Five data centre tips for business continuity planning

By : |December 17, 2012 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Business continuity planning (BCP) should cover an organization’s ability to avoid major business disruption from a disaster while addressing the principal concerns of business risk mitigation, and protecting and preventing lost data. Business transactions delivered from the datacenter pose major challenges to business continuity. Connectivity in datacenter infrastructure and the networks can be adversely affected by bottlenecks or complete failure due to network outages, hardware failures, human error and natural disasters.

Application delivery controllers (ADCs) protect these vital corporate assets and keep the network up and running. Below are the five data centre tips for business continuity planning.

1. Server load balancing ensures application availability, facilitates tighter application integration,
and intelligently and adaptively load balances user traffic based on a suite of application metrics and health checks. It also load balances IPS/IDS devices and composite IP-based applications, and distributes HTTP(S) traffic based on headers and SSL certificate fields.

The primary function of server load balancing is to provide availability for applications running
within traditional data centres, public cloud infrastructure or a private cloud. he server load balancer redistributes traffic to healthy systems based on IT-defined parameters to ensure a seamless experience for end-users.

2. Link load balancing addresses WAN reliability by directing traffic to the best performing links. If one link becomes inaccessible due to a bottleneck or outage, the ADC takes that link out of service, automatically directing traffic to other functioning links.

Link load balancing ensures uninterrupted connectivity from the data centre to the Internet and
telecommunications networks. Link load balancing may be used to send traffic over whichever link or links prove to be most cost-effective for a given time period. It may also be used to direct select user groups and applications to specific links to ensure bandwidth and availability for business critical functions.

3. Geographical load balancing provides reliability between geographically dispersed data centres.

ADCs redirect traffic to the best performing sites based on latency, site performance and user
location. Global load balancing delivers high-availability; if one site goes down, traffic will
automatically redirect to other working sites.

Global server load balancing is concerned with the possibility that entire data centre may be taken offline due to unforeseen circumstances and events beyond IT control.

These events may include natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and fires or downtime caused by attack or sabotage. If data centres are intact, they are often overloaded with increased traffic in the wake of business continuity events. Global server load balancing is able to distribute requests to less trafficked data centers in order to maintain business processes.

4. SSL transactions consume server CPU cycles due to intensive encryption and decryption of the packets on a repeated basis. ADCs offload SSL from servers, allowing them to focus on serving applications and content to end-users, improving availability and response times on the servers.

Modern application delivery controllers support high-performance hardware acceleration for 2048-bit SSL encryption, often at prices equivalent to previous-generation 1024-bit encryption. Whether secure applications are running on dedicated servers in a traditional data centre environment or on virtualized infrastructure in a public or private cloud, it is advantageous to offload process-intensive 2048-bit SSL encryption to dedicated hardware to provide the highest level of application security, availability and performance.

5. TCP acceleration offloads connections and sessions in several ways to optimize data flows and reduce the impact on servers, preventing them from being overloaded.

Mobile traffic is increasingly outpacing traditional network traffic. Mobile traffic also uses far more connections and opens and closes connections far more often than traditional network traffic. Over time, legacy data centre equipment will be unable to keep pace and application availability will suffer.

TCP acceleration supported on modern application delivery controllers offloads connections from servers, handles a far greater number of concurrent connections and has the ability to handle far greater connections every second.

The author is country sales manager at Array Networks.

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