Geo-Redundancy with Two Cloud Locations

First things first: All services are now also available at a second, independent location. Thanks to top infrastructures in geographically separate data centers, it is now possible to design your setups geo-redundantly. It goes without saying that this not only applies to your servers; the new location also offers a separate Object Storage with the same familiar features.

How you can benefit from our new location

One of the benefits of cloud services is that you do not have to worry about purchasing and maintaining hardware and infrastructure. However, the physical location of "the cloud" often still plays a role, e.g. with regard to data protection and the corresponding legislation. And despite all precautions, even cloud data centers are exposed to certain residual risks, such as nearby construction work or flooding. By using a second location with a different risk profile due to physical distance, you can protect the operation of your applications – even from the consequences of a worst-case scenario of this kind.

True to the old adage of "not putting all your eggs in one basket", we recommend that you also keep your most important data and systems at a second location. This will enable you to resume productive operation within a short time in case of an emergency. Whether it is a hot standby system or an active/active setup with load balancing, the most you will ideally need to do is to point the DNS entry to the second location to ensure that you are back online in no time. Even simple data replication (in addition to the regular backup) may spare you considerable stress – and not only in the unlikely event of a disaster.

Example Hot-Standby

Technical background information

In addition to the tried-and-tested location in Rümlang (Canton Zurich), we are now also offering our services from Lupfig (Canton Aargau) – by the way, the abbreviations "RMA" and "LPG" we introduced for this purpose are based on the UN/LOCODE scheme. When setting up the new site, we took care to ensure that, even in the event of a total outage of one data center, all services at the other location can continue to run. Accordingly, we built the infrastructure to the same standards and also rely, for example, on a completely redundant power supply, an independent storage cluster (again with NVMe SSDs and triple replication), as well as on separate connections to the Internet and to peering partners.

For your traffic, we operate a fully redundant network infrastructure with at least 10 Gbps per link at both locations. And even though both sites are designed to work as independently as possible, they are nonetheless interconnected. For optimal and fail-safe networking between your systems in Rümlang and Lupfig, we use two direct fiber-optic lines that connect the two locations on separate routes without intersections.

Locations Overview

Practical use of multiple zones

We have been able to offer all our services at our new location in Lupfig right from the start. When creating a new server in the cloud control panel, for example, simply select the preferred location, or include the zone parameter in your API call. It goes without saying that the API is backwards compatible; if no zone is specified, the default location is used, which you can set individually in the control panel. Once created, the resources are bound to their zone. This means that e.g. existing volumes or private networks can only be connected to servers at the same location.

As mentioned, we have also set up a separate Object Storage at the new location. Your objects users are automatically valid for both locations, and buckets are placed at the location where they were created. To enable direct access to the desired Object Storage or bucket, they have separate DNS names and IPs; the previous URL is now a synonym for the URL of the existing location in Rümlang. Cross requests are answered with a status code 301 Moved Permanently, which is automatically followed by some tools. To ensure optimum efficiency and reliability, however, we recommend that you use the correct URLs wherever possible.

The effort has been worth it! With the new location in Lupfig, we can now also offer you the ideal infrastructure for geo-redundant setups. And no matter which location you choose as your "primary" one, you benefit from sophisticated redundancy, optimum performance and the exclusive storage of your data in Switzerland.

All the best from Zurich and Aargau,
Your team

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