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New SIOS console enables high availability visualization

IT generalists on Linux systems can avoid the complexity of HA management for mission-critical apps or databases with a new management console in SIOS' LifeKeeper software.

A new web console for SIOS Technology's LifeKeeper for Linux enables IT generalists to wrap their hands around high availability failover processes.

The LifeKeeper Web Management Console headlines the SIOS LifeKeeper for Linux 9.8.1 update, available today. The update adds support to the SIOS platform for new releases of Linux operating systems, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It also supports new Linux database versions for recovery, including for SAP S/4HANA, PostgreSQL and EnterpriseDB.

LifeKeeper provides automated synchronous and asynchronous replication across servers without having to set up or implement failover scripts for disaster recovery. The technology combines with SIOS DataKeeper block-level replication software to enable high availability (HA) failover through its SIOS Protection Suite. SIOS sells the suite as either a perpetual or subscription license. A Windows version of the suite is also available.

Triggering an HA failover during a critical outage requires a web of hybrid cloud data centers and technology, said Krista Macomber, an analyst at Futurum Group. But the architects of an organization's HA response might not be available when needed, so implementing the HA failover process then falls to other IT employees.

Using a web console accessible on a variety of devices through a GUI can remove headaches during a crisis to understand what resources are online and what workloads are in danger, she said.

"The day-to-day management is shifting to an IT generalist," Macomber said. "There's a web of components that sit underneath that application -- and that's where it starts to get more complex."

Disaster planning

The LifeKeeper console was offered previously as a Java application, according to company spokespeople, but the new web console works anywhere a browser is available. Specific capabilities of the console include progress tracking, configuration suggestions and firewall management using two TCP/IP ports.

Both Linux and Windows systems have HA failover capabilities built in, but they require manual setup and intervention compared with the scripting capabilities offered by vendors such as SIOS or its competitors, including Acronis, according to Macomber.

Modern HA recovery can involve numerous clouds, data centers and applications with their associated data stores to maintain continuity, she said. Some platforms used by smaller enterprises, such as SAP's S/4HANA database, have specific HA failover needs, which might not be common knowledge for IT staff on hand.

"HA is very complex. These HA use cases are going to be catered to the needs of [specific applications]," Macomber said. "Today, you have a variety of delivery models and environments for another layer of complexity."

High availability, low supply

The rise of IT management generalists alongside the increased specificity of HA failover requirements makes the abstraction and automation offered by SIOS and its competitors valuable in the data center, said Christophe Bertrand, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

The folks running the [enterprise's IT] aren't Ph.D. specialists. Their expertise is in running the business.
Christophe BertrandAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

"The folks running the [enterprise's IT] aren't Ph.D. specialists," he said. "Their expertise is in running the business."

But Bertrand cautioned that the growth of abstraction for HA failover is not happening across enterprise IT tech. Currently, many HA failover vendors still do not protect SaaS workloads. SaaS platforms such as those offered by SAP and Salesforce might claim to offer HA protection, but that guarantee is only for the vendor's workloads rather than the customer's data and business, Bertrand said.

"How is that high availability protection? [The platform is] protected by the vendor for its own service. You still have a responsibility as a user," he said.

Odaseva offers HA protection for Salesforce, he said, but few alternatives exist for immediately maintaining SaaS continuity.

Tim McCarthy is a news writer for TechTarget Editorial covering cloud and data storage.

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