Active active cluster with real-time replication

Evidian SafeKit

How the active active cluster with real-time replication works?

Active- active cluster with real-time replication

Applications are running on two servers in mutual failover. Each server is backup of the other server. And each application works on its own replicated file directories.

SafeKit active active cluster with real-time replication

If one server fails in an active active cluster, all applications will be active on the same server. After restart of the failed server, applications will return to run on their default primary server.

How it works?

The SafeKit active active cluster is simply configured by deploying two mirror modules with real-time replication. Each mirror module contains its own configuration of virtual IP address, real-time replicated directories and restart scripts.

Note that:

  • the 2 applications Appli1 and Appli2 must be installed on each server for application failover,
  • this architecture is not reduced to 2 applications: N application modules can be deployed on 2 servers with a maximum of 25 modules,
  • each mirror module will have its own virtual IP address, its own replicated file directories and its own recovery scripts.

Example of an active active cluster

The Hyper-V or KVM solution with replication, automatic failover and load balancing of VMs is an example of an active-active cluster with N mirror modules replicating N virtual machines between two physical servers.

In this configuration, a mirror module replicates a full virtual machine and restarts the virtual machine in case of failure.

There is no virtual IP address in such a module because restarting a VM on a server makes automatically the failover of the VM physical IP address.

And a critical application is installed inside a VM in this architecture.

SafeKit: an ideal solution for a partner application

This platform agnostic solution is ideal for a partner with a critical application and who wants to provide a redundancy and high availability option easy to deploy to many customers.

This clustering solution is also recognized as the simplest to implement by our partners.

How the SafeKit mirror cluster works with Windows or Linux?

Step 1. Real-time replication

Server 1 (PRIM) runs the Windows or Linux application. Clients are connected to a virtual IP address. SafeKit replicates in real time modifications made inside files through the network. 

File replication at byte level in a mirror Windows or Linux cluster

The replication is synchronous with no data loss on failure contrary to asynchronous replication.

You just have to configure the names of directories to replicate in SafeKit. There are no pre-requisites on disk organization. Directories may be located in the system disk.

Step 2. Automatic failover

When Server 1 fails, Server 2 takes over. SafeKit switches the virtual IP address and restarts the Windows or Linux application automatically on Server 2.

The application finds the files replicated by SafeKit uptodate on Server 2. The application continues to run on Server 2 by locally modifying its files that are no longer replicated to Server 1.

Failover of Windows or Linux in a mirror cluster

The failover time is equal to the fault-detection time (30 seconds by default) plus the application start-up time.

Step 3. Automatic failback

Failback involves restarting Server 1 after fixing the problem that caused it to fail.

SafeKit automatically resynchronizes the files, updating only the files modified on Server 2 while Server 1 was halted.

Failback in a mirror Windows or Linux cluster

Failback takes place without disturbing the Windows or Linux application, which can continue running on Server 2.

Step 4. Back to normal

After reintegration, the files are once again in mirror mode, as in step 1. The system is back in high-availability mode, with the Windows or Linux application running on Server 2 and SafeKit replicating file updates to Server 1.

Return to normal operation in a mirror Windows or Linux cluster

If the administrator wishes the application to run on Server 1, he/she can execute a "swap" command either manually at an appropriate time, or automatically through configuration.

Choose between redundancy at the application level or at the virtual machine level

Redundancy at the application level

In this type of solution, only application data are replicated. And only the application is restared in case of failure. Restart scripts must be written to restart the application. This solution is platform agnostic and works with applications inside physical machines, virtual machines, in the Cloud.

Application HA - redundancy at the application level

We deliver application modules to implement redundancy at the application level (like the mirror module provided in the free trial below). They are preconfigured for well known applications and databases. You can customize them with your own services, data to replicate, application checkers. And you can combine application modules to build advanced multi-level architectures.

Redundancy at the virtual machine level

In this type of solution, the full Virtual Machine (VM) is replicated (Application + OS). And the full VM is restarted in case of failure. The advantage is that there is no restart scripts to write per application and no virtual IP address to define. If you do not know how the application works, this is the best solution.

VM HA - redundancy at the virtual machine level

We deliver two modules for implementing redundancy at the virtual machine level: one for Hyper-V on Windows and one for KVM on Linux. Several VMs can be replicated and can run on both hypervisors with crossed replication and mutual takeover.

Typical usage with SafeKit

Why a replication of a few Tera-bytes?

Resynchronization time after a failure (step 3)

  • 1 Gb/s network ≈ 3 Hours for 1 Tera-bytes.
  • 10 Gb/s network ≈ 1 Hour for 1 Tera-bytes or less depending on disk write performances.

Alternative

  • For a large volume of data, use external shared storage with a hardware clustering solution.
  • More expensive, more complex.

Why a replication < 1,000,000 files?

  • Resynchronization time performance after a failure (step 3).
  • Time to check each file between both nodes.

Alternative

  • Put the many files to replicate in a virtual hard disk / virtual machine.
  • Only the files representing the virtual hard disk / virtual machine will be replicated and resynchronized in this case.

Why a failover < 25 replicated VMs?

  • Each VM runs in an independent mirror module.
  • Maximum of 25 mirror modules running on the same cluster.

Alternative

  • Use an external shared storage and another VM clustering solution.
  • More expensive, more complex.

Why a LAN/VLAN network between remote sites?

Alternative

  • Use a load balancer for the virtual IP address if the 2 nodes are in 2 subnets (supported by SafeKit, especially in the cloud).
  • Use backup solutions with asynchronous replication for high latency network.

SafeKit Modules for Plug&Play Redundancy and High Availability Solutions

SafeKit Modules for Plug&Play High Availability Solutions

Network load balancing and failover

Windows farm

Linux farm

Generic Windows farm   > Generic Linux farm   >
Microsoft IIS   > -
NGINX   >
Apache   >
Amazon AWS farm   >
Microsoft Azure farm   >
Google GCP farm   >
Other cloud   >

Advanced clustering architectures

Several modules can be deployed on the same cluster. Thus, advanced clustering architectures can be implemented:

Demonstrations of Redundancy and High Availability Solutions

SafeKit Webinar

This webinar presents in 2 minutes Evidian SafeKit.

In this webinar, you will understand SafeKit mirror and farm clusters.

Microsoft SQL Server Cluster

This video shows a mirror module configuration with synchronous real-time replication and failover.

The file replication and the failover are configured for Microsoft SQL Server but it works in the same manner for other databases.

Free trial here

Apache Cluster

This video shows a farm module configuration with load balancing and failover.

The load balancing and the failover are configured for Apache but it works in the same manner for other web services.

Free trial here

Hyper-V Cluster

This video shows a Hyper-V cluster with full replications of virtual machines.

Virtual machines can run on both Hyper-V servers and they are restarted in case of failure.

Free trial here

SafeKit High Availability Differentiators against Competition

SafeKit Training

Introduction

  1. Overview / pptx

    • Features
    • Architectures
    • Distinctive advantages
  2. Competition / pptx

    • Hardware vs software cluster
    • Synchronous vs asynchronous replication
    • File vs disk replication
    • High availability vs fault tolerance
    • Hardware vs software load balancing
    • Virtual machine vs application HA

Installation, Console, CLI

  1. Install and setup / pptx

    • Package installation
    • Nodes setup
    • Cluster configuration
    • Upgrade
  2. Web console / pptx

    • Cluster configuration
    • Configuration tab
    • Control tab
    • Monitor tab
    • Advanced Configuration tab
  3. Command line / pptx

    • Silent installation
    • Cluster administration
    • Module administration
    • Command line interface

Advanced configuration

  1. Mirror module / pptx

    • userconfig.xml + restart scripts
    • Heartbeat (<hearbeat>)
    • Virtual IP address (<vip>)
    • Real-time file replication (<rfs>)
  2. Farm  module / pptx

    • userconfig.xml + restart scripts
    • Farm configuration (<farm>)
    • Virtual IP address (<vip>)
  3. Checkers / pptx

    • Failover machine (<failover>)
    • Process monitoring (<errd>)
    • Network and duplicate IP checkers
    • Custom checker (<custom>)
    • Split brain checker (<splitbrain>)
    • TCP, ping, module checkers

Support

  1. Support tools / pptx

    • Analyze snapshots
  2. Evidian support / pptx

    • Get permanent license key
    • Register on support.evidian.com
    • Call desk

Documentation

  1. Technical documentation

  2. Presales documentation