Why is it important...Draft
Today, IP applications are at the heart of business operations, and these applications are used for various business-critical services that help reduce cost, increase productivity, and grow profitability. Downtime associated with these critical applications has a direct negative financial impact on the organizations. The cost of downtime keeps growing as reliance on mission-critical applications grows. Many mission-critical application transactions are time sensitive, and even poor response time, if not downright failures, could have severe negative impact on the end users of these applications and the business operations. For example, imagine a financial trade getting executed few seconds late because of poor application performance, or a request for patient information delayed during a medical emergency. Maximum uptime and peak performance are the critical requirements that must be met.
Increased demand for application resources results from growing number of users, increased volume of application transactions, changes in the nature of application usage, and implementation of new services. And, there is no indication that the need to scale applications to meet growing demands will ease soon. Accommodating growth and never-ending changes to applications requires flexible application and server farm infrastructure that can scale on demand. A critical component to growth is growing transparently to existing application users. Virtual infrastructure decouples physical resources from application availability and user capacity. It eliminates the need for forklift upgrades that destroy invested capital as business requirements change. Protecting invested capital is the first step to maximizing Return on Investment (ROI), and growing on demand conserves capital, which further maximizes the ROI. The virtual infrastructure also keeps application availability at a maximum independent of the physical changes to the infrastructure.
Brocade ServerIron high-performance application switches provide maximum availability to applications by intelligently distributing traffic among all available servers, and dynamically monitoring the ability of servers and applications running on the servers to deliver optimal performance. Using customizable health checks at various levels of granularity like host, port, application and transaction levels, load balancers transparently react in real time to increases and decreases in available server capacity by redistributing client traffic. Failures of servers and applications running on the servers do not cause disruption to the end clients. The failed resources are simply set aside until they come back online, and client connections are re-directed to other available servers. ServerIron switches can be deployed in multiple high-availability modes with stateful session synchronization and failover to preserve client connections during catastrophic failures. Applications are transparent to the presence and failures of load balancers, and function uninterrupted.
Scaling applications and server farms is a fundamental requirement for continued business growth, and is cost-effectively and transparently met by the ServerIron application switching solution. ServerIron switches provide virtually unlimited scalability to IP-based applications by allowing the use of multiple servers with load balancing and failover. The switches allow businesses to leverage commodity servers to build highly sophisticated and secure application infrastructure. As demand grows, simply slide in new server resources and configure the ServerIron switch to use the new resources. There is no need for forklift upgrades to the server farms and disruption to applications. With the fine-grain content switching intelligence of these switches, there is no longer the need to scale the entire server farm simultaneously. Growth can be targeted to specific application functions and content servers, which allows even higher levels of scalability. Additionally, existing resources can be more efficiently used by implementing content switching rules that maximize overall utilization.