The adage “time is money” certainly applies to modern business computing. Not so long ago, it was acceptable for a computer or a process to be offline for a few minutes or a few hours. Not anymore.
High availability allows systems to continue operating after a failure over a given period of time.
As your company’s automation efforts mature, mission-critical tasks will be performed hourly and daily that can impact revenue, supply chain, and the efficient and effective running of your business, which makes high availability a no-brainer.
You wouldn’t think twice about maintaining high availability in your production environment so your business can keep functioning. But the case can be made that your non-production environment should have high availability, too.
High Availability Is the Generator for Your Automation
As enterprises discover the benefits of automation, deployments grow in number and complexity, quickly becoming indispensable in day-to-day company operations.
Any downtime can escalate costs and reduce revenue, which is why many organizations safeguard their environment with high availability. High availability acts like a generator, allowing your environment to continue operating on an automated schedule or in relation to job triggers in the event the main scheduler crashes.
Consider the workflow and processes that require computing power, including order entry, claims processing, accounts payable, reservations, posting to the general ledger, and much more. Any downtime can escalate costs and reduce revenue, which is why having high availability should be a best practice for your organization.
The ability to prevent outages and failures through highly available systems is critical to keeping your business afloat. For many organizations, automation handles essential jobs that cannot be easily replaced by manual tasks — even if you had workers readily available to take on additional duties.
Non-Production, High Availablity Work in Tandem
IT leaders understand high availability is a necessity in production but most view it as a “nice to have” for the non-production environment. However, your non-production environment should mirror your production environment as closely as possible, including high availability. Maintaining two environments allows you to identify any potential conflicts or hazardous combinations in the non-production environment, so they can be remediated before going live. The same holds true for high availability. Having high availability in your non-production environment will allow you to simulate outages and ensure your team(s) are properly conditioned with fault tolerance practices without impacting production.
Testing processes, identifying faults, and remediating errors in a non-production environment create better and more reliable automation processes that stakeholders can trust.
High availability and a non-production environment are critical components of an “always on” business culture and help create a standard operating procedure (SOP) users can follow. Regardless of whether your automation is for other employees or your customers, everyone expects processes to work — every time.
How Can High Availability Help Your Company’s IT Environment?
Create an always-on business culture at your company by adding high availability to your production and non-production environments.