A critical and often overlooked first step is to review the performance of your overall application environment to provide a baseline. This will give you a more complete picture of how your environment has developed as well as a snapshot of its current health and efficiency. If you have not yet considered or deployed Load Balancers, in this section, you will discover how to define the requirements for your infrastructure.
By starting with a list of the applications that are currently installed, you will be able to check each one off, noting any times that the application has been rendered unavailable, and for how long. Make a note of what actions and steps were required to bring the application performance back up to full user serviceability. The list of server applications in your environment may include:
- Corporate Email
- Unified Communications
- Collaborative Intranet Tools
- ERP/CRM and Other Business Workflow Applications
- Web-Based Application Frontends
It is also important to monitor any public-facing applications to ensure that external visitors have an optimal user experience when leveraging your organization’s web-facing services.
How will the business grow in the coming months? Years?
This is a very important question and most likely will involve a number of departments in your organization. It is critical to get input from all sources that could have an impact on how your network will evolve and how it will deliver the data and content for your company in the future. Not only will this information assist you with planning for application and capacity requirements but it will be used in answering the next question.
What is the cost of your application servers going down?
Based on the results of a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, application and datacenter downtime can cost companies as much as $5,000 per/minute, which equates to a staggering $300,000 per/hour. While this is often caused by application and datacenter system failures, 1 in 4 businesses on the smaller side of the Enterprise segment are permanently closed on the yearly basis because of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, fire and earthquake. Clearly, it is important to take all necessary steps to ensure business continuity for line of business applications as well as supporting system infrastructure. This will assist in averting many of the costs associated with system downtime and is a consideration that often leads to the acquisition of a comprehensive Load Balancing ADC solution.