Proarc Online is a business-critical engineering document management SaaS solution (EDMS) provided by Ascertra. Major industrial construction projects rely on Proarc day-to-day to organize, plan, execute, collaborate, track, and deliver documentation. The foundation for Proarc Online is aligned with the five core pillars of cloud computing architecture: security, reliability, performance, cost optimization, and operational excellence. This article focuses on the key principles, practices, and services used to ensure Proarc reliability.
Users rely on Proarc to be available and optimally functioning 24/7 so they can perform critical operations. Reliability is a central tenant of the Proarc Online architecture. Proarc is designed to ensure consistent availability no matter the load pressure placed on the system. It can recover from failures with minimal or no disruption and continues to support the performance thresholds and manage the increasing workload demands of our customers. In terms of reliability, Proarc Online is designed to deliver the following:
- High Availability
- Efficient Disaster Recovery
Delivering high availability means that Proarc Online resources are continuously able to serve all requests and meet agreed-upon availability SLAs without fail.
There are numerous development and configuration design decisions that have been implemented to ensure Proarc Online operates at optimum performance, even during peak load times. Proarc Online leverages Microsoft Azure functionality to achieve high availability and Proarc Cloud services are fully automated to ensure all components & resources are deployed and upgraded in a consistent manner and made available in a secured infrastructure.
A sample of the measures taken to ensure high availability include:
- All Proarc Online resources are configured with auto-scaling in \ output that intelligently scales resources based on load requirements
- Analysing any failure patterns to reduce Mean Time to Recover (MTTR) and Mean Time to Failure (MTTF)
- All Proarc Online services are configured with a health endpoint that helps ensure the availability of each Proarc Online service
- Load-balancing and network configurations ensure each request is servable by all resources of Proarc Online
- Continuous monitoring of connection leaks, port exhaustion, application crashes \ restarts, and CPU \ memory spikes enabling proactive mitigation of potential risks
The goal of redundancy is to ensure standby Proarc Online services and the data contained within the system are available to be brought online in a short time should the system fail for any reason. Redundancy is a business requirement, and the cost is directly proportional to the level of redundancy built into the system so striking a balance is key.
All critical resources and services powering Proarc Online are redundancy-enabled and custom configurations are options available depending on each customer’s requirements. Data-critical resources such as SQL servers, storage accounts, and cache services are single-point failure resources, and it is generally essential to have one or more copies of these resources. For data-critical resources, Proarc Online geo-redundancy is an additional option.
When Proarc Online is configured for auto-healing, the requests are transitioned to a new, healthier instance automatically with zero delays. Optionally, Proarc Online provides the ability to select one or more regions for replication.
Efficient Disaster Recovery
Efficient disaster recovery for enterprise applications ensures business continuity by resuming operations in your organization as quickly as possible following a disaster or business interruption (e.g., unavoidable failures due to data loss, major downtime, ransomware attacks, or natural disaster).
The key objectives of disaster recovery are to have:
- Low recovery time (i.e., low Recovery Time Objective or RTO)
- Minimal or zero data loss (i.e., Recovery Point Objective or RPO) when recovery is complete
Business continuity is critical for global Proarc Online customers irrespective of the situation. Proarc Online is designed to be brought back online from a new MS Azure region in a short time. Each business requires different RTO and RPO depending on their loss tolerance and Proarc Online provides options for each client’s requirements. Proarc Online provides excellent RPO and RTO to recover services quickly with minimal loss, even in a different region in the case of site failures.
Achieving RTO and RPO is shared between MS Azure and Proarc Online. However, being competitive service providers, both strive to offer best-in-class RTO & RPO.
Disaster Recovery in Proarc Online is built on the following design goals :
- All data - critical resources are replicated
- Redundancy can be configured across multiple regions
- All failover processes, from end-to-end, are automated
- Follow failover best practices (e.g., replication, MS Azure Site Recovery, automated alert system, e2e automation, etc.)
- The recovered system operates exactly as the former solution operated
- Periodic mock drills on test environments to test resilience during disaster recovery
Continuous Monitoring of Proarc Online
To ensure Proarc is reliable and operating at expected performance levels, sophisticated system health monitoring is in place for all Proarc Online.
A combination of monitoring tools and actions the operations team provides to help achieve Proarc Online reliability includes:
- Frequent health checks on the overall status
- Collect ion of application traces to analyse failure patterns & mean time to recover
- Ping alerts from multiple regions for early warning of potential issues
- Comprehensive dashboard to monitor the performance of critical resources
Being a business-critical EDMS, achieving reliability has always been key to the overall solution. Customers know they can trust Proarc to be available without issues when they need it to perform demanding operations. If issues do occur, redundancy and efficient disaster recovery support help ensure business continuity. Proarc has been designed to provide the reliability requirements of even the most demanding customers in the world, which is one of many reasons so many customers trust it with their most critical information.
To learn more about Proarc Online and how it helps teams reduce risks, ensure business continuity and efficiently recover from disaster, visit the Proarc EDMS page.