Demonstrations of SafeKit High Availability Software

SafeKit Webinar

This webinar presents in 10 minutes Evidian SafeKit.

In this webinar, you will understand:

  • mirror and farm clusters
  • cost savings against hardware clustering solutions
  • best use cases
  • the integration process for a new application

Microsoft SQL Server Cluster

This video shows a mirror module configuration with synchronous real-time replication and failover.

The file replication and the failover are configured for Microsoft SQL Server but it works in the same manner for other databases.

Free trial here

Apache Cluster

This video shows a farm module configuration with load balancing and failover.

The load balancing and the failover are configured for Apache but it works in the same manner for other web services.

Free trial here

Hyper-V Cluster

This video shows a Hyper-V cluster with full replications of virtual machines.

Virtual machines can run on both Hyper-V servers and they are restarted in case of failure.

Free trial here

Tutorials on the SafeKit administration console

First use of SafeKit

This tutorial shows how to use the SafeKit console the first time after the download of the SafeKit package. You will see how to set-up the IP addresses of the servers in the cluster, how to set a replicated directory and a virtual IP address. The Configuration tab is demonstrated.

Edit failover scripts

In a high availability cluster, the critical application must restart automatically. This tutorial shows how to edit start and stop scripts in the SafeKit console to include start and stop of the critical application. The Configuration tab is demonstrated.

Monitoring a high availability cluster

This tutorial shows what happens when a server crashes in the SafeKit cluster management console. The Monitoring tab is demonstrated.

Set a replication network

SafeKit is making real-time replication of data. This tutorial shows how to set a replication network in the cluster management console. The Configuration tab is demonstrated.

Troubleshooting with the cluster management console

When the SafeKit console presents a red server, it means that the solution is no more high available. This tutorial shows how to manage a problem in a cluster and how to restart a high availability module. The Control tab is demonstrated.

Set a heartbeat timeout

The heartbeat timeout determines how much time a secondary server waits when the primary server crashes before restarting an application. The default timeout value is 30 seconds and is set to 15 seconds in this videos. The Advanced Configuration tab of the cluster management console is demonstrated.

Add a ping checker

This tutorial shows how to add a ping checker to an external router in a high availability module. If the router cannot be accessed by a server, the module goes to the WAIT red state on this server, When the router is accessible, the module on the server is automatically restarted and goes to a green state. The Advanced Configuration tab of the cluster management console is demonstrated in this video.

Other SafeKit videos

What are the needs in terms of high availability?

A short video that presents the needs in terms of high availability.

More information...

High availability for dummies with Microsoft Paint :-)

A video showing how SafeKit works with Microsoft Paint.

More information...

Software cluster versus hardware cluster

This video compares the SafeKit clustering software versus hardware clustering solutions.

More information...

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery with a single software

This video shows how business continuity and disaster recovery can be simply implemented with SafeKit without the need of a replicated SAN.

More information...

High availability cluster between a laptop and a netbook

Understand in 5 minutes the simplicity of the SafeKit high availability solution and the resulting cost-savings with a demonstration of a Windows cluster implemented by a laptop and a netbook.

More information...

Hyper-V Replication and Automatic Failover of VM Checkpoints and Settings

This video shows replication of VM checkpoints and settings (another video shows the replication of full VMs).

More information...

Active-active cluster with real-time replication

This video shows an active-active cluster with real-time replication built with 2 SafeKit mirror modules.

More information...

Clustering with load balancing and mirroring

This video shows a combination of load balancing, replication and failover with a farm module and a mirror module. A failover dependency between the farm and the mirror modules is demonstrated.

More information...

Synchronous replication vs asynchronous replication

This video shows that no transactions are lost with synchronous replication on Microsoft Message Queuing while data are lost with asynchronous replication.

More information...

Virtual IP address with load balancing and failover

This video shows how a virtual IP address with load balancing and failover works on Apache.

More information...

Heartbeat, failover, quorum

This video shows how the split brain problem is solved for a cluster in a network isolation situation on the Microsoft SQL Server application.

More information...

Automatic failback after a failover

This video shows replication of Microsoft Message Queuing with an automatic failback after a failover. Data are resynchronized while being modified.

More information...

Master / slaves dependency between modules

This video shows a master / slaves dependency between modules in a SafeKit high availability cluster.

More information...

Free On-Line Training on SafeKit High Availability Software

SafeKit High Availability Differentiators against Competition

Key differentiators of a mirror cluster with replication and failover

Evidian SafeKit mirror cluster with real-time file replication and failover

All clustering features All clustering features

Like  A SafeKit cluster runs on Windows and Linux without the need for expensive shared or replicated disk bays

Like  SafeKit includes all clustering features: synchronous real-time file replication, monitoring of server/network/software failures, automatic application restart, virtual IP address switched in case of failure to reroute clients

Dislike  This is not the case with replication-only solutions like replication at the database level which implements only replication

Like   The cluster configuration is very simple and made by means of application modules. There is no domain controller or active directory to configure as with Microsoft cluster

Like  SafeKit implements quick application restart in case of failure: around 1 mn or less (see RTO/RPO here)

Dislike  Quick application restart is not ensured with full virtual machines replication. In case of hypervisor failure, a full VM must be rebooted on a new hypervisor with a recovery time depending on the OS reboot as with VMware HA or Hyper-V cluster

Synchronous replication Synchronous replication

Like  The real-time replication is synchronous with no data loss on failure

Dislike  This is not the case with asynchronous replication

Fully automated failback procedure Automatic failback

Like  After a failure when a server reboots, the replication failback procedure is fully automatic and the failed server reintegrates the cluster without stopping the application on the only remaining server

Dislike  This is not the case with most replication solutions particularly with replication at the database level. Manual operations are required for resynchronizing a failed server. The application may even be stopped on the only remaining server during the resynchonization of the failed server

Replication of any type of data

Like  The replication is working for databases but also for any files which shall be replicated

Dislike  This not the case for replication at the database level

File replication vs disk replication File replication vs disk replication

Like  The replication is based on file directories that can be located anywhere (even in the system disk)

Disike  This is not the case with disk replication where special application configuration must be made to put the application data in a special disk

File replication vs shared disk File replication vs shared disk

Like  The servers can be put in two remote sites

Dislike  This is not the case with shared disk solutions

Remote sites Remote sites

Like  All SafeKit clustering features are working for 2 servers in remote sites. Performances of replication depends on the interconnect latency for real-time synchronous replication and on the bandwidth for resynchronizing data on a failed server

Like  If both servers are connected to the same IP network through an extended LAN between two remote sites, the virtual IP address of SafeKit is working with rerouting at level 2

Like  If both servers are connected to two different IP networks between two remote sites, the virtual IP address can be configured at the level of a load balancer. SafeKit offers a health check: the load balancer is configured with a URL managed by SafeKit which returns OK on the primary server and NOT FOUND else. This solution is implemented for SafeKit in the Cloud but it can be also implemented with a load balancer on premise

Quorum Quorum

Like  With remote sites, the solution works with only 2 servers and for the quorum (network isolation), a simple split brain checker to a router is offered to support a single execution

Like  This is not the case for most clustering solutions where a 3rd server is required for the quorum

Active/active cluster Active active mirror cluster

Like  The secondary server is not dedicated to the restart of the primary server. The cluster can be active-active by running 2 different mirror modules

Dislike  This is not the case with a fault tolerant system where the secondary is dedicated to the execution of the same application synchronized at the instruction level

Uniform high availability solution Uniform high availability solution

Like  SafeKit implements a mirror cluster with replication and failover. But it imlements also a farm cluster with load balancing and failover. Thus a N-tiers architecture can be made highly available and load balanced with the same solution on Windows and Linux (same installation, configuration, administration with the SafeKit console or with the command line interface). This is unique on the market

Dislike  This is not the case with an architecture mixing different technologies for load balancing, replication and failover

Evidian SafeKit farm cluster with load balancing and failover

No load balancer or dedicated proxy servers or special multicast Ethernet address No load balancer or dedicated proxy servers

Like   The solution does not require load balancers or dedicated proxy servers above the farm for imlementing load balancing. SafeKit is installed directly on the application servers in the farm. The load balancing is based on a standard virtual IP address/Ethernet MAC address and is working with physical servers or virtual machines on Windows and Linux without special network configuration

Dislike  This is not the case with network load balancers

Dislike  This is not the case with dedicated proxies on Linux

Dislike  This is not the case with a specific multicast Ethernet address on Windows

All clustering features All clustering features

Like  The solution includes all clustering features: virtual IP address, load balancing on client IP address or on sessions, monitoring of server/network/software failures, automatic application restart with a quick revovery time and a replication option with a mirror module

Dislike  This is not the case with other load balancing solutions. They are able to make load balancing but they do not include a full clustering solution with restart scripts and automatic application restart in case of failure. They do not offer a replication option

Like   The cluster configuration is very simple and made by means of application modules. There is no domain controller or active directory to configure on Windows. The solution works on Windows and Linux

Remote sites Remote sites

Like   If servers are connected to the same IP network through an extended LAN between remote sites, the virtual IP address of SafeKit is working with load balancing at level 2

Like   If servers are connected to different IP networks between remote sites, the virtual IP address can be configured at the level of a load balancer. SafeKit offers a health check: the load balancer is configured with a URL managed by SafeKit which returns OK on the UP servers and NOT FOUND else. This solution is implemented for SafeKit in the Cloud but it can be also implemented with a load balancer on premise. Thus you can implement load balancing but also all the clustering features of SafeKit including an easy administration of the cluster through the SafeKit web console

Uniform high availability solution Uniform high availability solution

Like  SafeKit imlements a farm cluster with load balancing and failover. But it implements also a mirror cluster with replication and failover. Thus a N-tiers architecture can be made highly available and load balanced with the same solution on Windows and Linux (same installation, configuration, administration with the SafeKit console or with the command line interface). This is unique on the market

Dislike  This is not the case with an architecture mixing different technologies for load balancing, replication and failover

High availability architectures comparison

Feature

SafeKit cluster

Other clusters

Software clustering vs hardware clustering
More information...
A software cluster with SafeKit installed on two servers

Like  A simple software cluster with the SafeKit package just installed on two servers
Hardware clustering with external shared storage Network load balancers or dedicated proxy servers



Dislike  Complex hardware clustering with external storage or network load balancers
Shared nothing vs a shared disk cluster
More information...
SafeKit shared-nothing cluster: easy to deploy even in remote sites

Like  SafeKit is a shared-nothing cluster: easy to deploy even in remote sites
Shared disk cluster: complex to deploy

Dislike  A shared disk cluster is complex to deploy
Application High Availability vs Full Virtual Machine High Availability
More information...


Like  Application HA supports hardware failure and software failure with a quick recovery time (RTO around 1 mn or less).
Smooth upgrade of application and OS possible server by server (version N and N+1 can coexist)
Virtual machines high availability supports only hardware failure with an recovery time depending on the OS reboot

Dislike  Full virtual machines HA supports only hardware failure with a VM reboot and a recovery time depending on the OS reboot.
Smooth upgrade not possible
High availability vs fault tolerance SafeKit high availability vs fault-tolerance

Like  No dedicated server. Each server can be the failover server of the other one.
Software failure with restart in another OS environment.
Smooth upgrade of application and OS possible server by server (version N and N+1 can coexist)
Fault tolerance system

Dislike  Secondary server dedicated to the execution of the same application synchronized at the instruction level.
Software exception on both servers at the same time.
Smooth upgrade not possible
Synchronous replication vs asynchronous replication
More information...


Like  SafeKit implements real-time synchronous replication with no data loss in case of failure
Asynchronous replication with data loss on failure

Dislike  With asynchronous replication, there is data loss on failure
Byte-level file replication vs block-level disk replication
More information...
SafeKit cluster with byte-level file replication: simply replicates directories even in the system disk

Like  SafeKit implements real-time byte-level file replication and is simply configured with application directories to replicate even in the system disk
Cluster with block-level disk replication: complex and require to put application data in a special disk

Dislike  Block-level disk replication is complex to configure and requires to put application data in a special disk
Heartbeat, failover and quorum to avoid 2 master nodes
More information...
Simple quorum in a SafeKit cluster with a split brain checker configured on a router

Like  To avoid 2 masters, SafeKit proposes a simple split brain checker configured on a router
Complex quorum in other clusters: third machine, special quorum disk, remote hardware reset

Dislike  To avoid 2 masters, other clusters require a complex configuration with a third machine, a special quorum disk, a special interconnect
Network load balancing
More information...
No special network configuration in a SafeKit cluster

Like  No dedicated proxy servers and no special network configuration are required in a SafeKit cluster for network load balancing
Special network configuration in other clusters

Dislike  Special network configuration is required in other clusters for network load balancing

SafeKit Modules for Plug&Play High Availability Solutions

SafeKit Modules for Plug&Play High Availability Solutions

Network load balancing and failover: click on the blue buttons

Farm modules

Windows

Linux

IIS-
Apache
New application
Amazon AWS farm
Microsoft Azure farm
Google GCP farm
Cloud generic farm

Real-time file replication and failover: click on the blue buttons

Mirror modules

Windows

Linux

Microsoft SQL Server-
Oracle
MySQL
PostgreSQL
Firebird
Hyper-V-
Milestone XProtect-
Hanwha Wisenet SSM-
New application
Amazon AWS mirror
Microsoft Azure mirror
Google GCP mirror
Cloud generic mirror