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Active/Active for High-Availability Applications

by Aidan Clarke


Traditional IT applications were simple: they lived in one place, in your data center. If you wanted more capacity, you added more servers, storage and networks. If you wanted to make the application more reliable, you doubled it to make it highly available: you had one system running “active” - while the other system waited on “standby.” This concept of “redundancy” was simple, so long as you could buy two of everything, and were happy that only half of the infrastructure was active at any one time - not an efficient solution.


But modern applications need a modern approach to performance, security and reliability: which is why Pulse vADC approaches things differently, a software solution for a software world, where distributed applications need an “always-active” architecture.


We often hear from IT professionals that they used to avoid Active/Active architectures; for fear that performance would be compromised under failure. Our customers routinely deploy Pulse vADC in Active/Active, or even Active/Active/Active/Active solutions all the time: they can choose the right balance between node and cluster size, to optimize the availability, while reducing the size of the fault domain.


Active-Active Clustering


Similarly, high-availability architectures used to require that HA peers were installed as Layer 2 adjacent (ie: on the same network). These architectures simply don't work in today's clouds; for example, AWS availability zones, by their very design, are on different Layer 3 networks. In order to run a Layer 2 HA pair in Amazon AWS, you need to put your whole solution in a single AWS Availability zone - a practice that Amazon architects strongly discourage.


With Pulse vADC, if you can connect to each other via a network, then you can cluster your application. Which means that you can choose an availability architecture to suit your application - whether it lives in your data center, in a cloud, or both.


Get started with Pulse vADC today, our Community Edition is free to download and try out in your test and development environment.



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