Executive Viewpoint 2015 Prediction: SIOS Technology – Movement to SANLess Clustering for High Availability
Today’s enterprise data center is no longer based solely on physical or virtual servers. Companies are finding new ways to combine physical, virtual, private cloud, and public cloud environments to save money and provide higher levels of service to their end users. In 2015, enterprises will continue to move to more dynamic data center configurations and will be looking for ways to protect data and applications in these new environments.
New Configurations Make IT Flexibility Essential
Enterprise data center managers will begin to place greater emphasis on choosing technologies that support IT configuration flexibility and will have to rethink well-proven technologies that limit it. For example, traditional shared storage clusters have been used for many years to provide high availability protection for important applications in physical server environments. As companies look to implement new combinations of IT configuration, there will be a growing trend toward technologies, such as SANLess clustering that enable the flexibility they require to get the most value from these configurations.
Business Critical Applications Move to Virtualized Environments
While companies have been using virtualized environments – virtual server, cloud, hybrid cloud-for several years, they have been reluctant to move business critical applications off physical server environments. This reluctance is partly due to their concerns about providing high availability and disaster protection for these high stakes applications, such as SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2.
Traditional clusters require shared (typically SAN) storage which is not an option for public cloud environments and may add too much cost and complexity to be practical for widespread use in virtual server environments.
As the criticality of applications that are run in virtualized environments increase, we will see enterprise data centers move away from traditional shared storage HA clusters and toward SANLess clustering alternatives. Instead of shared storage, SANLess clusters use host-based replication to synchronize local storage on all cluster nodes, keeping them identical at all times. By eliminating the need for SAN storage, these clusters also enable unparalleled IT configuration flexibility.
New Configurations for High Availability and Disaster Recovery
Enterprise data centers will use new combinations of physical, cloud and hybrid cloud for high availability and disaster recovery. In some cases this trend will be driven by the cost savings they can achieve. For example, they can provide disaster recovery protection without the cost of building out a remote data center by combining on-premises SAN-based or SANLess cluster nodes with a SANLess cluster node(s) in a public cloud.
As more critical applications are run in the cloud there will be a growing trend toward the use of public cloud providers for disaster protection. For example, they can create a SANLess cluster with nodes in two different geographic zones (such as AWS Availability Zones) or in two different public cloud (eg. Amazon EC2, Azure) provider environments. In the latter example, they can protect against a full provider outage by failing over from a node in one public cloud provider to a node in another provider environment.
By removing configuration limitations and providing important applications with high availability and disaster protection, SANLess clusters will enable enterprises to fully leverage the benefits of new virtual, cloud, and hybrid environments.