Thirty minutes to share point availability


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Revisiting a presentation I gave back in 2010, still just as relevant today!

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  • There are many things that can impact system availability, from single-component hardware failures to site-wide environmental issues. Even simple things like routine maintenance can have an unexpected impact on the systems being maintained. There’s a lot of truth to the saying that the biggest cause of unplanned downtime is actually planned downtime. It’s easy to understand that any single system is vulnerable on many different levels. With critical-point systems like a SQL Server database, an outage on one system has an instant impact on the availability of one or more end-user applications. It really isn’t a question of will there be downtime, but rather when will there be downtime. Planning for this unexpected downtime is the first big step in avoiding the impact it could have on your company.Environmental issuesPower outages, cooling failures, natural disastersHardware issuesComponent failures in a single host, storage-related failuresConnectivity issuesNetwork component failures, building connectivity, ISP outagesPlanned maintenanceHardware upgrade, routine OS patch installationNetwork latency issuesDistributed farms require low-latency network connectionsDatabase availabilitySQL Server requires protection from downtime as wellHuman errorInconsistent installations, undocumented changes, process errors
  • SharePoint’s built-in HA based on server redundancyAlmost every layer of the application stack can have a second instance installedSome components are unique and exist only onceSharePoint availability also depends on the databaseSome (different) form of HA is required at the SQL layerDid you catch our “30 Minutes to SQL Server Availability” webcast?Limited to local subnets & low-latency linksSometimes called a stretch farmNot suitable for moving SharePoint to a remote site
  • Complete second SharePoint farm in another locationReally an entirely separate SharePoint installationRequires diligent maintenance of applications and serversEvery SharePoint package deployed in prod also needs to be deployed in DRRequires some form of database replication for SQL ServerDatabase layer is “shared” by both farmsOnly one farm can actively write to the database
  • No single point of control - Multiple technologies, Manual coordination, Scripted task dependencies= Complexity, Cost & RiskNo Application Awareness= Risk of DowntimeNo Application Server failover= Risk of DowntimeIndex Server Single Point of Failure= Risk of Loss of Search ServiceLow latency & high bandwidth req., Third server req. for automation = Cost & Distance Limitations
  • 3rd party options are solutions are designed to add value over what available “out of the box” from an application-based solution. Take maybe stretch-farms or SQL database mirroring for example. If say for example that you have stringent RTO or RPO requirements, the built-in options may not go far enough to meet you needs. You may also be looking to protect yourself against a broader range of failures. Many solutions provide protection from a hardware failure, but troubles within the operating system or the application itself still result in availability issues. Some solutions architectures even allow a company to run an application during regular planned maintenance events.Using 3rd-party solutions can simplify HA infrastructure and DR planning as one solution may be employed across a wide range of server technologies, often from a single location. Companies can recognize even lower cost of ownership through reduced training & infrastructure costs when using a single solution can be deployed throughout the environment.
  • When we talk about “third party solutions”, that can cover a lot of different technology approaches. While some are better than others, each comes with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Almost every kind of solution falls into one or more of the following categories….
  • Application-level backupsGranular site-level, document-level recoveryDisk-based backupFast, frequent block-level differential backupVirtual recovery capabilitiesRecover into a VM created from a disk backupAccelerated data recoveryReduces recovery window following a failureBackup solutions have been around for a long time, and honestly they’re light-years better than they were when I first joined the industry. There are different kinds of backup, such as those that work with a specific application. These solutions enable very granular recovery options and often the ability to perform versioning control and other data management operations. System-level backups are much better now too, not only utilizing more dependable disk-based arrays before going to tape, but also by backing up more raw changes instead of entire documents or databases.Some backup solutions now offer the ability to recover into a virtual machine file created from a system backup. This is nice for preventing significant downtime during working hours, but keep in mind that at some point you still need to recover the original server and this stopping the VM before taking one last backup and starting the recovery process. While today’s solutions have ways of making the data recovery process seem faster, the fact that you’re doing a recovery at all is because there was a failure in the first place. Application-level backupsGranular site-level, document-level recoveryRegularly rescans for SharePoint changes High-interval disk-based backupBlock-level differential backupDelta taken every fifteen minutesVirtual recovery capabilitiesRecover into a VM created from a system backupOffsets the time of the disruption but still requires recoveryAccelerated data recoveryReduces recovery window following a failureNo easy way to run and recover simultaneously
  • Protects the storage-layer of the applicationCreates a second copy of the system/data volumes stored on SANReplication requires at least two similar SAN devicesRequires significant investment in dual SAN hardwareLocal (non-SAN) system volumes will not be replicatedRequires management to restore application servicesDoes not have visibility into application availabilityReplicated data volume must be attached to a stand-by hostTypically replication is of the data volumes onlyDoes not protect the application
  • Protects a complete guest VM from hardware failuresEntire machine (OS, application, data) can be moved between hostsRequires virtualization of production serversSharePoint farms are often mixed physical and virtual serversPlays well with othersIntegrates with newer backup technologiesLeverages shared-storage and storage replicationMay not be considered an option in some environmentsRequires shared storageRequires SAN-based replication for DRFailover may involve booting machine from cold stateFailover is to another copy of the same host, including any host-based issues
  • Active server replicates changes to a stand-by serverWarm secondary enhances application recoverabilitySimple and flexible deployment optionsApplication-layer visibilityAllows for service-level monitoring and managementAny SharePoint role can be monitored and failed-over
  • Availability is made of many thingsMany solutions monitor only some(Host, Network, Services)Neverfail’s application level monitoringIn-depth visibility to all service componentsIndustry best-practice recommendationsNotification and automationDetect and correct issues in placeSwitchover and switchback with ease
  • Traditionally, servers of like functionality are grouped together for availability/protectionYou might have a different solution in place for each different type of technology used in your application.This kind of approach leads to complexity of the overall solution, reduces the “usability” of the solution, and ultimately affects the cost of ownership and time to recovery in the event of a disaster.
  • Neverfail takes a Business-Centric approach and manages and protects the completeBusiness application.Neverfail’s unique Business-centric approach manages and protects the complete Sharepoint Farm, including:
  • Our value proposition is about keeping users permanently connected to their applications. Allowing access to what they need when they need it.Our Total Cost Of Ownership equation = No loss of productivity + meeting or exceeding SLA’s + preventing reputational damage. Service interruptions cause a loss of productivity; the cost of one minute of downtime multiplied by the number of business users in an organization can be surprisingly costly. As can the financial penalties associated with not meeting Service Level Agreements. And service interruptions can also lead to a loss of confidence in the IT function and damage the credibility of the CIO with the business. Reputational damage is hard to put a price on.Our technology will enable reputations to be protected and SLA’s to be maintained or even exceeded by maintaining service continuity through interruptions and application maintenance windows that normally require downtimeIn summary Neverfail enables Enterprise Data Centre levels of high availability and disaster recovery based on cost effective “Wintel” commodity technology.
  • Thirty minutes to share point availability

    1. 1. Thirty Minutes to SharePoint Availability © 2010 Neverfail
    2. 2. Today’s Agenda – Common causes of downtime in SharePoint environments – High availability and DR capabilities "out of the box" – Third party options for protecting SharePoint server farms – Determining the right availability solution for your SharePoint environment 2
    3. 3. Impacts to Availability of a SharePoint Farm
    4. 4. Common Causes of Downtime – – Connectivity issues – Network latency issues – Planned maintenance – Database availability – Application availability – 4 Environmental issues Hardware issues – Human error
    5. 5. Built-in SharePoint Availability Options
    6. 6. SharePoint built-in HA capabilities: Redundancy – SharePoint’s built-in HA based on server redundancy – SharePoint depends on database availability – Limited to local subnets & low-latency links 6
    7. 7. SharePoint built-in DR capabilities: Secondary Farm – Complete second SharePoint farm in another location – Requires some form of database replication for SQL Server 7
    8. 8. Challenges of Protecting a SharePoint Farm No single point of control - Multiple technologies - Manual coordination - Scripted task dependencies - No Application Awareness - No Application Server failover - Index Server Single Point of Failure - Low latency & high bandwidth req. - Third server req. for automation 8 Microsoft Recommended Configuration
    9. 9. Third-party SharePoint Availability Options
    10. 10. Why Third-Party Options – Software/hardware to add value over what’s in the box – Protection from broader range of vulnerabilities – Simplify overall HA infrastructure 10
    11. 11. Types of 3rd-party Solutions – Fast back-up & recovery – SAN-based replication – Server virtualization – Hardware clustering – Host-based replication 11
    12. 12. Third party options for protecting SharePoint Server: Rapid-recovery backups – Application-level backups – Disk-based backup – Virtual recovery capabilities – Accelerated data recovery Server 1 SAN SAN Storage 12
    13. 13. Third party options for protecting SharePoint Server: SAN-based replication solutions – Protects the storage-layer of the application – Replicates raw storage between similar devices Server 2 Server 1 SAN SAN Storage 13 SAN SAN Storage
    14. 14. Third party options for protecting SharePoint Server: Virtualization-based solutions – Protects a complete guest VM from hardware failures – Shared or replicated VM file restarts on another host Virtual Servers Virtual Servers Virtual Stacked Servers SAN Shared SAN Storage 14 SAN SAN Storage
    15. 15. Third party options for protecting SharePoint Server: Host-based replication solutions – Active server replicates changes to a stand-by server – Application-layer visibility and management Primary Server 15 Secondary Server
    16. 16. Neverfail for SharePoint
    17. 17. Evolution of Continuous Availability Business Emphasis Application Emphasis Continuous Availability No User or Application Downtime, ApplicationAwareness, Automation, Local & Remote Availability Availability Centric Basic Failover Clustering, Fault Tolerance, High Availability Data Replication Data Emphasis Snapshot, Asynchronous, Synchronous, CDP Backup & Restore File, Block, Full, Incremental, On-site, Off-site 17 Recovery Centric
    18. 18. SharePoint Application Monitoring User/Customer Host OS Network Passive Server Active Server Services Application Response Passive Server Active Server – Availability is made of many things Performance Monitoring Rules and Thresholds End-user Availability 18 – Neverfail application-level monitoring – Notification and automation Neverfail Continuous Availability Director Admin
    19. 19. Complete Protection for Business Service Multiple point solutions do not solve the problem Web Server Web Server Integration of multiple, standalone availability solutions is complex and expensive to maintain VMware HA SharePoint SharePoint Lack of coordination between availability solutions leads to incomplete protection for your app MS Clustering Array Replication SQLServer 19 Traditionally, servers of like functionality are grouped together for availability and protection Load Balancing SQLServer DR solutions typically protect data, not application availability, cutomers left owning a manual recovery process
    20. 20. Customers require a simple, holistic solution Complete Protection for Business Service Sharepoint Farm application management – Monitor and control the Web Server Web Server entire application vertical – One solution, one console SharePoint SharePoint SQL Server 20 – Business-centric SQL Server
    21. 21. Neverfail protects all SharePoint components…. Application SharePoint Farm Modules Web Tier Scope AMF Neverfail Continuous Availability Director IIS IIS IIS Application Tier Central Admin Exec Calc Server Query Server Virtualized 3rd Party Adaptors Index Server Database Tier Physical SQL Server 21 SQL Server Single point of management and control across the entire farm
    22. 22. ….to “fail-the-farm” in a DR context….. Database Email Neverfail Admin Web Files Collaboration Custom Apps Remote Users Neverfail - Continuous Availability Director Application-Aware Management Framework (AMF) User Transparent Failover/Failback, Application-Aware, CDP, Replication SharePoint Farm (Active) SharePoint Farm (Active) Web Front End Web Front End IIS+MOSS IIS+MOSS Application Tier Index Server Query Server Exec Calc Server Neverfail Index Server Query Server Exec Calc Server Central Admin up to 30x traffic reduction SQL Server SQL Server Secondary Site Physical Primary Site IIS+MOSS Database Tier Physical 22 IIS+MOSS WANsmart Central Admin SQL Server IIS+MOSS Application Tier Database Tier SQL Server IIS+MOSS Virtualized IIS+MOSS Virtualized IIS+MOSS
    23. 23. …optionally adding local HA alongside DR Neverfail Admin Database Email Web Files Collaboration Custom Apps Remote Users Neverfail - Continuous Availability Director Application-Aware Management Framework (AMF) User Transparent Failover/Failback, Application-Aware, CDP, Replication SharePoint Farm (Active) SharePoint Farm (Passive) SharePoint Farm (Passive) Web Front End Web Front End Web Front End IIS+MOSS IIS+MOSS IIS+MOSS Application Tier IIS+MOSS IIS+MOSS IIS+MOSS IIS+MOSS Application Tier IIS+MOSS IIS+MOSS IIS+MOSS IIS+MOSS Application Tier Neverfail Virtualized Virtualized IIS+MOSS WANsmart WANSmart Index Server Query Server Exec Calc Server Central Admin Index Server Database Tier 23 SQL Server Physical SQL Server Query Server Central Admin Database Tier SQL Server Primary Site Exec Calc Server SQL Server Index Server Query Server Exec Calc Server Central Admin Database Tier SQL Server Remote Site SQL Server
    24. 24. Determining the Right Solution
    25. 25. Choosing the Right Solution for SharePoint – Consider the cost of downtime – How critical is your SharePoint infrastructure to you business? – Consider the possible vulnerabilities – What scenarios do you need to protects yourself against? – Consider the availability options – Which solution covers the vulnerabilities you need protection from? – Neverfail provides the most robust affordable solution for SharePoint and any other Windows-based application 25
    26. 26. Key Technology Differentiators – Protects End-to-End Business Services – Neverfail aggregates & protects any set of multi-tier components, including applications, servers, services, and it maps all their interdependencies – Complete Protection Against the Widest Range of Failures – Leverages Application Awareness, Intelligence and Automation – Eliminates both planned and unplanned downtime – WAN Acceleration & Deduplication – Essential feature set to enable DR deployments – Heterogeneous Protection – Physical and Virtual Environments (P2P, P2V, V2P, V2V) – Any Combination of Physical Server and Storage Hardware 26
    27. 27. Neverfail for SharePoint Availability Call or visit for personalized assistance WWW.NEVERFAILGROUP.COM (512) 327-5777 © 2010 Neverfail