In this article, we’ll build a highly available IRIS configuration using Kubernetes Deployments with distributed persistent storage instead of the “traditional” IRIS mirror pair. This deployment would be able to tolerate infrastructure-related failures, such as node, storage and Availability Zone failures. The described approach greatly reduces the complexity of the deployment at the expense of slightly extended RTO.

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In this post I show strategies for backing up Caché using External Backup with examples of integrating with snapshot based solutions. The majority of solutions I see today are deployed on Linux on VMware so a lot of the post shows how solutions integrate VMware snapshot technology as examples.

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++ Update: August 1, 2018

The use of the InterSystems Virtual IP (VIP) address built-in to Caché database mirroring has certain limitations. In particular, it can only be used when mirror members reside the same network subnet. When multiple data centers are used, network subnets are not often “stretched” beyond the physical data center due to added network complexity (more detailed discussion here). For similar reasons, Virtual IP is often not usable when the database is hosted in the cloud.

Network traffic management appliances such as load balancers (physical or virtual) can be used to achieve the same level of transparency, presenting a single address to the client applications or devices. The network traffic manager automatically redirects clients to the current mirror primary’s real IP address. The automation is intended to meet the needs of both HA failover and DR promotion following a disaster.

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Article
Oliver Wilms · Aug 4, 2021 3m read
IRIS Mirror in the cloud (AWS)

I have been working on redesigning a Health Connect production which runs on a mirrored instance of Healthshare 2019. We were told to take advantage of containers. We got to work on IRIS 2020.1 and split the database part from the Interoperability part. We had the IRIS mirror running on EC2 instances and used containers to run IRIS interoperability application. Eventually we decided to run the data tier in containers as well.

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++Update: August 2, 2018

This article provides a reference architecture as a sample for providing robust performing and highly available applications based on InterSystems Technologies that are applicable to Caché, Ensemble, HealthShare, TrakCare, and associated embedded technologies such as DeepSee, iKnow, Zen and Zen Mojo.

Azure has two different deployment models for creating and working with resources: Azure Classic and Azure Resource Manager. The information detailed in this article is based on the Azure Resource Manager model (ARM).

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Mirroring 101

Caché mirroring is a reliable, inexpensive, and easy to implement high availability and disaster recovery solution for Caché and Ensemble-based applications. Mirroring provides automatic failover under a broad range of planned and unplanned outage scenarios, with application recovery time typically limited to seconds. Logical data replication eliminates storage as a single point of failure and a source of data corruption. Upgrades can be executed with little or no downtime.

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Article
Eduard Lebedyuk · Nov 4 7m read
VIP in AWS

If you're running IRIS in a mirrored configuration for HA in AWS, the question of providing a Mirror VIP (Virtual IP) becomes relevant. Virtual IP offers a way for downstream systems to interact with IRIS using one IP address. Even when a failover event happens, downstream systems can reconnect to the same IP address and continue working.

The main issue, when deploying to AWS, is that an IRIS VIP has a requirement of both mirror members being in the same subnet, from the docs:

To use a mirror VIP, both failover members must be configured in the same subnet, and the VIP must belong to the same subnet as the network interface that is selected on each system

However, to get HA, IRIS mirror members must be deployed to different availability zones, which means different subnets (as subnets can be in only one az). One of the solutions might be load balancers, but they (A) cost money, and (B) if you need to route non-HTTP traffic (think TCP for HL7), you'll have to use Network Load Balancers which have a limit of 50 ports total.

In this article, I would like to provide a way to configure a Mirror VIP without the use of Network Load Balancing suggested in most other AWS reference architectures. In production, we have found limitations that impeded solutions with cost, 50 listener limits, DNS dependencies, and the dynamic nature of the two IP addresses AWS provides across the availability zones.

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In this post, I am going to detail how to set up a mirror using SSL, including generating the certificates and keys via the Public Key Infrastructure built in to InterSystems IRIS Data Platform. I did a similar post in the past for Caché, so feel free to check that out here if you are not running InterSystems IRIS. Much like the original, the goal of this is to take you from new installations to a working mirror with SSL, including a primary, backup, and DR async member, along with a mirrored database. I will not go into security recommendations or restricting access to the files. This is meant to just simply get a mirror up and running. Example screenshots are taken on a 2018.1.1 version of IRIS, so yours may look slightly different.

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Mirror Outage Procedures

Caché mirroring is a reliable, inexpensive and easy to implement high availability and disaster recovery solution for Caché and Ensemble-based applications. This article provides an overview of recommended procedures for dealing with a variety of planned and unplanned mirror outage scenarios.

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In this post, I am going to detail how to set up a mirror using SSL, including generating the certificates and keys via the Public Key Infrastructure built in to Caché. The goal of this is to take you from new installations to a working mirror with SSL, including a primary, backup, and DR async member, along with a mirrored database. I will not go into security recommendations or restricting access to the files. This is meant to just simply get a mirror up and running.

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Providing a reliable infrastructure for rapid, unattended, automated failover

Technology Overview

Traditional availability and replication solutions often require substantial capital investments in infrastructure, deployment, configuration, software licensing, and planning. Caché Database Mirroring (Mirroring) is designed to provide an economical solution for rapid, reliable, robust, automatic failover between two Caché systems, making mirroring the ideal automatic failover high-availability solution for the enterprise.

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Providing a reliable infrastructure for rapid, unattended, automated failover

Technology Overview

Traditional availability and replication solutions often require substantial capital investments in infrastructure, deployment, configuration, software licensing, and planning. Caché Database Mirroring (Mirroring) is designed to provide an economical solution for rapid, reliable, robust, automatic failover between two Caché systems, making mirroring the ideal automatic failover high-availability solution for the enterprise.

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Purpose

Most CloudFormation articles are Linux-based (no wonder), but there seems to be a demand for automation for Windows as well. Based on this original article by Anton, I implemented an example of deploying a mirror cluster to Windows servers using CloudFormation.I also added a simple walk through.
The complete source code can be found here.

Update: 2021 March 1 I added a way to connect to Windows shell by public key authentication via a bastion host as a one-liner.

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Presenter: Ray Fucillo
Task: Provide high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) in diverse architectures that demand high performance, including replication over long distances
Approach: Give examples of mirror architectures in disparate environments, including geographically separated systems. Discuss performance considerations and advances in InterSystems’ mirroring technology

In this session you will learn about deploying Mirroring to provide HA and DR in diverse architectures that demand high performance and throughput. Challenges and solutions to achieving high throughput will be covered along with mirror architectures that involve long distances and disparate environments.

Content related to this session, including slides, video and additional learning content can be found here.

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Presenter: Mark Bolinsky
Task: Provide failover for distributed systems without using a VIP
Approach: Demonstrate using InterSystems’ database mirroring with external traffic managers such as F5 LTM/GTM

With distributed environments and even public cloud environments, the use of a VIP sometimes is not desirable or even possible given network topology or deployment. The session will demonstrate integrating database mirroring with external traffic managers such F5 LTM/GTM using API based triggers in InterSystems products to interface with the F5 appliances. This not only presents automated redirection for the local mirror members, but also provided automated client redirection to asynchronous DR mirror members.

Content related to this session, including slides, video and additional learning content can be found here.

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