Briefing Note: SIOS Provides High Availability for Azure based MS-SQL

Data centers of all sizes are looking to the cloud to perform computational workloads like databases and other applications. They are expecting a cloud provider to either run the entire workload in the cloud or make capacity available for bursting to the cloud, or they want to leverage the cloud for business continuity of an on-premises copy of an application. There are two key challenges to the transition from private on premises data center to cloud; support of more traditional applications and providing enterprise class high availability of cloud based applications.

Recently SIOS Technology, providers of SAN and SANless clustering technology, announced they have received full certification for Microsoft Azure, making their SIOS DataKeeper software the only solution certified to enable the use of Microsoft Windows Server Failover Clustering in Azure. Azure provides support for MS-SQL in the cloud and SIOS DataKeeper allows you to use traditional Windows Server Failover Clustering in Azure to makes it highly available Microsoft is offering the SIOS DataKeeper software in its Azure Marketplace.

No NoSQL, MS-SQL Server Please

While NoSQL is a rapidly growing database standard, more traditional data centers count on databases like Microsoft SQL Server. They don’t have the time, desire and in some cases the capability to convert. The good news is that some cloud providers can deliver SQL as an application in the cloud, most notably, Microsoft’s own Azure. Azure is an open, flexible, enterprise-grade cloud computing platform and obviously it runs SQL quite well.

Cloud Applications High Availability

Another challenge is creating an HA environment for each of the above scenarios in a way that does not require changes to well-proven processes, such as HA clusters with Windows Server Failover Clustering. This is a problem because the cloud doesn’t have the shared storage infrastructure that traditional clustering solutions need.

SIOS DataKeeper fills that gap. SIOS DataKeeper is a SANless cluster solution that leverages replication and application awareness to enable WSFC to provide high availability in a cloud (or a physical or virtual environment where SAN-based clustering is impractical or impossible). The solution can be deployed directly into Azure so that replication and HA can be done within or across cloud regions. It can also be deployed to provide a DR instance of an on-premises SQL application by enabling you to put a cluster node(s) in the cloud. The result is that no matter where the organization is on its cloud journey the SIOS solution can make sure the application is as well protected as it is in a traditional physical environment.

You can learn more about how to put SQL in the cloud by watching our on-demand webinar “HA and DR must haves for Cloud Based SQL”.

StorageSwiss Take

The journey to the cloud will be different for each organization that embarks on it. But most organizations will face the challenges of supporting legacy applications and providing high availability. SIOS, in conjunction with Microsoft’s Azure, is an example of a solution that solves both problems and should speed an organization’s journey, while keeping it reliable.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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