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VMblog's Expert Interviews: SIOS Talks High Availability Survey Results

 

SIOS Technology Corp., the industry pioneer in providing intelligent application availability for critical workloads, announced this week the results of a new survey that it conducted so that they could better understand the current trends and challenges related to the general state of HA (high availability) applications in organizations of all sizes.  To dig in deeper into those survey results, VMblog spoke with Jerry Melnick, President and CEO of SIOS.  

VMblog:  Can you start off by telling readers what the SIOS High Availability survey report is all about?

Jerry Melnick:  SIOS Technology Corp. with ActualTech Media conducted a survey of 390 IT staff from a broad range of company sizes in the US to understand current trends and challenges related to the general state of HA (highly available) applications in organizations of all sizes.  An organization's HA applications are generally the ones that ensure that a business remains in operation.  Such systems can range from order taking systems to CRM databases to anything that keeps employees, customers, and partners working together.  We focused on tier 1 mission critical applications, including oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP/HANA.  For most organizations operating these kinds of services, they are the lifeblood.  They hold the data that enables the organization to achieve its goals.

VMblog:  And what were some of the key findings uncovered in the survey results?

Melnick:  Most (86%), but not all, organizations are operating their HA applications with some kind of clustering or high availability mechanism in place. A full 95% of respondents report that they have occasional failure in the underlying HA services that support their applications. Ninety-eight (98%) of respondents to our survey indicated that they see either regular or occasional application performance issues. When such issues occur, for most organizations, it takes between three and five hours to identify the cause and correct the issue and it take using between two and four tools to do so. Small companies are leading the way by going all-in on operating their HA applications in the cloud and more than half (54%) of small companies intend to be running 50% or more of their HA applications in the cloud by the end of 2018. For companies of all sizes, control of the application environment remains a key reason why workloads remain on premises, with 60% of respondents indicating that this has played a factor in retaining one or more HA application on-premises rather than moving it into the cloud. 

VMblog:  Which applications/databases among those you focused on are most popular?

Melnick:  Fifty-six percent (56%) of respondents to our survey are operating Oracle workloads, while 49% are running Microsoft SQL Server. Rounding out the survey, 28% have SAP/HANA in production. These are all clearly critical workloads in most organizations, but there are others. For this survey, we provided respondents an opportunity to tell us what, beyond these three big applications, they're operating that can be considered mission critical. Respondents indicate that they're also operating various web databases, primarily from Amazon, as well as MySQL and PostgreSQL databases. To a lesser extent, organizations are also operating some NoSQL services that are considered mission critical. 

VMblog:  For mission critical applications like these, you'd expect to see high availability and clustering mechanisms being used.  How true is this?

Melnick:  Yes, what really indicates whether or not a workload is critical is how much effort is expended on keeping that workload operational and one of the most widespread ways by which database workloads are kept in production is through the use of various high availability and clustering mechanisms.  There are a number of ways by which databases can be made highly available, including through features made available from the database vendor as well as through third parties.  For this question, we don't worry about how high availability is being achieved, but, rather, whether or not it's being done at all.  We found 86% of respondents operate at least one of their database environments in a high availability or clustered environment, leaving just 14% without this protection. 

VMblog:  What is the popularity of the cloud in HA applications?

Melnick:  Bearing in mind that "highly available" applications are those that are particularly important to the organization, we sought to understand what role the cloud plays in respondent organizations.  Modern organizations are embracing the hybrid cloud and making strategic decisions around where to operate critical workloads.  But, not everyone is keen on moving applications into an off-premises environment.  In fact, 12% of our respondents have yet to move a single highly available workload to the cloud.  This doesn't mean that they're not using cloud at all; it just means that they're not using it for their highly available applications.

In all, just 24% of respondents are running more than one-half of their highly available workloads in the cloud. 

VMblog:  What are some of the primary reasons company's aren't moving their mission critical applications to the cloud faster?

Melnick:  For companies of all sizes, control of the application environment remains a key reason why workloads remain on premises, with 60% of respondents indicating that this has played a factor in retaining one or more HA application on-premises rather than moving it into the cloud. To a lesser extent, respondents also cite lack of skills (22%) and concerns around cost (16%) as reasons to avoid moving all applications to the cloud.  14% of respondents' worries revolve around the perception that they may not be able to provide high availability services to workloads that operate in the cloud.  In comments included with the data, some respondents indicate that they also have concerns around security.  These concerns are pushing them to maintain an on-premises data center presence for key applications.

VMblog:  How important is it for respondents to predict both application performance and storage utilization in their high availability applications in the cloud, and eliminate threats to availability before they happen?

Melnick:  The importance of the ability to quickly understand application performance and other critical issues cannot be overstated. So, the question is, would respondents value the ability to predict challenges in these areas sooner rather than later so that they can take mitigating steps to prevent an issue from happening? Sixty percent (60%) of respondents say that Yes, they would place a high value on this ability, and that they need it. Coming down a step, 35% of our survey respondents indicated that they see such capability as nice to have, but not as a necessity. Rounding out the stat, 5% don't believe that such a tool would have a reasonable value in their organization.

VMblog:  Finally, what are the key take-away's from the SIOS Technology survey results?

Melnick:  Companies are running business-critical applications in complex environments. However, ensuring those applications environments are optimized and delivering on their service levels for performance and efficiency is problematic, time-consuming, and inaccurate. IT staff are using multiple different tools to check the status of their important applications and to identify the causes of performance issues when they arise. Performance issues are routine occurrences that IT staff are dealing with every month. Solutions to performance issues can be complex to find and fix. When performance suffers badly enough, user satisfaction suffers greatly.  And IT is typically left desperately searching for a solution using trial and error methods to resolve them.  

You can download the report here

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Jerry Melnick, President and CEO, SIOS Technology Corp.

Jerry is responsible directing the overall corporate strategy for SIOS Technology Corp. and leading the company's ongoing growth and expansion. He has more than 25 years of experience in the enterprise and high availability software markets. Before joining SIOS, he was CTO at Marathon Technologies where he led business and product strategy for the company's fault tolerant solutions. His experience also includes executive positions at PPGx, Inc. and Belmont Research, where he was responsible for building a leading-edge software product and consulting business focused on supplying data warehouse and analytical tools. Jerry began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation where he led an entrepreneurial business unit that delivered highly scalable, mission critical database platforms to support enterprise-computing environments in the medical, financial and telecommunication markets. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Beloit College with graduate work in Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Boston University.

Published Thursday, September 06, 2018 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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