Business Continuity Load Balancing And High Availability

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Business Continuity Load Balancing[1] Overview

Business continuity plans are procedures that detail how an organization will deal with disruptive events. This can range from a power outage that takes IT systems offline, to major events such as fire or even hurricanes. Business continuity is all about keeping a business running, no matter how big or small the event. In terms of IT resources, there are two main concerns: the first is getting IT systems back online as quickly as possible, and the second is ensuring that the workforce is able to carry on working, even if it has to move office location or work from home.

 

Traditionally, IT business continuity for equipment, applications and data has been assured using a mixture of two primary techniques:

  1. Housing redundant hardware[2], spread across different geographical locations, specifically for use in emergency situations.
  2. Data replication[3]: producing copies of information — often as backups — on various types of media and stored in separate locations.

These solutions are expensive and can be prone to failure. Backup media do not always restore correctly. Housing equipment that is never used is inefficient and costly, and requires maintenance overheads to keep redundant machines operational.  Also, the traditional solutions do not address workforce continuity: while systems are offline, employees cannot get any work done.

Business Continuity And Virtualization[4]

Virtualization is a great alternative to these traditional techniques and offers significant advantages in terms of business continuity. When applications and operating systems are tied to a server, if the server fails or becomes inoperative the applications are unavailable until the server is restored[5].  Instead, virtualization uses virtual machines, which mimic the operating environment of applications, and can be run on different servers. So, if one server fails, the application transfers to an alternative server. For the user, there is a seamless transition without the loss of any work or transactions that are underway[6]. This process is known as full redundancy / high availability and is crucial for guaranteeing business continuity.

Business Continuity Load Balancing[7]

2X Remote Application Server ensures complete terminal server redundancy by checking server availability before forwarding a connection to a particular server. This mode of operation includes automatic failover protection[8] in the event of system failure or downtime by rerouting workload and applications from failed or overloaded servers and inoperative data centers to available hardware in an alternate location. Even users’ application sessions can be migrated to the new servers without their work being interrupted.

Virtualization also enables workload management. When using dedicated servers, applications can start to run slowly or crash if activity reaches a crisis point. Virtualization enables load balancing[9] so that, as the load increases, additional resources can be automatically provided to cope with the extra activity, thus distributing the load across the available servers. This keeps applications running at peak performance and prevents the server from overloading. With 2X Remote Application Server, it’s easy to achieve a load balancing setup without complex network configuration or dedicated hardware.

Business Continuity With Application And Remote Desktop High Availability

The second business continuity issue is workforce continuity. 2X offers the perfect solution via virtual desktops and applications delivered to any mobile and desktop device. Whenever trouble strikes, the main concern is to get employees working as quickly as possible. This means getting them access to their applications, data, files, and communication and collaboration tools as quickly as possible, to keep the business up and running. If employees are unable to access the office for any reason, the 2X Cloud Portal enables seamless work from home. The affected staff can log in to their existing desktops, applications, files and data via the 2X Cloud Portal, using whatever devices they have at hand. Users are provided with a rich desktop experience that mirrors the environment, access and permissions they had at their desks. Additionally, if the downtime or disaster happens in the course of the working day, staff can be sent to alternate locations and the IT department can quickly get the new offices online. Users are even able to reopen the sessions they were using before disaster struck, continuing their tasks from where they left off.

Business Continuity: The 2X Software Approach

2X uses three primary techniques to keep IT systems running, whatever the emergency.

  • High availability[10] – load balancing
  • Virtual applications[11]
  • Virtual and remote desktops[12]

Load balancing is crucial to achieve business continuity. Safeguarding mission-critical applications[13] is made possible by virtual 2X infrastructures. These infrastructures allow spare / underutilized hardware to quickly come online. This maintains the key elements of a business’s IT environment and avoids instances of interruption in service by providing failover options. In addition, 2X load balancing enables traffic to be shared with or transferred to another server, so applications always deliver high performance, and the risk of applications crashing or hardware overload is eliminated. As the load increases, extra resources are automatically provided to cope with the increased activity, distributing the load across the available servers. With 2X Remote Application Server, it’s easy to achieve a load balancing setup without complex network configuration or dedicated hardware.

Conclusion

Comprehensive business continuity pivots around people and processes. With virtualization, business continuity goes beyond the technology aspects to the workforce. New virtual desktops can rapidly be brought online or employees can use the on-demand 2X Cloud Portal. This means that employees quickly become operational, no matter whether they are working from home or at an alternative office location, while the IT department focuses on repairing the damaged infrastructure.  business continuity load balancing

About 2X Remote Application Server

2X Remote Application Server[14] is a great tool for seamless virtual desktop and application delivery[15]. Easy to configure and install, it can be set up in less than five minutes. 2X Software’s solutions offer an outstanding experience from the start. Easily deliver Windows applications hosted on hypervisors and Windows remote desktop servers to anyone anywhere using any type of operating system, computer or mobile device. By hosting applications in the private cloud, businesses also benefit from reduced administration overheads and a lower demand for helpdesk support, and can easily control who can access applications and ensure that everyone is using the latest and most secure versions of the applications. 

Load Balancing — Easily Set Up And Resource-Based

Load balancing[16] plays a critical role in cloud computing. 2X Remote Application Server can distribute load among servers based on the resources available, dramatically improving the user experience. With 2X, it’s easy to achieve a load balancing setup without complex network configuration or dedicated hardware

Redundancy / High Availability — Easy To Set Up A Cluster Of Machines

Full redundancy / high availability is crucial to guarantee business continuity. 2X Remote Application Server checks all relevant services before forwarding a connection to a particular server – ensuring complete terminal server redundancy – and includes automatic failover protection for the 2X solution in the event of system failure or downtime, hence providing a completely redundant solution. In contrast, Microsoft Network Load Balancing simply determines whether individual servers are connected. Increase your terminal server performance, security and redundancy using resource-based load balancing. The 2X LoadBalancer[17] allows you to easily load balance sessions between Windows Remote Desktop Services and Windows Terminal Services, and provide fault tolerance. With regard to remote users, an added advantage is that back-end terminal servers can be hidden to allow access to the gateway machine(s) only, therefore significantly increasing terminal server security. With 2X LoadBalancer, users can easily be connected to active and disconnected sessions, eliminating the need to set up Microsoft Session Directory Services.

About 2X Software

2X Software is a global leader in virtual desktop, application delivery and mobile device management solutions. Thousands of organizations worldwide trust in the reliability and scalability of 2X products. 2X offers a range of solutions to make every organization’s shift to cloud computing simple and affordable. 2X Software New Website

The company’s product line includes the award-winning 2X Remote Application Server (2X RAS), providing platform-independent virtual desktop, application delivery and integrated thin client management from a single software package to any modern operating system, as well as to mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. 2X Mobile Device Manager (2X MDM) offers a complementary (or standalone) solution that enables 2X Software’s customers to monitor and manage corporate and employee-owned mobile devices. With 2X MDM, customers will be able to track their devices and remotely lock or delete data if a device is lost or stolen. In addition, organizations will be able to monitor mobile devices for malware, and remove inappropriate apps.

For more information, visit www.2x.com or contact Giorgio Bonuccelli by email (Giorgio.Bonuccelli@2x.com) or phone (+356 2258 3800).

Business Continuity Load Balancing [1] Business continuity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_continuity
Business Continuity Load Balancing [2] What is BC ? http://www.thebci.org/index.php/resources/what-is-business-continuity
Business Continuity Load Balancing [3] Replication technology for business continuity and disaster recovery http://searchdisasterrecovery.techtarget.com/podcast/Replication-technologies-for-business-continuity-and-disaster-recovery
Business Continuity Load Balancing [4] Business Continuity and Virtualization http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/virtualization-disaster_recovery-business_continuity,2-193.html
Business Continuity Load Balancing [5] Virtualization and Business Continuity
http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature0408.htm
Business Continuity Load Balancing [6] Better business protection through virtualization  http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/power/ps4q06-20070169-Ziff.pdf
Business Continuity Load Balancing [7] Load balancing http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/load-balancing
Business Continuity Load Balancing [8] Failover http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/failover
Business Continuity Load Balancing [9] Load balancing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_balancing_(computing)
Business Continuity Load Balancing [10] High Availability: Design, Techniques, and Processes. Floyd Piedad and Michael Hawkin. Upper Saddle River, N.J. Prentice-Hall, 2001.
Business Continuity Load Balancing [11] App virtualization (application virtualization)  http://searchvirtualdesktop.techtarget.com/definition/app-virtualization
Business Continuity Load Balancing [12] Virtual desktop http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_desktop
Business Continuity Load Balancing [13] Virtual application http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_application
Business Continuity Load Balancing [14] 2X ApplicationServer XG version 11 (Review) http://www.zdnet.com/2x-applicationserver-xg-version-11-review-7000023796/
Business Continuity Load Balancing [15] Application virtualization  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_virtualization
Business Continuity Load Balancing [16] Load Balance Terminal Services & Citrix Servers: 2X LoadBalancer Software Review http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles-tutorials/product-reviews/Software-Review-2X-LoadBalancer-Terminal-Services-Citrix.html
Business Continuity Load Balancing [17] 2X Load Balancer – customer experience http://forums.petri.com/showthread.php?t=15404

Giorgio Bonuccelli is a Marketing and Communications Director at Parallels. Giorgio has extensive experience in cloud computing and virtualization, with a background of many years in multinational corporations (Dell, EMC and McAfee). In his career he has filled different roles, from sales to training and marketing. This wide-ranging experience and flexibility helps him simplify concepts and write content that is easy to read and understandable even by newcomers to the subject. As a blogger and technical writer he has published more than 1000 papers.