How to Keep Critical Databases Highly Available in the Cloud

New technologies can mitigate the risk of reduced functionality

Highly available databases are often the true heart of an organization. They’re key to just about every function of modern business processes: billing, online transactions processing, reports and analytics and therefore need to work, and work all the time.

That’s why more than 15,000 organizations worldwide use Oracle RAC database clusters to run their most critical applications. Consisting of a database with a shared disk architecture that overcomes the limitations of traditional shared-nothing approaches you know you’ll get a highly scalable and available database solutions for all business applications. And that is exactly what you need.

But while Oracle RAC performs beyond expectation on-premises, what about on AWS, Azure and GCP?

The fact is, businesses are moving workloads to the cloud in unprecendented numbers. Whether to take advantage of new business models, innovate faster, gain flexibility or reduce infrastructure cost (or most likely some combination of those reasons) IT managers are looking at every opportunity to make the shift.

But database clusters often lose their high availability — the reason you use them in the first place — when moved to a public cloud environment.

Fortunately, there are now solutions that mitigate this loss of critical functionality. Today, companies are able to preserve database cluster availability in the public cloud by leveraging technologies like FlashGrid SkyCluster.

SkyCluster is delivered as an easily customizable pre-integrated Infrastructure-as-Code template for the target cloud. SkyCluster consists of the standard cloud VMs or bare-metal instances and has the following software components providing the high availability clustering capabilities:

  • FlashGrid Cloud Area Network creates a high-speed network overlay with multicast, VIPs, and QoS
  • FlashGrid Storage Fabric creates shared storage from locally attached disks (EBS or local SSD)
  • Oracle Clusterware and ASM for high availability and data mirroring
  • Proven Oracle RAC database engine

The result is no single point of failure, with multiple active database nodes and two-way or three-way synchronous data mirroring by ASM. SkyCluster offers rolling patches and database availability under many failure scenarios, including:

  • VM or physical host failure
  • Planned VM reboots by cloud provider (host retirement, security updates)
  • Entire AZ failure (local disaster or data center outage)
  • Database or OS crash
  • System disk or file system corruption

Does your business rely on Oracle RAC? Are you moving to public cloud? Let Rackspace help accelerate the value of that move. Utilizing our continuous modernization approach we start with a proof of value assessment and follow that with a proof of concept allowing our experts quickly design and implement a custom solution that leverages the latest technologies, including FlashGrid SkyCluster, so you can achieve the performance and outcomes you desire.

If you’ll be in San Antonio for the Oracle Applications User Group Connect April 7-11, swing by booth 1039 and meet with a Rackspace expert to discuss how we can help.

Want to get out and see some of the Alamo City while you’re here? We’re hosting a Riverwalk boat tour and presentation, “Welcome to Rackspace’s Hometown,” on April 9 from 2 – 3 p.m. Add it to your agenda here!

Michael Roehricht is a Senior Product Marketing Manager supporting RAS for eCommerce & Digital Experience. Michael holds a MIS degree from the University of New Mexico and a MBA from the University of San Francisco. Prior to joining Rackspace in March 2013, Michael owned his own online solutions company called ofoundry and also held online marketing and eCommerce leadership roles at Dell, Palm and various startups in Silicon Valley.

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