As we are increasingly dependent on IT solutions in business, server downtime has become a nightmare scenario. Downtime can cause efficiency issues and do significant damage to reputation, even when it is not a regular occurrence. Where servers are hosted on site, everything related to maintenance and coping with downtime is the responsibility of an individual business. There are significant advantages to shifting this burden to a virtual hosting solution instead.
Making business continuity a key SLA
Every business seeks to achieve the best possible business continuity but this can consume significant resources in-house. On-site servers may be managed by a smaller team or supported by limited resources, which is why many businesses have simply come to accept downtime as part of the process of owning IT infrastructure. Migrating to a virtual hosting solution can remove this pain point, as cloud service providers have made the prospect of always-up IT a possibility for everyone.
Working with a cloud service provider means having access to professional and extensive resources to minimise downtime, far more than most businesses could ever manage internally. It is for this reason that service providers are able to make business continuity a key part of a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Limiting downtime will be one of the most crucial clauses in the SLA for any business considering migration specifically to improve business continuity – a good service provider will have no problem offer this as a key term.
The advantages of server failovers
A virtual hosting solution is also able to provide enhanced business continuity thanks to the use of server failover solutions. Failover systems, such as those used by the likes of Microsoft, essentially enable simultaneous synchronising of data and applications from one virtual server to another. This happens automatically at the point at which a potential issue is identified within the network, usually before the problem actually has the opportunity to make a real impact. This instant failover prevents a situation where a network issue brings the whole system crashing down and simply switches to another while the issue is dealt with. This ensures availability of data and mission-critical services at all times.
Avoiding the single server crash
Historically, servers have had a tendency to crash at the moment that they are most needed. It is when the highest demand hits servers that they collapse under the pressure. However, a virtual hosting solution enables the use of load balancing, which spreads the demand and pressure being placed on the system across multiple virtual servers. When more processing power is required, load balancing is activated so as to spread the demand across a range of virtual machines in the cloud. Load balancing can be extended in a matter of minutes, as no physical servers are involved, so the system will never come under so much stress that it fails and, consequently, disrupts business continuity.
We create bespoke, virtually hosted IT infrastructure with business continuity features built in – contact our team to discuss the options for your organisation.
Author: Laura Zverko - Follow us on Google+