Application Continuous Availability

Recovery from failure is not an option for your critical applications

Risks to business critical applications

Today's business applications face a wide range of downtime threats:

  • Major outages. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, power outages and civil unrest that test the mettle of any organization’s disaster recovery plan.
  • Smaller scale outages. Hardware failures, application problems, OS errors or minor outages within a building are common events that can still impact application availability.

Preparing to respond effectively to outages is critical, but many applications have little or no tolerance for downtime. Organizations that can identify and protect their most critical applications effectively will have a competitive edge in an uncertain world.

What’s the right level of availability for business applications?

Because information technology sits at the very heart of modern business operations, IT professionals bear no greater responsibility than keeping business critical systems running, no matter what the threat. Of course not all IT applications have the same recovery requirements, so IT must manage to varying recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). Critical business applications, for example, often require very short recovery windows and have a low tolerance for data loss.

Neverfail’s Application Continuous Availability solution addresses both major and smaller scale outages by protecting applications directly. Neverfail Application Continuous Availability can meet RTOs of less than a minute and delivers RPOs of mere seconds, at a price point similar to less functional backup and replication solutions.

Applications that can benefit from Neverfail’s Application Continuous Availability solution include:

  • Communication systems. The aftermath of hurricane Sandy and other disasters demonstrated the incredible need for effective communication to coordinate response efforts and to keep businesses running. Business leaders want email, instant messaging and other communication systems to be extremely resilient. Few organizations can function without them, so they are at the top of IT’s list of priorities to restore.
  • Databases. These often serve as the back-end to critical applications, but also are used for reporting and analysis that can be key to business operations. Protecting these from significant outages is often required to protect other applications.
  • Revenue-generating systems. With so much business occurring online, and with customers expecting to place orders at any time and all the time, service interruptions that impact ecommerce or any online customer systems have become intolerable. These systems have become utilities in the eyes of customers and are expected to operate as such.
  • Customer service systems. Customers now expect to track shipments, book service appointments, receive support and manage their accounts online. If those systems suffer downtime, the business risks alienating customers.
  • Public safety systems. An emergency demands a prompt response, and the systems that support first responders must be always-on, period.

Neverfail believes that any system that requires recovery should be viewed as and IT failure to provide appropriate protection in the first place. Other solutions expect IT to tolerate a certain level of failure and recover systems after the fact - often within hours rather than minutes. Our unique approach to solving this problem - Application Continuous Availability - encompasses a proactive approach to isolating end users from any impact on application availability caused by local or site-level failures.

Proactive protection through application-awareness

Hardware reliability has improved to the point that just 20 percent of all failure events stem from hardware problems. Application defects and operator error are much more likely to cause an outage - accounting for 80 percent of all failures. The most common protection strategies - including virtual HA, backup and replication - operate at the infrastructure layer, leaving organizations vulnerable to application failures. What can be done to protect business critical applications?

Neverfail’s deep knowledge of the application layer enables proactive monitoring for application failure signatures that can allow a sick application to be fixed before it fails. Neverfail technology was designed from the ground up to be highly application aware and it is used by thousands of customers, including VMware and SolarWinds under OEM license, to protect the availability of business critical applications where downtime is not an option.

Mind the gap

One of the biggest challenges faced in selecting a protection strategy is the recent emergence of partial solutions, which promise protection from everything but leave key applications exposed to risk. For example, fault tolerant clusters, which effectively protect against hardware failure, can replicate the state of a sick application to other members of the cluster. Virtual HA systems, which protects against both host server and operating system failure, are completely unaware of sick or degrading application state. Then there are virtual Disaster Recovery systems which, when coupled with virtual or array replication, fail over an entire virtual data center. In each of these cases, a system designed to protect instead spreads potential problems across the enterprise like a disease.

These systems also lack the ability to protect physical servers or prioritize application workloads, and often can’t meet RTO requirements. They may offer appropriate protection for less critical systems but because they are essentially reactive do not step up to deliver the protection demanded by business critical applications. These applications require a unified, proactive and comprehensive approach to protection and this is precisely what Neverfail provides with IT Continuity Engine.

Summary

Neverfail technology delivers the first and only holistic approach to keeping business critical applications continuously available. Simply put, this means no user downtime, period. Neverfail achieves this goal through a unique combination of advanced technologies (including deep application awareness); proactive monitoring and remediation; and multiple levels of redundancy that protect against both local and site-wide failures. With Neverfail watching over their business critical applications, our customers sleep easier at night knowing that their applications are protected against downtime. Period.

“We chose Neverfail for continuous application availability because it is the only solution on the market that protects our key business applications with simple one-click failover and failback between sites.”

Paul Stafford
Infrastructure Services Manager at Wellcome Trust

About Neverfail

Businesses around the world, large or small, are increasingly reliant on critical IT operations staying continuously available 24x7.  Service outages underline the fundamental importance of understanding how IT infrastructure supports critical business services and identifying any gaps in their continuity plans.

Neverfail helps thousands of customers around the world gain this insight into their IT infrastructure, operations, and continuity plans, protecting critical applications and business services against downtime while ensuring that their disaster recovery plans will always work when they are needed.

  Tel. (512) 600-4300      Tel. (0) 870 777-1500

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