High availability is the mantra of the day. Businesses storing up their digital assets in online and offline data repositories are anxious that the data remains highly available and accessible at all times. They want to reduce latency, guard against disaster, and avoid downtime. They want the capability and luxury of recovering their data within a pre-defined time frame that is well within their stipulated “Recovery Time Objective” (RTO) and “Recovery Point Objective” (RPO).  They are laying the foundations for setting up “Active-Active” data centres that address these very needs of the business.

The “Active-Active” data centre also known as the dual active data centre describes a network configuration of independent nodes with access to replicated databases / applications for load balancing and high availability across all available processing capacity. Failure of a node automatically switches users to another node in the pre-defined cluster.

The “Active-Active data centre” concept combines High availability and Disaster Recovery in the approach to data storage and recovery. Consequently, organizations can expect to achieve continuous availability at a lower cost and to exploit the complete potential of their data centres with the least amount of effort. The data centre can be transformed from a “shaky” facility to a powerful means of ensuring business continuity even if several computers or even a data centre crashes out of commission. Moreover, IT infrastructure and compute capabilities can be spread over the sites, simultaneous data access can be coherently managed between sites, stretched clusters can be created and load balancing mechanisms can be configured. In short, production workloads can be distributed across data-centres, IT failovers can be maintained at a higher level of efficiency and the organization does not have to make separate investment for local high availability and remote disaster recovery.  It is a win-win scenario that cannot be easily resisted.

Interestingly, a large number of organizations round the world are convinced that off-the-shelf Cloud backup and recovery based active-active data centre approaches have matured and are fully capable of delivering business value while reducing time to market.  These organizations are seriously taking up the possibility of continuous availability promised by Cloud backup and recovery systems. They are reviewing their existing architectures for transformation into hybrid architectures that combine local hardware and Cloud based infrastructures for optimum benefit.  They are orchestrating tactical shifts and setting in motion changes in the computing environments of their organization. They have redefined IT process, re-configured architectures, conducted cost-benefit analysis on expenditures, worked out operating costs and arrived at achievable savings and benefits.