical resolutions?
If you can say yes to all of the above, chances are, your data center’s technology is healthy! If you can’t, or if you’d like help taking your data center to the next level, Strategy is here to guide and support you.
With over 10 years in the IT industry, we are built to empower teams of all sizes and businesses of all kinds to accomplish their mission. Whether your goal is providing 100% uptime, ensuring your service stands head and shoulders above that of your competitors, or providing world class customer service, we can provide the tools, training, and support you need to get there. Schedule a consultation with us today to find out more!