High Availability and disaster tolerance
The company is a multinational converting raw materials to high value materials for several markets like automotive, construction etc. Their plant has a continual stream of raw materials that is very important to keep coming at a certain speed. Everything is done to minimize operational outages. In this case they are using cameras to monitor the intake process. This is a 24 hours per day process that is crucial to the production process.
Improving production processes is not always an easy task while some processes are essential for the continuity of the business. The customer wanted to get a handle on an essential process by using a closed circuit camera system. People could triggered and visually check the process and take action upon a potential disruption of the proces.
Providing a camera system in itself is also a risk because of the potential unavailability of the system. In this case a proposition was made for a distributed computing system across three locations to provide High Availability incase of a power failure or even worse, a disaster at one of the locations. The system automatically starts up the Virtual Machines on one of the other remaining systems for business continuity incase of a failure on one location.
Advantages of the solution
Failure of a system is accommodated for because the system is redundant and requires no action. The Virtual Machines start automatically on another system within minutes.
In the case of a disaster whereby one of the locations is lost the system remains functional with the other two locations.
When two locations are lost the system stops to save data recorded.
The cost of downtime is usually disproportionally high. Being able to reduce the chance of these risks by a factor of magnitude will save a lot of headaches and money.
Costs of maintenance can be much lower because the system can be maintained without downtime, during office hours and the urgency of a malfunctioning system has no impact on the business.
Why Hyper Converged?
Traditionally computers and their resources are not used to their fullest potential. With software this can be changed to make computers an order of magnitude more effective in the following areas:
- Provide a management platform to manage all resources like hardware, Virtual Machines and other applications like integrated backup
- The ability to house more than one Virtual Machine in a Physical Computer
- Provide a Virtual Network for the Virtual Computers to communicate with each other or the rest of the systems
- Software defined storage can make a reliable shared storage platform for all the Virtual Machines enabling automatic failover and live migration
All the above is integrated in one Physical Computer and this is called HyperConverged.
The value of this method of computing are:
- A much more agile computer platform
- Productivity improvements
- Enhanced Business Continuity
- Operational cost reduction
- Reduction of capital expenses
Cloud system advantages
In this case three such HyperConverged computers are connected with a central Management Interface giving the whole Cloud characteristics like High availability, Integrated Back-up, Cloning of Virtual Machines, ease of use and much more.