High Availability Cloud Data Management — How our Team masters the Data Service Challenge

5 min readFeb 26, 2021

Cloud Computing has changed the way applications are being developed and how services are being operated. The a9s Data Services team has always been part of this change by leveraging popular open-source data services and making them consumable on modern Application Developer Platforms, commonly known as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

However, operating high availability data service clusters at scale comes with many challenges. Learn how our team of highly skilled professionals solves those challenges, so that companies can focus on their core business objectives rather than on operational overhead.

Cloud Application Platforms & Data Services

Modern cloud-native application platforms like Cloud Foundry allow developers to build, test and operate distributed, high-available and complex applications composed of micro-services of many different types without the need to cope with the complexity of the underlying infrastructure.

Such a high degree of automation offered by cloud computing service models and in particular by PaaS reduces the operational overhead of the application development process. Thus it is one major driver of the digital transformation of the economy that happens in a highly dynamic and rapidly changing environment.

The a9s Data Services team takes these cloud computing paradigms even one step further. It applies the core benefits of application platforms like on-demand self-service, scalability, robustness, ease of use, and full life-cycle automation to those components that are at the heart of any stateful application: backing- or data services. Such data services encompass relational databases, key values stores, messaging systems, and so on.

The Data Services Challenge: Full life-cycle Automation at Scale

While keeping state, or data, available and consistent in (even geographically) distributed cloud environments is a well-understood challenge with distributed systems, full life-cycle automation of data services at scale is a new challenge on its own.

Although it might look easy for a DevOps team to launch hundreds of different types of data services on contemporary PaaS, it isn’t easy to guide such a vast amount of heterogeneous stateful services through their complete life-cycle. Nor is it easy for DevOps to quickly react to increasing load and critical events that require scale-outs, fast failover, or recovery.

Moreover, full life-cycle management of data services includes day-two operations like backup, restore, logging, and monitoring but also vertical and horizontal scale-outs or version upgrades. And “at scale” means to provide the ability to cope with the management of thousands or ten thousand data service instances that are running on even more virtual machines or containers.

Last but not least, automation might encompass for example the highly frequented on-demand provisioning of dedicated data service instances by continuous integration systems without any manual intervention of a human operator.

And this is where the a9s Data Services team kicks in with their data service products that are part of the a9s Platform — a modular framework for building application developer platform solutions that provide a high degree of automation to reduce operational friction.

A highly skilled team with a clear Mission

The mission statement of the a9s Data Services team is to

“Fully automate the entire life-cycle of a wide range of data services to run on cloud-native platforms across infrastructures at scale.”

Their highly automated solutions leverage industry-leading open-source software technologies like PostgreSQL for scalable relational databases or high availability messaging and caching systems like Redis to bootstrap fully automated production-grade platform environments. Environments that are used in production by enterprise customers from the insurance, banking, automotive, or telecommunication sectors.

The a9s Data Services team helps those organizations to build better digital products, master the digital transformation and remain successful in the long term despite technology cycles becoming shorter and shorter. Thereby, the team attaches great importance to offer a homogeneous user experience for both platform operators as well as for developers of cloud-native applications. It ensures to deliver rock-solid, proven, and highly reliable services that meet enterprise requirements regarding rigorous availability, durability, and integrity.

To be able to deliver such high-quality products to enterprise customers, the international and cross-functional team is composed of individuals from various fields and levels of experience. All team members live up to high standards and fully embrace lean and agile values with a focus on continuous learning and improvement. They are always keen to share their insights and lessons learned from researching new trends and experimenting with the latest technologies with the community. For example at international conferences and via various media channels.

As a result, the team’s knowledge and expertise cover a wide spectrum including an excellent understanding of cloud infrastructures, distributed systems, many different types of data services, and of course automation of such.

New Challenges ahead

Working with the latest cloud technologies and applying modern, transparent and professional software development processes like pairing sessions, code reviews, test-driven development, continuous integration and deployment, Scrumban, etc. the team can constantly improve its product portfolio.

The a9s Data Services team has been a thought leader in production-grade data service automation on virtual machines and especially on Cloud Foundry PaaS. The upcoming container trend and the rise of Kubernetes as the de-facto standard for container orchestration systems represent a paradigm shift that no one can escape. Kubernetes is becoming the new infrastructure for cloud-native.

However, such change is not coming without challenges. Challenges that leverage opportunities for new innovative products. With such new products, the a9s Data Services team wants to change the way on how data services are operated and automated on Kubernetes. Therefore we’re looking for platform engineers to help us build the cloud platform of the future. Learn more.

Originally published at https://blog.anynines.com on February 26, 2021.




anynines is a company focused on planning, building and operating modern application developer platforms. For more information: https://bit.ly/46BqrCA