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Don't Let System Downtime Damage Your Business

by Bob Williamson | insiderPROFILES

April 1, 2011

System outages, whether planned or unplanned, can have devastating effects on the business — from lost sales to customer dissatisfaction. To enable a server switchover in case of a problem, SIOS Technology Corp offers Linux users a tool to cluster SAP NetWeaver Application Server environments and allow switchovers. In this article, get an overview of the tool’s benefits and even read a quick case study from eastern Switzerland’s largest media company.
 

When your SAP system goes down — whether it’s due to hardware failure, an administrator mistake, or maintenance activities — the business impact can range from thousands of dollars in lost sales to significant drops in employee productivity and customer satisfaction. To overcome these challenges and virtually eliminate downtime from planned and unplanned outages, companies should consider implementing a high-availability cluster configuration, which clusters together a number of servers to eliminate single points of failure and enable a server switchover in case of a problem. To help, SIOS Technology Corp., working with SAP, offers Linux users a tool to cluster SAP NetWeaver Application Server (SAP NetWeaver AS) environments and enable switchovers.

Switchovers Ensure Availability

Performing a switchover is a standard technique for increasing the availability of critical SAP NetWeaver AS environments by clustering together a number of servers — including SAP’s back-end central instance database, with enqueue and message services, and network file system (NFS) mounts — within the SAP landscape. Switchover solutions constantly monitor all components of the SAP solution stack, including servers, databases, network connections, and SAP services, and take automatic recovery action if a problem is detected.

Recovery often includes an attempt to first bring the SAP system back into service on the primary server. If that doesn’t work, the recovery process will then bring the system into service on a standby server configured within the switchover cluster, ensuring that all processes start in the correct order and all storage, network, and client connections are migrated to the newly active server.

Automatic Detection and Recovery

Since 2002, the SteelEye Protection Suite (SPS) for SAP solutions has provided switchover protection for SAP NetWeaver AS installations worldwide. Available for both Red Hat and SUSE Enterprise Linux distributions, SPS uses lightweight agents that constantly monitor the operation of all critical components of an SAP solution. Should these agents detect a problem, SPS will automatically begin a recovery procedure to restore the SAP system to full operation. In addition to protecting against outages due to failure, SPS for SAP solutions can also migrate services and client connections between systems to eliminate downtime associated with planned maintenance. With SPS, standby servers do not have to be idle; they can run their own sets of applications, which will then be integrated into the switchover process as needed to enable full recovery.

Protecting Your Business Assets

To ensure the availability of business-critical data and applications running on Linux, SAP customers should deploy a high-availability solution to eliminate the risks exposed by single points of failure.

SIOS Technology’s SPS for SAP solutions provides monitoring and recovery capabilities for all pieces of SAP NetWeaver AS deployments, delivers the highest availability levels, and protects business assets and customer relationships. To learn more, visit www.us.sios.com.

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