High Availability Architecture for Mission Critical Systems

Overview

Our client’s HR / Payroll systems support a global team, and this cloud migration project provided the cloudEQ team the opportunity to design a completely new environment to deliver a high availability solution. The team was able to drastically reduce recovery time from days to less than an hour and the recovery point to minutes. In addition to improved data management, the team can now perform the semi-annual tests in a single day.

FOCUS ON the Client's Goals 

Our client’s HR / Payroll systems support a global team, and this cloud migration project provided the cloudEQ team the opportunity to design a completely new environment to deliver a high availability solution. The team was able to drastically reduce recovery time from days to less than an hour and the recovery point to minutes. In addition to improved data management, the team can now perform the semi-annual tests in a single day.

PROJECT

For this project, cloudEQ built all the architecture, framework and design in three months and was able to move all the data in less than 12-hours. It is a multi-tiered system, including development, staging and production environments. The migration to an Azure site in US was lift and shift for the primary site; however, the secondary Azure site using Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for failover was a completely new architecture design built from scratch to achieve the high availability requirements of the HR / Payroll systems.

THE INITIAL GOALS FOR THE SOLUTION:

  • Stabilize the environment to minimize downtime
  • Have a seamless contingency plan
  • Support increased firewall and security systems
  • Provide better data management with shortened RTO and RPO’s

Solution OverView

Before this project, the on-prem solution that had a traditional data center approach with manual tape backups needed a complete rebuild. During the project, the following upgrades were implemented:
  • Multiple Azure sites in the US, supporting a global team
  • Oracle database and SQL servers in a multi-tiered application design
  • Improved security design to support HR and Payroll applications
  • Incremental and instant backups
  • Alerting system based on client’s business processes
  • Highly scalable solution to support additional applications and systems

RESULTS

This 3-month project delivered a world-class high availability environment for the HR / Payroll systems that significantly improved the client’s confidence in the backup and recovery process and allows for clear documentation and testing. cloudEQ took the initiative to design a high availability environment with failover and data management processes that would not only improve the current solution for their HR / Payroll system but be scalable to support other mission-critical applications and systems. This holistic approach to the design includes multiple Azure sites in the US as well as a documented migration and annual testing plans.

CHALLENGES

  • Urgent need to migrate critical systems to a cloud environment
  • High availability cloud solution did not exist in their environment
  • Unreliable disaster recovery backup system
  • Laborious semi-annual testing taking multiple days

SUCCESSES

  • System supports employees worldwide
  • Scalable for future sites and growth
  • More flexible and reliable than ever before
  • Increase firewall and security system
  • Create a HA cloud solution that allows other systems to migrate