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How to ensure high availability for your databases

Editorial staff Cegal want to build a stellar nextgen tech company that enables a more sustainable future, and shape the digital future by turning complex IT into digital success stories.
12/11/2023 |

Downtime in databases and applications can have serious consequences for a business, from data loss to financial challenges. High Availability (HA) can help minimize the risk of database crashes and ensure that your system is always available.

What is High Availability (HA)?

HA refers to systems designed to ensure the highest possible uptime and availability. It is particularly relevant for business-critical applications where they must be always running without downtime. Although HA cannot eliminate downtime, it can minimize the consequences of downtime.

Why is HA important?

Data has quickly become one of the most valuable resources. The database is like a safe where you store your valuables ​​(data). HA is critical to data capital as it reduces the risk of data loss, downtime, unhappy customers, and lost revenue.

Principles and methods of HA

To achieve HA in your databases, it is important to follow some basic principles and methods:

Single Point of Failure (SPOF) and redundancy: It is important to eliminate SPOF so that a single component cannot cause a system crash. It is therefore important to have redundant components that take over if a component fails.

Monitoring and regular testing: Monitoring the database environment ensures continuous checks of system health and performance. It is incredibly important to test your system to make sure it works as expected in the event of a crash. You can, for example, use a service such as Restore Test as a Service, which ensures that your backups are valid and can be restored.

Failover and Load Balancing: Failover is a process where you switch to a redundant or standby system in the event of a breakdown. Load balancing helps distribute the workload across multiple servers to improve both redundancy and performance.

Scalability and flexibility: To achieve HA, your system must be scalable and flexible so that you can handle increasing loads without downtime.

Disaster Recovery Plan: A Disaster Recovery Plan is your plan for how to restore your systems and data after a major breakdown. It contains step-by-step instructions, priorities, backup strategies, and responsibilities to ensure a fast and efficient recovery.

These guidelines can give you an idea of ​​how to achieve High Availability. Still, it is important to remember that the optimal solution depends on your individual needs and available resources.

Choice of Cloud or On-Premises for High Availability

Your choice of database location, whether in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid setup, can affect High Availability (HA).

The benefits of Cloud-based databases

Cloud-based databases offer several advantages over HA. These include more transparent costs, higher scalability, better performance, more flexibility, and easier management. They can also support more features and services, such as serverless computing, automatic backup, and recovery, and integration with other cloud services.

Challenges with Cloud

Despite the many benefits, there are also challenges to using the cloud. It is important to understand how the cloud works and what it means for your company's security, compliance, control, and reliance on other vendors.

On-premises or Hybrid Setup

Having your data and systems on your servers or in a hybrid setup can give you more control over data and systems. But it also requires more resources and new expertise to maintain High Availability.

Oracle and Microsoft's solutions

Both Oracle and Microsoft offer robust solutions for HA but with different approaches. Oracle's Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) is a collection of best practices that help you achieve the highest availability for your databases and applications. Microsoft focuses on its SQL Server Always On technology, designed to maximize the availability of a variety of user databases.

The choice between Oracle and Microsoft will depend on your needs and resources. Both offer robust HA solutions, but it's important to find a solution that best meets your specific requirements.

High Availability is essential to ensuring the availability of your data capital. By following these basic principles and methods, you can achieve High Availability, avoid downtime, and reduce the chance and consequences of potential failures. Take the steps towards High Availability so you can maximize the value of your data.

Would you like a chat about High Availability?

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