Case Study - Part 1: RDS SQL Server Disaster Recovery (Geo-Replication) on AWS
Versant Holdings migrates a complex multi-tenant SaaS system to AWS and achieves RDS/SQL Server cross-region DR/HA & DWH/RedShift based analytics with CloudBasic
Cloud architecture includes multiple redundancies and scalability options to support the large workloads of a 365/24/7 multi-hospital environment.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Versant manages an RN Residency program throughout a nationwide network of hospitals. The organization’s rapid growth and the increasing demand for IT resources eventually outgrew the capabilities of the original IT Infrastructure. Versant selected CloudBasic to migrate its systems to AWS and to lead the design of a complex architecture with multiple redundancies, scalability options, and reporting tools. CloudBasic leveraged its flagship BCDR tools to deploy the resulting AWS infrastructure.
Versant manages an RN Residency program throughout a nationwide network of hospitals. The organization’s rapid growth and the increasing demand for IT resources eventually outgrew the capabilities of the original IT Infrastructure. Versant selected CloudBasic to migrate its systems to AWS and to lead the design of a complex architecture with multiple redundancies, scalability options, and reporting tools. CloudBasic leveraged its flagship BCDR tools to deploy the resulting AWS infrastructure.
Versant’s original IT architecture was setup in a co-location facility. While it was adequate for the early stages of development of the organization, the rapid growth of Versant’s client base eventually started to overwhelm the available IT resources. The level of system complexity was gradually increasing, while requests for IT resources were growing rapidly at a pace that exceeded the available service capacity.
“Not only natural disasters, network or power outages can be the reason for our systems to go down. Software or human errors can also cause our systems to malfunction for prolonged periods of time. With tens of thousands of concurrent users, throughout 100+ hospitals, our systems must remain operational 365x24x7.”
- Jane Olson, Asst. VP, Service Delivery, Versant Holdings, LLC
Stress on the systems came from workloads that were getting ever larger and users that were accessing the systems on a variety of devices at all hours of the day and from different locations throughout the US. Although the co-location facility was a state-of-the-art datacenter, its legacy provisioning workflows were gradually becoming a bottleneck.
Versant Holdings operates in a 365/24/7 environment with high-profile clients where unscheduled downtime and system performance degradation of any kind are unacceptable. Eventually it became clear that the initial IT system design would not be able to meet the demands of an expanding list of high-profile customers. Versant’s leadership was becoming more frustrated with their inability to execute on their service goals. The IT systems were becoming inflexible, slow, and segmented, making the deployment of a new service a painfully long process. Any change to the service structure required the system to be taken down, temporarily rendering the organization unable to deliver on its service pledge to customers and to fulfill its mission.
Versant Holdings decided to look for a cloud solution that would bring its systems to the performance standards that were required for a 24/7 no-downtime-allowed environment. The solution had to be scalable, easy to manage, and include a reliable disaster recovery plan.
To migrate its systems to AWS Versant selected CloudBasic, a company known for its robust replication technology and demonstrated deep understanding of cloud deployments. CloudBasic ended up designing a complex architecture that includes multiple redundancies, scalability options, and reporting tools. The deployed solution leverages the flagship CloudBasic BCDR tools tha implement a number features, including:
- DB Server Replication – across AWS regions.
- Data Locality – local data stays in local regions.
- Data Aggregation and BI Reporting - Data from 100 hospitals goes to RedShift, where all data is aggregated into a data warehouse for reporting purposes.
- Read Replicas – continuously synched read replicas to offload data read loads from the primary RDS SQL server and act as a load balancer.
- DR within AWS – West Coast to East Coast Disaster Recovery setup.
- Cross AWS Accounts Replication – Store all DR artifacts in completely separate AWS accounts, to recover from a potential account level security breach (a feature unique to CloudBasic’s BCDR tools).
Simplicity, Efficiency, Scalability! Currently Versant runs 100% of their AWS infrastructure, utilizing CloudBasic’s flagship RDS SQL AlwaysOn Geo-Replication product to continuously mirror data of 100+ hospitals from AWS Oregon based RDS SQL Servers to AWS Virginia region RDS SQL Servers, with a latency of less than 1 min. They also utilize CloudBasic’s AlwaysOn product to upload data to RedShift and manage their reporting. The integrated analytics and reporting capabilities provide deep insights into residents’ performance along a number of dimensions and against benchmark values aggregated at different levels. The new environment is best characterized as one of simplicity and efficiency, accommodating customers of different size and structures, with the ability to adapt to the unique service requirements of each client facility.
The Versant RN Residency has become the benchmark program in the country, has been referenced in numerous articles, and has won the MS HUG Innovation Award for Delivery Transformation. For more information about Versant Holdings, please visit www.versant.org.
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