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Apparatus And Method For Centralized Analysis of High Availability Configurations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000198960D
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-18
Document File: 3 page(s) / 30K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This article describes a method and an apparatus for centralized analysis of high availability (HA) configurations. Analyzing the entire HA environment for potential misconfigurations and interoperability issues, presenting those issues to end users, and then either automatically fixing them, or referencing potential fixes, is a valuable method for ensuring high availability configurations remain highly available.

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Apparatus And Method For Centralized Analysis of High Availability Configurations

Disclosed is a method and apparatus for centralized analysis of high availability (HA) configurations. The device will sit in an HA network, will seek out and query participating HA devices, and will analyze that network for problems and adherence to HA best practices. The user will then be given the opportunity to make corrections to the configuration, possibly from the apparatus itself, and then have the configuration analyzed again, repeating until HA best practices are met, and no issues are unaddressed.

High Availability (HA) solutions tend to be extremely complex and difficult to manage. Often, the entire HA solution is composed of smaller HA solutions that contribute to the overall availability of the entire configuration. In the server, there are redundant server nodes, redundant Host Bus Adapters, and various other redundancies. Switches are often redundant as well, and tend to be supplied by the same vendor. Storage has redundant features in it that contribute to the overall uptime and availability of the system. Then you need to consider the software applications being run on the configuration - databases in specific often have redundant components. What this all translates is an extremely complex environment to manage, where small changes to one area can bring down the entire environment. What is needed is a method to analyze and fix, if necessary, entire HA environments. There are currently no known solutions to this problem, from an entire HA configuration perspective. Solutions often exist for each component, like the Windows Failover Clustering Validation Tool for Microsoft Windows, but that only addresses a small portion of the entire issue. Given that often such environments are managed by multiple administrators, it's important to have a centralized method for determining conformity to HA best practices.

This disclosure describes an apparatus and method for centralized analysis of complete High Availability configurations. The method itself could be embodied in a stand alone appliance, or as an application installed on a centralized server platform. There are multiple operating systems on which this apparatus could be developed.

The apparatus is placed in the same network infrastructure that the High Availability configuration is located, so that it can communicate with all the components in the configuration. Communication could occur via ethernet, iSCSI, fibre channel or any other transmission protocol that might be in use. The method for analysis of the High Availability configuration could occur as follows:

Device is inserted into the network in which the HA configuration resides. The

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device will begin by trying to auto-discover the components of the configuration. For those components that are not automatically discovered, the user will have the opportunity to manually configure their discovery. Examples of components that...