Though they may use the phrase, “system availability” or “uptime”— typically expressed as a percentage (i.e. 99.99%)—our clients and prospective clients are looking for redundancy and failover capabilities.
Redundancy is having extra components available in case a component fails. Failover is the mechanism, automatic or manual, for bringing up a contingent operational plan.
VPS built redundancy and failover capabilities into their system on day one. The system architecture was drafted with two separate data center locations—one in Nashville, TN and the other in Jacksonville, FL—working simultaneously to process payment transactions.
The core processing hardware in each location has identical servers and networking equipment, which simplifies maintenance and administration. Also, in case of a catastrophic failure at one of the data centers, each location has the processing capacity to handle the full payment transaction traffic for all of VPS’s clients.
Duplicate Data Centers, and Redundancy within Each
Along with data center redundancy, the equipment and servers within each site are redundant. At each data center, the local processing system has been configured to minimize any single point of failure. If one component fails within one of the processing locations, a backup is available to take over.
Planning for Disaster
While VPS strives to maintain perfect uptime for our transaction processing systems, issues will happen. When issues arise, VPS operations staff are prepared to respond and correct the issue as quickly as possible. Operations staff practices disaster recovery scenarios as part of their training. These training events are reviewed by all of the compliance assessors VPS engages (PCI DSS, HIPAA, SSAE 16, etc.) to ensure that the training is meaningful and timely.