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Report: Support for high availability applications is 'mixed'

What are high availability applications if they’re not highly available?

According to a report released this month by SIOS, in partnership with ActualTech Media, one-quarter of respondents say their high availability applications fail every month. Only 5% said they never suffer an availability failure.

“An organization’s highly available applications are generally the ones that ensure that a business remains in operation. Such systems can range from order-taking systems to CRM databases to anything that keeps employees, customers and partners working with you,” the report said. “… The news is mixed when it comes to how well HA applications are supported.”

The report, “The State of Application High Availability,” gathered responses from 390 IT professionals in the United States and focused on tier-1 mission-critical applications, including Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and SAP/HANA.

Twenty-six percent said their availability service fails at least once a month.

“This is a difficult statistic to grasp, as it would seem that there’s a fundamental flaw somewhere that needs to be corrected,” the report said. “Fortunately, not everyone is faring this badly.”

Among the rest of the 95% that said they suffer failures in high availability applications, 28% said it happens every three to six months, 16% said it happens every six to 12 months and 25% said it happens once per year or less.

High availability requires expertise, said Jerry Melnick, president and CEO of SIOS, a software company that manages and protects business-critical applications. That includes getting the right software to match requirements, getting the system configured correctly, plus discipline and management in how organizations approach the cloud, he said.

Is high availability up in the cloud?

As with many other uses, organizations are exploring the use of the cloud for high availability applications.

“Modern organizations are embracing the hybrid cloud and making strategic decisions around where to operate critical workloads,” the report said. “But not everyone is keen on moving applications into an off-premises environment.”

Twelve percent of respondents have not moved any high availability applications to the cloud. Twenty-four percent are running more than half of those applications in the cloud.

“Putting all those pieces together … requires a higher set of IT skills,” Melnick said.

Once an organization gets there, though, the cloud can help streamline high availability operations.

“The cloud offers a unique opportunity to cost effectively get to disaster recovery and handle disaster recovery scenarios,” Melnick said.

Sixty percent of organizations that haven’t made the full move to the cloud said they prefer to keep high availability applications on premises where they have more control over the infrastructure.

Melnick said he thinks some of those respondents will eventually move to the cloud.

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