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Ensuring web application reliability

Posted on 2004-10-20
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We are developing a monitoring application that will be used by our tech teams located in different parts of the world to monitor and manage our customers' networks in Europe.

I would be interested in any expert views on how we achieve near 100% uptime and what would be the set-up needed to ensure near 100% connectivity (between the teams and the web application and the customer networks) in different parts of the world? I am wondering if the alternative to building our own 'datacentre' (which would be overkill for just running one application?) would be to use a number of webhosting companies in different parts of the world, running the same application and to have multiple database servers that can hold 'mirrored' data in different parts of the world?

How for instance do google and yahoo etc ensure such high levels of availability when we are seeing that our own company website is inaccessible every once in a while?

Many thanks in advance


 
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Question by:Rmocherla
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humeniuk earned 125 total points
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"I am wondering if the alternative to building our own 'datacentre' (which would be overkill for just running one application?) would be to use a number of webhosting companies in different parts of the world, running the same application and to have multiple database servers that can hold 'mirrored' data in different parts of the world?"

I think this would be preferred to building your own 'datacentre' from a cost and manpower perspective.  Remember that building your own datacentre doesn't guarantee 100% uptime, it just means you are responsible for diagnosing and fixing downtime.

You could certainly set up multiple hosting accounts with servers located in different parts of the world with mirroring, redundancy, failover, etc. (a good thread re. this: www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Web_Servers/Q_20976136.html) and you wouldn't even need to use different hosting companies.  There are several good ones that have servers located in various places, such as www.rackspace.com and www.1and1.com.  Rackspace boasts a Zero Downtime Network with Money Back Guarantee.  The fact is that you can never be sure of that.  If you have one server in one location, anything can happen, ie. an earthquake could level the building.  However, they do have a great track record.  If you were to have a server in Europe and a server in the US, I think you'd be pretty secure.  They have data centers in London, Texas, and Virginia.  1and1 has "4 data centers worldwide" although I'm not sure where they are.

Others to look at: www.verio.com & www.akamai.com (for info on the kind of thing you're talking about, see www.akamai.com/en/html/business/ebusiness_continuity.html).

I hope this helps.
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