Microsoft Calls On ScaleArc to Ensure the Continuous Availability and Performance of its Premier Community Website
As part of the company’s “Get Current/Stay Current” initiative, Microsoft’s IT organization planned to upgrade its underlying database infrastructure for answers.microsoft.com from SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2014. At the same time, the organization’s server hardware was approaching end of life, so the team decided the timing was right to move to a virtualized environment. All these changes coming at the same time presented the IT team with several big challenges.
- Move from a physical data center architecture to a virtualized environment that did not support the same level of failover and business continuity
- Migrate from SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2014 without rearchitecting the application
- Extend failover to support zero-downtime maintenance to streamline patching and testing
- Overcome limitations of AlwaysOn:
- no load balancing
- not replication aware
- no method for detecting failover state of availability groups
- Enabled the team to “go live” in 4 months vs. 9 months with no app changes
- Provides cross-data center failover, without app errors
- Enables zero downtime maintenance and patching for continuous availability
- Supports read/write split on AlwaysOn with no app changes
- Delivers geo-aware load balancing
- Supports 8x traffic capacity – all servers used
- Integration with SQL Server 2014 for Continuous Availability – ScaleArc’s software integrates with AlwaysOn, learning server cluster and status information from it. ScaleArc’s software detects when a primary has failed and maintains client connections and queues inbound queries during the failover. Once the secondary has become the new primary, ScaleArc forwards the queued transactions, preventing errors during failover.
- Zero Downtime Maintenance -Because Microsoft’s community website is available 24x7 to its customers, zero downtime maintenance is a key capability for the IT organization. Microsoft can now leverage the ScaleArc failover technology to eliminate maintenance windows and avoid any application downtime while keeping servers fully up to date with patches.
- Auto Failover for High Availability Across Regions - Microsoft needed strong failover not just within a data center but also across all four of its geographically distributed data centers. The ScaleArc software automates and accelerates the failover process for unplanned server failure by effectively steering and load balancing traffic across all four data centers.