MORE UPTIME WITH LOBSTER_DATA.
UNINTERRUPTABLE OPERATIONS. THANKS TO HIGH AVAILABILITY.
At first glance, increasing the availability of system-critical IT components from 98.5 to 99.5% may not seem that impressive. And yet these relatively small efficiency gains can be key for logistics companies and firms from capital-intensive industries, such as car manufacturers. To an online shop with an hourly turnover of £10,000 – this one percent availability increase could translate to eight hours less downtime every month. Or in monetary terms: a monthly turnover increase of £80,000 thanks to more uptime! In many ways, high-availability solutions, such as that offered by Lobster, can protect a business – earning on-call IT team members some well-deserved shut eye.
HOT STANDBY WITH LOBSTER_DATA.
Nevertheless, there is a fundamental difference between high-availability solutions that rely on a cold standby and those that run on a hot standby system. Cold standby solutions improve availability, but do not offer load distribution as no other systems are active. A hot standby solution, like the one used by Lobster_data, is an entirely different beast, as it is able to implement strategic redundancy. If a working node fails, in this case a Lobster_data instance on a dedicated server, other nodes are available to take its place. This is particularly important when running critical operations that process data around the clock.
The hot standby solution in Lobster_data relies on a sophisticated concept known as heartbeat mode. In other words: it works with at least two active Lobster_data instances running in an active-active configuration. Since they’re running in tandem, if either a working node or the node controller (a working node that is able to control the other working nodes) fails, within a few seconds the system simply switches to the second server, which then takes over. This strategy can be scaled up or down using more or less working nodes. If a node fails, the others simply take over and reduce the load on the server by distributing requests across several systems. This also makes it possible to avoid downtime for system updates, as the servers are updated on a rolling basis. What sounds relatively simple in theory, however, means a lot of heavy lifting for Lobster_data. But that’s the beauty of it: the high availability module takes care of it all, so Lobster customers don’t have to. They can simply license the module and have the necessary configuration installed by an experienced IT specialist.
INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS FOR CUSTOMERS.
For the high-availability solution in Lobster_data to function properly, customers first need the necessary IT infrastructure. For starters, this means duplicate hardware, i.e. a redundant TCP/IP load balancer, which may call for dedicated hardware appliances. Another option is a software solution such as a TCP/IP proxy, which in turn requires redundant virtual machines. Other necessary components such as a redundant firewall system or internet connections, database systems, file storage and hardware servers that host the virtual machines, are usually already present. These must be connected to redundant switches and routers with at least two network connections. It’s also crucial that external communication endpoints for a Lobster_data system can be moved to the load balancer and the firewall. Lobster strongly recommends customers choose a cost-effective monthly lease in a cloud environment such as Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft’s Azure to acquire these elements.