Gartner Research

Comparing Active/Passive With Five Active/Active IT Services Approaches for HA/DR

Published: 23 April 2015

ID: G00272991

Analyst(s): Rick Greenwald, Werner Zurcher

Summary

Organizations are under pressure to reduce costs as well as downtime for their IT services. Active/active computing is enabling some IT organizations to eliminate IT service downtime altogether. This document assesses the challenges faced with five different active/active computing approaches.

Table Of Contents

Comparison

Analysis

  • IT Service Continuity and DR Method Evolution and Costs
  • Distributed and High-Availability Database Approaches and Their Complexity and Recovery Implications
  • Approach A/P: Active/Passive Data Centers
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
    • Supported Availability and DR Capabilities
    • Manageability/Complexity/Cost
    • Testing/Exercising Requirements
    • Client Interaction Resilience and Performance
  • Approach No. 1: Nonproduction (Dev/Test/QA) Data Center Use for DR
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
    • Supported Availability and DR Capabilities
    • Manageability/Complexity/Cost
    • Testing/Exercising Requirements
    • Client Interaction Resilience and Performance
  • Approach No. 2: Statically Partitioned Active/Active Application Processing
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
    • Supported Availability and DR Capabilities
    • Manageability/Complexity/Cost
    • Testing/Exercising Requirements
    • Client Interaction Resilience and Performance
  • Approach No. 3: Dynamically Partitioned Active/Active Application Processing
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
    • Supported Availability and DR Capabilities
    • Manageability/Complexity/Cost
    • Testing/Exercising Requirements
    • Client Interaction Resilience and Performance
  • Approach No. 4: Partially Distributed Active/Active Application Processing
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
    • Supported Availability and DR Capabilities
    • Manageability/Complexity/Cost
    • Development/Testing/Exercising Requirements
    • Client Interaction Resilience and Performance
  • Approach No. 5: Fully Distributed Active/Active Application Processing
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
    • Supported Availability and DR Capabilities
    • Manageability/Complexity/Cost
    • Development/Testing/Exercising Requirements
    • Client Interaction Resilience and Performance

Guidance

  • Key Questions for the Organization to Ask and Answer
  • Avoid IT Complexity, Because It Hinders IT Service Availability
    • Do Not Create More IT Processing Complexity Than the Organization Can Handle
    • When Transforming IT to Active/Active Resource Use: Crawl, Walk, Then Run
    • For Organizations With Modest Technical Skills, Active/Passive or Statically Partitioned Active/Active Data Center Use Is Recommended
    • For Technically Sophisticated and Mature IT Organizations, Partially Distributed Active/Active Applications and Statically Partitioned Active/Active Data Centers Are a Good Choice
    • Use Distributed Active/Active Application Processing Only for Those IT Infrastructure and Application Services That Absolutely Require Better Availability or DR Than Is Otherwise Available
  • Design for Resiliency
    • Eliminate Single Points of Failure
    • Address Single-Component, Partial and Full-Site Failure Scenarios by Embracing Both Local and Geographic Component Redundancy
    • Plan to Address Data Corruption and Accidental and Malicious Data Deletion
    • Use Stateless Application Design Where Possible
    • Ensure Hard-Coded IP Address Use Has Been Removed From All IT Services and Scripts
    • Enable IT Service Monitoring Resiliency, Especially in More Dynamic Environments

The Details

  • VM Clustering and Failover Management Products
  • Stretched VM Clusters
  • Failover Management and DR Orchestration Automation Software

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