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Matt's Blog

Very exciting (geeky) new technology!


I do always get excited about new technology - not every piece of technology will excite me but where I can see this as a game changer OR something unique, I do get excited.

We've been looking for ways to improve our ability to fail over servers in the event of a disaster or network outage.  We have been able to fail servers over for quite some time however due to our current network configuration, we'd need to change the servers IP addresses (OK I know this post is geeky but please bear with me) which takes time & causes complications so we avoid failing servers over!  If there was ever a situation where things were so bad that we wouldn't be able to bring the original server(s) back online for a long period of time then we would have no choice but to perform the failover & change all of the IP addresses.

So in looking to improve this failover capability we began asking questions of our datacentre provider & carriers as to whether they would be able to give us an ability to create a connection which would enable us to run our VLAN's flat across 2 sites. This was possible we were told by giving us a dedicated link between the datacentres which would basically act as an extremely long network cable - this got us excited as it would mean we would simply be able to fail a server over to a different location, & bring it online without the need to make any IP address changes, this would be a massive breakthrough for us & would give us vastly improved failover capabilities.

We then started looking into the possibilities of running this without a dedicated link/carrier - we thought that if we were in control of the link that this would be more beneficial to us.

We found a technology which enabled us to create an encrypted link across the public internet which makes both sites appear as one.  So much so that the machines at the second site don't even see a gateway(router) local to them, they only see a gateway at the primary site.  When the machines go onto the internet the internet traffic etc.. is all going out through the router at the primary site.

We have done a lot of testing with this technology & are implementing this live into our network this week.  This is not only going to give us better fail over capabilities but it's also going to mean that we can change the way we deploy network services into our customers, which will reduce cost, improve control & deliver more advanced solutions.

We are incredibly excited about this new technology & the capabilities it is going to enable for us.

We are expecting a whole host of new IT Security & network services to be on offer very soon as well as being able to perform more seamless systems fail over for our existing cloud customers.

Watch this space!

(full article)
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