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Enterprise Applications in the Cloud: Meeting the Challenges of High Availability and Continuous Operation

Moving your enterprise application to the cloud may seem like the one fix that will solve all of your existing deployment issues, but that would be overselling the power of the cloud.

While working in the Public Cloud, new challenges arise that will impact your application’s ability to function such as instance availability, network redundancy, and storage reliability.

How can you make sure that your enterprise applications are up and running in the cloud with minimal downtime?

As other customers have learned, NetApp can help you overcome the challenges of high availability and continuous operation in the cloud.

You’re in the Cloud, What Can Go Wrong?

To give you an idea of how a cloud service provider admits that there are things that can go wrong, check out the AWS Shared Responsibility model.

Consider that there are quite a few items on that list that AWS acknowledges it may not be able to provide at a given point in time. The failures in those areas will be their responsibility, but you have to be prepared for when that happens.

A single point of failure can bring an entire system crashing down, threatening your enterprise application’s ability to function and conduct business. Such outages can be immediately disastrous for a company’s revenue flow as well as do long-term damage to its reputation.

Maintaining high availability comes down to two main objectives: a good solution for data loss prevention and a solid way to ensure uptime.

Data Loss Prevention

Enterprise Applications in the cloudNetworks can go down, disks can fail, private clouds can fail, and Availability Zones can stop operating. When that happens, the most important concern for enterprise applications is not losing data in addition to maintaining data integrity.

Their recovery point objective (RPO) has to be zero, or as close to zero as possible. Trying to achieve that RPO by leveraging conventional tools such as OS, database, or application layers will fail in this situation.

These approaches are going to wind up costing too much, risking too much, and creating some ungainly structures to manage and maintain for your application.

Because multiple layers all exist within the same deployment, they all fail when the system is compromised. The most important concern in such a scenario is the integrity of your data.

As will be discussed below, NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP (formerly ONTAP Cloud) avoids that whole scenario and allows you to ensure 100% data integrity so you can meet your RPO.

Bouncing Back to Uptime

The same failures that can threaten data—failing disks, networks, and cloud infrastructure—can be equally threatening for uptime.

When cloud services fail, as they inevitably will, you have to ensure that your enterprise application has as low a recovery time objective (RTO) as possible.

Getting back online is key.

In today’s high-demand business environment, the RTO for an enterprise application has to be less than 60 seconds. Once again, layering application, database, or OS is going to fall short of what you need in these situations. There has to be more than one failsafe for your workloads.

In both the case for data loss prevention or uptime recovery, enterprise applications cannot afford to rely on the cloud service provider alone for help.

NetApp solutions such as Cloud Volumes ONTAP and OnCommand Cloud Manager support your enterprise application by providing 100% data integrity to meet your zero RPO objective, as well as providing a quick RTO (<60 seconds) to maintain continuous application operation.

High Availability and Continuous Operation with NetApp

The owner of enterprise applications must ensure continuous operation through high availability.

The framework has to be created for secondary and tertiary backup sites: a key part of this is orchestrating a solution for data redundancy.

The challenges are numerous: environments must function identically within the cloud and data must be continuously and securely replicated from the source to the backup / DR site efficiently and with the protective power of encryption.

NetApp has the technical expertise and the robust capacity to solve the challenges of high availability and continuous operations for enterprise applications. Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides you with a high availability data management solution in the cloud that simplifies the process and makes sure you meet your RPO and RTO objectives.

While public cloud failures usually require a careful and time-consuming process of rebuilding from cloud copies—which can include hours of downtime—Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s synchronous replication allows your application to operate continuously, without a break in services.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP has a variety of features that keep enterprise application data secure and in sync. Its SnapMirror functionality allows data to be replicated incrementally, making sure that the data being saved in the recovery site stays up to date without wasting bandwidth for unnecessary transfers.

Should there be a failure, the secondary site takes over for the impaired primary site with no loss of data. This is an essential part of high availability, and one that enterprise applications can not take for granted.

With the ability to transfer backups to a secure instance in the cloud and to deduplicate, compress and encrypt data, Cloud Volumes ONTAP and OnCommand Cloud Manager are robust parts of creating data redundancy for high availability.

Solving Enterprise Application Challenges with NetApp

Maintaining high availability and continuous operation on AWS can be one of the biggest challenges for enterprise applications in the cloud. The solutions you employ to make sure that your customers stay connected to your services must be simple and guaranteed to work in the event of a disaster.

Enterprise applications in the cloud need to be ready: the data redundancy building blocks of synchronizing and replicating data play an important role of this process.

The cloud service providers can only do so much: NetApp can help you create the highly available, continuously operating enterprise application that your business demands. Find out about Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a big part of that solution.

Want to get started? Try out Cloud Volumes ONTAP today with a 30-day free trial.

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