High availability and disaster recovery: predictions for 2022

Published: Wednesday, 01 December 2021 10:56

As we look ahead to 2022, IT teams will continue to look for innovative ways to ensure that business-critical applications are run efficiently and that they are protected from downtime and data loss. Cassius Rhue, VP, Customer Experience at SIOS Technology, gives his views on how things will develop.

During 2021 IT teams had to absorb enormous change and protect their critical operations from unprecedented threats driven by Covid, natural disasters, supply chain interruptions, and human resource shortages. Many moved mission critical systems to cloud and hybrid cloud and implemented advanced, application-aware high availability clustering and disaster recovery protection. The impact of global changes and impending threats continues.

What do these changes mean for IT in the coming year? Here are a few predictions to consider.

Multi-cloud infrastructures will become mainstream

With the near universal acceptance of cloud computing as a core component of today’s IT infrastructures, organizations will move away from considering only a single cloud for their cloud needs. Despite the added complexity of running different workloads in different clouds, a multi-cloud model will enable businesses to choose cloud offerings that are best suited to their individual application environments, availability needs, and business requirements. However, companies are realizing that cloud SLAs for HA only cover hardware infrastructure.

Concerns about the ability to meet 99.99 percent availability SLAs in the cloud for business-critical applications will prompt organizations to implement sophisticated application-aware high availability and disaster recovery solutions. Many will avoid being locked into OS vendors for their HA / DR solutions in favor of non-OS vendors with HA/DR solutions as well as deep technical experience in delivering HA/DR in AWS EC2, Microsoft Azure.

Businesses will reconsider on-premises data centers in favor of cloud

Many companies that moved applications into the public cloud are now considering a reverse migration – back to their on-premises data centers / centres for three main reasons:  cost creep, data sovereignty requirements, and IT management control. Cloud fees can be unpredictable, and many businesses struggle to control the insidious growth of workloads and instances. Many also want to avoid ‘egress’ fees charged for removing data from the cloud.

In addition to cost, some organizations are subject to GDPR and other regulations that require them to ensure their customers’ data stays within the borders of the company home office country. If the cloud vendor does not have a data center in their geographic location, these so-called data sovereignty regulations may require them to move their workload and data back on premises.

A third common reason for moving back on premise is to regain some of the IT control that is given up to cloud vendors. While cloud vendors assume the IT burden and responsibility for system maintenance, they also take control of when and how that maintenance is performed. For critical applications with high availability SLAs, excess or inconveniently timed downtime can cost tens of thousands of dollars and more than justify moving workloads back on prem.

Enterprise reliance on databases and ERP systems will drive higher demand for specialized professional services

Powerful databases and ERP systems, including Oracle, SAP S4/HANA and SQL Server have become so business-critical that companies have little tolerance for even short periods of downtime. As environments running these applications and databases have become increasingly complex, businesses will increasingly turn to HA/DR specialists teams with extensive experience in helping IT teams implement HA/DR for their specific applications and use cases.

More investment in disaster recovery

Climate change and social unrest have moved the need for disaster recovery to the forefront of IT focus. DR planning is no longer a matter of factoring in the rare ‘once in 100 years storm’ or ‘once in a lifetime earthquake’. Natural disasters have become an increasingly common threat to business operations. Companies will spend more on DR in 2022 and look for more flexible deployment options for protection, such as replicating on-premises workloads to the cloud, or use of multi-node failover clustering across cloud availability zones and regions.

High availability protection for storage will become standard

Climate change and natural disaster threats have also shown IT teams that simple backup of data storage is no longer sufficient. Regardless of whether the storage is NFS, SAN, cloud-native shared storage, or replicated local storage, companies will need to implement a more sophisticated way to handle DR. They will increase protection levels for their data storage – both on premises and in the cloud – to include high availability and disaster protection.

Container complexity will limit adoption for production workloads

Containers are continuing to make the headlines and are destined to be applied in more use cases throughout the IT infrastructure. The benefits of containers are proven in DevOps environments but their complexity, coupled with constraints on IT resources and the complex architecture of many applications, databases, and ERP systems will limit their adoption in production environments. Companies will continue to run complicated applications, databases, and ERPs in traditional on-premises and cloud environments. They will use application-aware HA/DR clustering to reduce complexity of these environments while ensuring they are protected from downtime.

The author

Cassius Rhue, VP, Customer Experience, SIOS Technology

Cassius Rhue leads the Customer Experience team at SIOS Technology responsible for customer success spanning pre-sales, post-sales and professional services engagements. With over 19 years of experience at SIOS and a keen focus on the customer, Cassius’ significant skills, and deep knowledge in software engineering, development, design, and deployment specifically in the HA/DR space are instrumental in addressing customer issues and driving their success. Cassius has a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Computer Engineering from the University of South Carolina – Columbia, SC.