Embedded Load Balancing Meets Virtualization Challenges
Load balancing technology in recent years also has had to contend with virtualization and cloud computing, which complicate the environment in which workloads are distributed. Accordingly, some enterprises have adopted server application virtualization software with embedded load balancing.
That was the case for W&W|AFCO Steel, a structural steel fabricator in Oklahoma City. The company runs key applications such as labor scheduling and enterprise resource planning on its SQL Server database platforms, which operate as VMware virtual servers.
At one point, W&W|AFCO Steel was running SQL Server 2005 and 2008 and planning to migrate to SQL 2012. But an outage affected a significant portion of the company's IT infrastructure before that transition could occur: The Citrix environment on SQL Server 2005 went down for three days, says Todd Park, vice president of IT at W&W|AFCO Steel.
A the time, the steel fabricator lacked a high availability capability. But after its brush with failure, the company deployed DH2i's DxConsole server application virtualization software. DxConsole includes a resource manager that load balances virtual instances, providing a failover capability.
W&W|AFCO Steel put DxConsole into production earlier this year. The company's SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 virtual instances failover to one another in the event of an outage, Park explains.
The software requires little intervention to operate, which is a boon for a company with a small IT shop, Park says. "We don't need to manage anything on a daily basis. It just works."
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