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Browser notification of data center outage

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000198229D
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system and method for utilizing a web-based User Interface as a disaster notification and recovery tool. The benefit is that, in an instance where both the primary and backup servers in a network are threatened by a disaster at a common location or data center, users maintain communications and execute disaster recovery solutions from a remote application.

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Browser notification of data center outage

Various products exist that allow users to manage data replication between data centers for the purpose of disaster recovery. In the event that a disaster occurs at a data center, replicated data at a redundant data center allows users to bring their data online and restore full production capabilities. Existing products are able to monitor the data replication between data centers and alert users of any problems that occur, such as the suspension of data replication or the loss of connection to storage systems for which data is being replicated. This allows the user to take any necessary steps to restore operations at the backup data center. Due to the serious nature of a data center outage, immediate notification to the user is critical.

Some products allow the user to configure backup servers for replication/disaster recovery management. In the event that a disaster renders the primary server inoperable, the backup servers allow the user to bring up production at the backup data center. The problem with this solution is that if the computer that connects to the backup servers is also at the disaster location, then the backup data center is in danger of becoming inoperable.

A solution to this problem is for more products to utilize web-based user interfaces (UI). Web-based UIs allow the user to manipulate their disaster recovery solution from a web browser on a computer that is not necessarily located within the data center. In the event that the web browser loses the ability to communicate to the disaster recovery server, the desirable action is to notify the user that a disaster has happened and present them with actions that can be taken to restore operation using a backup server.

There are a number of causes for a program running within a web browser, such as an Asynchronous JavaScript XML (AJAX) application, to lose communication with the server. Examples include: a loss of internet connection, a firewall configuration issue, or a request to the server that cannot be fulfilled (for example, 404, 501, and 502 errors). A user should only be notified that a data center outage has occurred in cases where a true disaster is likely to have occurred. This is accomplished in two parts:

1. The server component of the disaster recovery tool keeps track of events that happen in the storage environment. It tracks events that may indicate a disaster, such as copy services relationships suspending or losing connection to a storage system, and sends them to the portion of the tool running in the web browser. Under normal operating conditions, the user sees these events through screens within the tool.

2. When the portion of the tool running within the web browser encounters an error communication to the server, it determines whether the error is indicative of a true loss of communication with the server, or if the error is merely the result of a netw...