What Does Always-On Mean, and Who is Really Always-On?
While there are several companies claiming to have an always-on solution, “always-on” for application availability actually represents a much wider spectrum than just on/off. IBM, HPE, Oracle, Microsoft and VMware are among the usual tech titans talking about Always-On solutions of one type or another, joined by others such as Stratus, Veeam and NEC. But what exactly does it mean within the spectrum of always-on solutions?
An always-on environment would be exactly that: always-on. To create an always-on environment starts with a solution that ensures that the customer’s virtual machines and applications are up and running 24×7, and aren’t being recovered or restored after a catastrophic outage has crashed the host server. Industry-wide, there are only two vendors capable of providing a solution that eliminates any amount of unplanned downtime: Stratus and VMware. While both vendors ensure maximum uptime, only Stratus delivers a single-server solution backed by a $50,000 Zero Downtime Guarantee. Furthermore, Stratus’ hardware-based solution incurs no performance overhead nor does it limit the number of vCPUs or amount of virtual memory supported per VM.
Another company that uses “Always-On” in its tagline, Veeam is one of the industry’s leading providers of solutions that address backup requirements for virtualized workloads. Founded in 2006, the Swiss-based company is ranked by IDC as a top 5 data protection software vendor whose products are experiencing rapid adoption, including a large percentage of Stratus customers.
Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam ONE (offered as packaged solution called the Veeam Availability Suite) is a well-designed solution that delivers a combination of backup and recovery capabilities and onsite and remote image-based replication with monitoring and alerting features. Taken together, this combination of attributes enables users to meet service level agreements that require recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) of less than 15 minutes for all applications and data.
While RPOs and RTOs of 15 minutes or less are very impressive and may be acceptable for many environments, we believe that ultimately, Veeam’s’ offerings can be more aptly categorized as an “always-recoverable” solution.
Ultimately, users seeking to maximize the total availability of their environment and its data should consider a combination of “always-on” for application availability and “always-recoverable” solutions from best-in-class vendors including Stratus and Veeam.