Something about distributed data centers for business
Recently, the Internet has “turned” 30 years old. During this time, the information and digital needs of the business have grown to such proportions that today we are no longer talking about the corporate server and not even the need to be located in the data center, but about renting a whole network of data centers with an accompanying set of services. Moreover, we are talking not only about global projects with big data (giants have their own data centers), but even about medium-sized companies with frequently updated database positions (for example, online stores) and services with high-speed data exchange (for example, banks).
Why does a business need a system of distributed data centers
Such a system is IT-complexes, geographically distributed according to the principle: the main data center and regional data centers. They are initially equipped taking into account possible information flows and business processes of modern developing companies and ensure the uninterrupted operation of these flows and processes.
▍ Why distributed?
Firstly, because of the risk of breaking all eggs laid in one basket. Fail-safe solutions are now in demand, which are able to provide absolutely uninterrupted operation of corporate applications, services and sites in any conditions. Even at the end of the world. Such computing infrastructures should not only save data qualitatively, but also minimize the downtime of the company's IT services (read: business) during an epidemic of blockages by Roskomnadzor, and during natural disasters, and in a real technological disaster, and in any other force majeure circumstances . No wonder these solutions are called disaster recovery (Disaster Recovery).
For this, the platforms of computer complexes working for the company should be removed from each other at a safe distance according to a certain scheme (see table and illustration below). If necessary, a disaster recovery plan (DR-Plan) is used and the customer’s services are automatically transferred to another network site using fault-tolerant methods and software solutions that are optimal for each particular case (data replication, backup, and more).
Secondly, to increase productivity. In normal mode (not force majeure, but having peak loads), distributed data centers are designed to increase company productivity and minimize information loss (for example, during DDoS attacks). Here, load balancing complexes between computing nodes are included: the load is redistributed evenly, and in the event of a failure of one of the nodes, the other nodes of the complex will take over its functions.
Thirdly, for the effective work of remote branches. For companies with many divisions, solutions for centralized storage and processing of information with geographically distributed replication are used. At the same time, each branch can work with its own volume of data, which will be consolidated into a single base of the central office. In turn, changes in the central base are reflected in the bases of units.
▍Structure of distributed data centers
Geographically distributed data centers are divided into four types. For an external user, they look like a single system: management takes place through a single interface of services and support.
Geographically Distributed Data Centers
▍ Goals for which the business needs distributed data centers:
Continuity of data processing. Uninterrupted operation is required to solve inevitable technical problems without stopping business processes even with the failure of some communication channels and a significant part of the system. By the way, the ability of the system to perform its functions during the planned time, taking into account the average time indicator of safe operation and terms for recovery of performance ( Recovery Time Objective ), determines the reliability level of the data center. There are four levels in total: TIER1, TIER2, TIER3, TIER4; the higher the indicator, the more reliable the equipment of the center and the higher the standard of its entire infrastructure.
Increase in productivity, capacity. If necessary (peak loads) - the ability to increase capacity and increase the efficiency of backup data centers due to the economies of scale: the maximum use of computing resources of the entire distributed system. Scalability enables flexible on-demand computing with a dynamic configuration.
Disaster tolerance. It is provided by redundant computing power at a remote site. System performance is achieved by a certain setting of the RPO recovery point and RTO recovery time (the degree of security and recovery speed depend on the tariff).
Distributed services. The company's IT resources and services are separated from the underlying infrastructure and are provided in a multi-user environment on demand and at the right scale.
Geographic localization of services. To expand the target audience of the brand and enter the company in new geographical markets.
Cost optimization. Creating and maintaining your own data center is a very expensive project. For most companies, especially large geographically dispersed ones and those who are planning new points of presence in the market, outsourcing IT infrastructure will save a lot of money.
Why is it profitable for business to have a data center "at hand"
For many modern services and business applications, the speed of access to the site is critical. This speed depends, first of all, on the distance between the sites of the system of distributed data centers. If it is small, then communication is simplified and productivity is improved due to the fact that the signal delay (latency) is reduced. This is especially important when making a reservation. In a fiber optic cable, the light propagation delay is approximately 5 ms / km. Latency affects the execution time of an I / O operation, which is approximately 5-10 ms.
Since services should work continuously, while they should have a high degree of availability and minimal downtime, it is beneficial for a business to rent an IT infrastructure geographically close to users of target markets.
The speed of access to the site also depends on the equipment. For example, in our new data center in the Kazan IT Park, you can get a 100 Mbit / s Internet channel with the most comfortable access for your virtual server.
It is good for a business with a large international reach to use foreign sites to host data in order to save traffic costs and reduce the response time of site pages for foreign users. A long response time is the reason for the low ranking in Google search results and, more importantly, the reason for the target audience fleeing from your sites (high bounce rate, leading to loss of leads).
What are the benefits of backup data centers
Given the often unstable situation in Russia in the field of information security (for example, the same recent massive blocking of IP addresses by Roskomnadzor, which affected websites that are not related to Telegram), it’s convenient to place part of the business’s IT infrastructure outside the Russian legal field. For example, if you rent servers in a Swiss data center, you are subject to Swiss data protection laws, which are very strict. Namely: neither the state structures of Switzerland itself (with the exception of the government in special cases), nor the law enforcement agencies of other countries have access to any information on the "Swiss" servers. Without the knowledge of the client, data cannot be requested from data centers and providers.
Deploying a backup data center (or hosting) on a remote ( foreign) the site is strategically justified and, if necessary, painlessly migrating business-critical services for their smooth operation.
A little more about Kazan data center
If we’ve already started talking about a data center in Kazan, let’s allow ourselves a small ad unit. "IT Park", which houses the data center - the largest technology park in the field of high technology in Tatarstan. This is a data center with an area of square kilometer TIER3 level with a capacity of 2.5 MW with the ability to accommodate more than 300 racks.
Security at the physical level is ensured by two armed guard circuits, perimeter cameras, a passport access system at the entrance, an access control biometric system (fingerprints) in the engine room, and even a dress code for visitors (robes, special shoe covers with an automatic donning device).
All technical rooms and server rooms are equipped with a gas automatic fire extinguishing system with smoke detectors, which eliminates the source of ignition without damaging high-tech equipment. Energy saving, cooling, ventilation systems are implemented at the highest level, and the key elements of these systems are located in separate rooms.
We have commissioned our own pressurized zone in the IT Park data center. The data center has a 99.982% SLA, which means that it fully complies with high international requirements for the operational stability of data centers. It has licenses of the FSTEC and the FSB, a PCI-DSS certificate, which allows you to place equipment of organizations working with personal data (banks and others). And, as always, the prices for virtual servers from the hosting provider RUVDS in this data center do not differ from the prices for VPS in our other data centers in Moscow, St. Petersburg, London, Zurich.