What to Look for in a Cloud Provider for High Availability of Mission Critical Apps

3 min read

When it comes to moving business critical applications to the cloud, high availability is not merely an option—it’s a necessity.

Lost data from mission critical application downtime costs organizations more than $102,000 per hour, on average, while application downtime costs more than $20 million in lost revenue and productivity, according to Veeam’s 2019 Cloud Management Report.

The answer is not to delay or avoid moving these applications to the cloud. The solution is to migrate them in a way that reduces risk and gives you the potential to achieve higher availability than you can even with on-premises infrastructure.

For that, you need a cloud provider that offers specifically designed high availability solutions for mission critical applications. You also need a cloud provider with experience and expertise in achieving enterprise grade trust.

The focus on high availability and business continuity

One of the most common use cases for the cloud has been in backup and recovery, where public cloud is particularly efficient at lowering costs and easing the burden on IT resources.

However, in today’s world of digital transformation, just having faster and less expensive backup is not enough to fully satisfy the requirements of mission critical applications. What you need is guaranteed high availability, zero data loss and near real-time recovery to ensure business continuity.

More sophisticated solutions are required. One such solution utilizes VMware’s vSAN stretched clusters, which allow you to have multiple active storage sites within a region so if one site fails, the other site is automatically available. vSAN stretched clusters provide a storage-based mechanism for increasing availability of critical data assets.

With vSAN stretched clusters, you can achieve a high degree of availability at the VMware VM-level as well as recovery in minutes. This results in much lower recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) than you would expect from on-premises backup solutions and/or traditional cloud backup.

In addition, with the right cloud provider, IT teams can automate the deployment of VMware vSAN stretched clusters to synchronously replicate data across availability zones to meet their most stringent business continuity requirements. Automation dramatically reduces the time required to implement the solution and maximizes the availability of VMware workloads wherever they are located in the cloud or on-premises.

A business continuity checklist for the cloud

When it comes to high availability of mission critical applications, IT teams can use the following checklist as a guide. In evaluating cloud providers for mission critical applications, ask potential providers if they can deliver the following:

  1. Site resiliency across multiple locations, including automated failover to a secondary site.
  2. A high uptime availability at the VM level.
  3. Ability to use vSAN stretched clusters for key applications to ensure data loss is reduced to zero in the event of a full site failure.
  4. Near-zero recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs), with guaranteed full recovery in minutes for unexpected site failure.
  5. Multiple deployment options, including as-a-service models with complete architecture management and support.
  6. End-to-end resiliency covering compute, storage, networking, and associated tooling, requiring no manual intervention to recover during a site failure.

Taking the next step

Migrating mission critical applications to the cloud is one of the most important steps any IT organization can take to modernize their organization, support digital transformation, and drive new levels of agility, speed, and cloud economics.

Taking on these migrations is not simple, nor should IT assume the burden of trying to make it happen all at once. IT teams need a clear plan in moving mission critical applications to the cloud, with a migration model that minimizes risk and reduces complexity.

Focusing on cloud solutions that ensure the highest levels of uptime and availability must be one of the primary considerations. No one in business or IT wants to deal with the headlines of a major downtime event, nor the prospect of millions of dollars in lost revenue and productivity.

For more information on how your organization can maximize high availability and business continuity when moving mission critical applications to the cloud, see an overview of IBM Cloud for VMware Mission Critical Workloads.

Check Gartner Peer Insights to see why IBM Cloud is rated highest overall among leading cloud providers (4.7 out of 5 stars) based on 90 reviews over the last 12 months, as of June 1, 2020.

Gartner Peer Insights reviews constitute the subjective opinions of individual end users based on their own experiences, and do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.

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