Server mirroring is a method of backup that can be used to ensure that if your primary server fails, there will be another server available to fulfill the role of the server that has crashed. Server mirroring solution works by ensuring that the two servers are in constant synchronisation so that the failover server always has a copy of all the data hosted on the primary machine; this means that in the event that the secondary server has to take up the role of the primary server, when the automatic switchover occurs you won’t notice any difference because the most recent copies of all of your data will be accessible. There are a number of different ways in which server mirroring can be implemented; for example, if you are going to be utilising two servers on the same site then technologies such as RSync that will synchronise your data across the local network will meet your requirements, whilst Cross Platform Disaster Recovery solutions will be more beneficial for scenarios where hosting the backup environment elsewhere is necessary.
Local server mirroring
Server mirroring as a process utilises two servers that are hosted in the same data centre, are of the same specifications and are running the same platform. One server is setup to be the master server that is responsible for serving users normally, whilst the second is setup to be a slave server that can fulfill the role of the master server if it crashes.
The data hosted on the master server is always kept in constant synchronisation with the slave server so that if the slave does come into play, users are able to continue working using the same files. If the slave server does happen to be used and changes are made to files hosted on this server, these changes will be automatically sychronised to the master server when it becomes available.
Some features and benefits of using server mirroring include:
- Safe from hardware failure – because you have two separate servers running that will always be identical in terms of the data that they are hosting, even if the primary server does fail then the slave server will be able to pick up the slack whilst you repair the primary server, therefore downtime isn’t an issue that is introduced here.
- Affordable – comparable alternatives to Bodhost’s server mirroring solution can be very expensive, but we aim to keep costs low so that we can deliver you a solution that fulfills your needs and allows you remain within your budget.
- High performance – both servers will need to be of a similar specification in order for the server mirroring configuration to work and also because it is important for you to be confident that the slave server can cope with your regular traffic loads – Bodhost offers a range of high-performance dedicated servers that you can configure to meet your requirements, including high specification servers for the most demanding of scenarios.
Cross Platform Disaster Recovery using eNlight
Cross Platform Disaster Recovery (DR) is similar to server mirroring, but rather than utilising a physical server on the same site, a virtual environment is utilised as a secondary location. The biggest benefit of using this over traditional server mirroring is that if there is an issue that is affecting the data centre as a whole, the secondary location will be able to take up the role of providing your services as it is going to be a secondary data centre where the chances of being impacted by the same issues as the primary site are very low. Some of the benefits and features of Cross Platform DR include:
- Low-cost – as a Cloud platform, eNlight is able to reduce expenditure on server mirroring and DR configurations by removing the need to mirror your server infrastructure machine-for-machine at the secondary location, instead providing you with an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) platform on which you can mirror your existing configuration at a fraction of the cost.
- No platform limitations – eNlight is an x86-based cloud hosting platform that can support a number of different environments, meaning that there is no pre-requisites for the platform that you are using at your primary site because it can all be synchronised to work on the eNlight platform – there shouldn’t be many noticeable differences in performance when your services are running off the eNlight Cloud when compared to your primary site configuration.
- Scalability – in the eNlight Cloud you can begin with VMs that are paired with resource allocations capable of running the environments at a stable level whilst they aren’t being used. In the event that the backup environment does need to be used and you aren’t able to predict demand, you can enable auto-scaling, a feature that will automatically scale the resources of your DR environment to meet demand; you have full control over the amount that you are billed using this method and can place caps on the resource levels allocated this way.
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