ShareFile presents: How to leverage the cloud to avoid downtime!
“ShareFile is spread across multiple availability zones on Amazon’s EC2 data center and uses all five of their major data centers in Northern Virginia, California, Ireland, Singapore and Japan. In addition, we have a whole farm of servers, spread across availability zones, that handle our customers’ uploads and downloads, and the servers are more or less interchangeable so that if one, or a handful of servers go down, our customers are not affected by any downtime.”
If an availability zone were to incur an issue, ShareFile has a monitoring system that will constantly monitor servers for a bi-directional data transfer heartbeat. Should that server become unavailable, it is dropped from the aggregated server farm automatically. I inquired specifically as to the sequence of events that happened in the US-East region and how ShareFile accommodated the outage, to which Lipson responded:
“When Amazon experienced it’s outage in one of the availability zones on the East Coast, the affected servers were automatically dropped from ShareFile’s server farm without any human intervention and the upload/download success rates were normal. The next day our team added some extra server capacity on the West Coast as a precautionary measure in case the issue got worse on the East Coast, but our customers didn’t experience any downtime. Since we are focused on businesses that share large and sensitive files externally and internally, there’s an expectation that these files reach the right people at the right time and we’ve been pretty conscious, since ShareFile’s inception, to provide continuous service for our customers.”
So basically, the same way you’d avoid downtime in your own server farm, but with cloud resources. Well done.