Looking for input as to which way to go for redundancy. Load balancing large data streams with session keepalives for 30-45 minutes. The data streams are initiated from a client that sends 100's (even thousands) of files. This is used in a health care environment so failover and high availability is important.
Idle connections for 30-45 minutes? Yes that is the case. Reason is that when the client sends the data (imaging) they are stuck to a server. On the backend, it would take some time before that recieved data is moved to storage or a cached server. So if the client wanted to view the data, withing that timeframe, they would return to the server the data was residing on.
As far as what model, we are using 2 11503's with the FE modules, as well as a pair of 2950's for layer 2 traffic.
Here's where I need assistance in the decision....
This setup will be working with redundant L2 switches. Now, for system availability, I am leaning toward ASR in regards to the active/active configuration. I agree with what you have stated in regards to complexity of this compared to box-to-box. This is something that will be rolled out to numerous customers and will be supported by our support staff. Because of that, I have been leaning toward the box-to-box config for simplification purposes - knowing that I would give up a few seconds of system availability if there was a failure. Another factor is that some customers don't want spanning tree on their network, which is needed for the redundancy, but again, in regards to the support side and simplification as well as standardization, I am leaning toward the box-to-box.
My 2 cents are that I prefer the Active/Active (non-shared) because I can introduce a new application on the "backup" box for the final testing without impacting the "primary" CSS. Less chance to hose up production by not touching its config. Once it is checked out, you can then copy the good config on the other box and use the priority to make the primary CSS active for the application
It has also been really easy to move the applications between boxes during code upgrades.
Also, I personally like to be able to manage the physical boxes separately and think about the application floating between two equal boxes instead of shadow equipment where the CSS changes its operation depending on the failure state.
I started off using box-to-box redundancy on my 11050's and my 11503's.
I am now switching to VIP & Interface redundancy for the reasons mentioned already including configuration flexibility and failover time, but the main reason I'm switching is to eliminate the crossover connection required by box-to-box.
I experienced a hardware failure on my backup 11503 that resulted in the loss of the crossover connection. Both boxes went active which caused major problems with site availability. It has become painfully clear that the crossover connection is an achilles heel for the box-to-box config.
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==================== VIC FNIC driver does not support Virtual Volumes (
second level LUN ID ) An enhancement request has been created to track
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