DH2i Blog Article

The Life-Critical Pursuit of Zero Downtime for Healthcare

Josh Achtemeier
October 3, 2022

Ensuring SQL Server uptime is a whole different animal when your information technology systems are life-critical. There may be nobody that understands this weight more than the brave IT teams among us working within the healthcare industry. Whether it is patient monitoring devices, imaging tools or other interconnected medical technologies, the stakes are frighteningly high for these IT pros. 

A well-documented and practiced disaster recovery approach is a step in the right direction, and a keen focus on high availability (HA) to monitor and take automatic action against single points of failure is even better. However, for the imperative 24 x 7 uptime needs of hospitals and emergency medical services, additional considerations are needed. It’s not enough to push unplanned downtime as close to zero as possible. Healthcare IT teams need to be leveraging technology that simplifies management and minimizes planned downtime. One emerging technology is smart high availability. 


SQL Server High Availability for Healthcare Needs to be “Smart” 

Smart high availability solutions have a lot of added benefits from traditional HA that can help healthcare organizations minimize downtime, bolster security, and even save on costs. Additionally, just like any other business, healthcare organizations rely on customer experience and overall satisfaction to stay competitive in a crowded market. So, smart high availability also integrates functionality to help running applications remain perpetually performant for the best user experience.  


Zero Trust Network Access 

Smart high availability is the convergence of high availability clustering and software-defined perimeter (SDP) technologies. It integrates Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) connections so that you can build out secure SQL Server clusters that span from anywhere, to anywhere, without VPNs or direct links. 

Healthcare teams are responsible for keeping their organizations HIPPA compliant while maintaining a massive volume of sensitive client data. So, ZTNA connections make smart high availability a top-notch upgrade for your environment’s security, and help prevent downtime-inducing cyberattacks. Additionally, this secure tunneling technology enables an easy way for clients to build out clusters across multiple subnets, availability zones and regions for disaster recovery purposes.  


Guaranteed Performance with Best Execution Venue 

Smart high availability isn’t just a technology to keep your workloads up and running in your SQL Server environment. It can also be described as an optimization tool to keep your workloads performing, helping your organization gain the greatest competitive advantage. If performance levels drop below their SLA thresholds, they can be intelligently and automatically rehosted at the current best execution venue within your environment. All it takes is the time of an application stop-restart 


Unified Management Pane 

Smart high availability solutions are designed for today’s heterogeneous SQL Server environments. Whether your organization has Windows AND Linux environments under management, a range of different SQL Server versions and OSes or mixed and matched infrastructure, smart HA can consolidate your management to a single pane of glass. For healthcare, this means significant savings on maintenance man-hours in your SQL Server environment—resources that can instead be allotted to innovative, business-enhancing tasks to help keep your healthcare organization competitive in a saturated market. 


Container-Ready Functionality 

One of the biggest keys of smart high availability in the age of digital transformation is its ability to comprehensively integrate with containers. A global shift to containers is well underway, and of the 669 respondents to this international survey by Statista, 49% plan to have containers playing a strategic role in their organization within the next 12 months. 

Container technology is being adopted by healthcare organizations to achieve gains in operational agility and reduce infrastructure-dependence. In healthcare, long-term data retention is a critical function for providing the highest level of service to customers, and containerization helps embrace an as-needed model with the cloud to save on overall costs. 

In the scope of containers, DH2i’s smart high availability clustering technology enables one significant capability that no other technology in the industry can do: Zero downtime fully automatic failover for SQL Server containers in Availability Groups. As healthcare organizations adopt technology like stateful containers more prevalently in their production environments, high availability becomes another layer of complexity that needs to be navigated. DxEnterprise smart high availability clustering software provides the answer to integrate container HA right into your single, unified management interface. 


Patch/Update with Near-Zero-Downtime 

Smart high availability technology allows you to rehost applications and containers with a simple stop-restart. This allows you to patch non-active nodes on your own schedule, and then rehost the instance to the updated node. This means nearest-to-zero planned downtime, and a better quality of life for your IT team with modernization now possible during the regular workday. 


There’s a reason the most innovative healthcare organizations in the world are embracing a “smart” approach to high availability. Investing in this technology now pays huge dividends over time and brings critical benefits like: 

  • ZTNA connections from anywhere to anywhere 
  • Intelligent monitoring to ensure performant client experience 
  • Unified management for ALL SQL Server under management and containers 
  • Nearest-to-zero unplanned AND planned downtime 

If you’re interested in learning more about DH2i’s approach to smart high availability technology, get signed up for a one-on-one demo today

If you’re interested in learning more about DH2i’s approach to smart high availability technology, get signed up for a one-on-one demo today.

The author
Josh Achtemeier

Native. Containerized. Anywhere in Between.

DH2i gets you closer to zero downtime.