In this digital age, expectations for IT to be available 24/7, 365 days a year is a requirement essential for business continuity, worldwide. From international supply chain to basic ecommerce models, the reliance for IT to be ‘on and all the time’ is a pressure for all lines of business and therefore demands an infrastructure that supports these needs, which is why we have to focus on IT systems and services.
For users, it should be the norm that IT is always available and without interruption; but for the IT team this means a lot of work and effort. No-one wants to hear ‘the service you have requested is temporarily unavailable, please try again later.’ in relation to IT services. Without IT, the business processes wouldn’t work, downtimes are simply not acceptable and the failure of core services results directly in significant revenue losses owing to a reduction in customer satisfaction leading to a business to cease trading. Companies need IT services and systems to be highly available, but not all vendors take the definition of ‘high availability’ as accurately. Increasingly, vendor systems claim to be highly available, without being actually able to meet the demands.
The subject of ‘high availability’ is relevant for companies of all sizes, but especially in smaller and medium-sized enterprises where the impact of IT outages is often underestimated. A quick search on the web and forums shows us that the cost downtime is really, very expensive. On average, high five-digit numbers can be related to one hour of IT downtime. But worryingly and all too often, IT managers do not know the real costs that could affect their own company in case of an IT failure – but we can safely assume that these are probably not too far from the average.
For IT to be ‘highly available’ and to keep organizations ‘switched on,’ reliable server and storage systems are required so that companies can operate business and mission-critical applications on industry-standard x86 servers, such as the Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST systems. Particularly, applications such as supply chain data, internal databases or ERP systems, but also customer-oriented elements such as websites and online stores, must be continuously available otherwise losses will occur. But even if the servers are more robust, it is not enough to equip them with a second power supply or other redundant components. ‘High availability’ is also not to be equated with redundant array of independent disks (RAID) or backup solutions and although these are important and indispensable in order to protect data against loss, they do not provide a fail-safe operation of the server. In fact, the implementation of ‘high availability’ solutions is affordable and profitable for smaller companies too, even if it’s not a mainframe or mainframe-like x86 mission-critical systems.
In addition to these traditional x86 server and storage systems, there are easier to implement solutions that are designed for the small to mid-market and branch offices that encompasses a well-balanced combination of server, storage, security and networking components in one compact enclosure – allowing digital growth and the ‘high availability’ of services at an affordable rate. With products like PRIMEFLEX Cluster-in-a-box, users receive a ‘small and entire hyper-converged configuration’ including Microsoft® Windows Server® 2012 R2 pre-installed and pre-configured as a high availability cluster, perfectly suited for organizations with experience in administration of Microsoft Windows Server. Its virtualized infrastructure is equipped with the most-recent generation of Intel® Xeon® processors and, depending on its configuration, it can support up to 200 virtual machines. No bigger than a desktop PC, it has enough capacity to ensure that even the most-ambitious of digitalization projects do not run out of computing power or storage space. It takes less than an hour to be up and running and thanks to a step-by-step guide, can be wizard-this driven and completed without specialist IT knowledge. Furthermore, product can be expanded with up to 78 hard drives, providing a comprehensive total storage capacity of up to 260TB.
Digital transformation takes more than just a network connection: the infrastructure and ‘high availability’ of systems and services is integral to the intricate running of a business so it is vital that we continue to innovatively deliver solutions that matches the market’s needs.
Have a look on our new video for FUJITSU Integrated System PRIMEFLEX Cluster-in-a-box and get to know about the benefits the solution provides for your company. >> YouTube Video