Automation Suite
2023.10
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Basic architecture considerations - Automation Suite 2023.10
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Automation Suite on Linux Installation Guide
Last updated Feb 13, 2024

Basic architecture considerations

As with any multi-site deployment, the primary architecture considerations for Automation Suite account for infrastructure, data source, management, Recovery Time Objective, Recovery Point Objective, etc.

Infrastructure

We recommend using the same hardware for both clusters. However, the Automation Suite cluster will likely work with similar hardware configurations with little difference. Heterogeneous hardware may increase complexity and slow down troubleshooting.

Management

The two Automation Suite clusters are independent and do not share any configuration. Therefore, any management or maintenance activity must be done individually on these clusters. For instance, you must update the SQL connection strings on both clusters, and you must configure certificates separately. In addition, you must monitor the two clusters independently, and you must upgrade them individually, etc.

Datasource

Objectstore combined with the SQL database forms the state of an installed product on Automation Suite.

SQL Server configuration plays a vital role in a multi-site deployment. Though the SQL Server is an external component of Automation Suite, a few additional steps are required to ensure a true HA when working the entire Automation Suite.

The SQL Server must be configured in the Always On Availability Group or failure over groups. It must be spread across both sites to ensure accurate High Availability when one site is down. Both clusters must use the same SQL listener endpoint in the connection string. Furthermore, it is recommended to set the MultiSubnetFailover=True property in the connection string when the SQL server/databases are distributed across multiple subnets.

The external objectstore is immune to possible corruption due to node failure. Data replication and disaster recovery can be carried out independently of Automation Suite. Like SQL Server, the external objectstore must be configured in a High Available Disaster Recovery setup. The primary objectstore instance is physically located in the primary data center, and at least one secondary instance is located in the secondary data center with data sync enabled. You can configure a load balancer on top of the objectstore to ensure both Automation Suite clusters refer to the same endpoints. This makes the deployment independent of how the objectstore is configured internally.

Important:

For AWS S3, the multi-region access point does not support all the s3 APIs required by all the products running in Automation Suite. For details on the list of support APIs, see Using Multi-Region Access Points with supported API operations.

You can create two buckets per product/suite in both regions and enable synchronization. The Automation Suite cluster running in the same region will refer to the buckets in the same region.

Recovery Time Objective

Your organization’s policy around RTO is vital in designing your multi-site Automation Suite cluster. To achieve the desired RTO, take the following aspects into consideration:

  • Design of the Traffic Manager;
  • Availability of the nodes in the secondary/passive cluster;
  • Dynamic workload availability on the secondary cluster; for example, MLSkill;
  • Configuration Management.

Traffic Manager

You can reduce the recovery time by configuring the Traffic Manager to always route the traffic to the primary cluster when available. Redirection to the secondary cluster must be done only when the primary cluster is down. This ensures the traffic switch is automatic and reduces the time for a manual switchover. You can use the health enpoints of both clusters to achieve this.

Nodes availability

If all the nodes in the secondary cluster are running, you can save time by turning on the nodes and waiting for the cluster to be active. However, this can increase your infrastructure's cost by almost twice.

Dynamic workload availability

A few products, such as AI Center, deploy the ML Skills dynamically at the runtime. The deployment of the skills in another cluster is always asynchronous. This cannot guarantee their availability. To ensure that your automation solution returns online within the desired time, you can periodically sync the skills in another cluster.

Configuration Management

Since multi-site Automation Suite deployments consist of two distinct clusters, any operation performed on any cluster must be performed on the other cluster in time to reduce the drift. This ensures that both clusters possess similar configurations, and no additional effort is required during the recovery phase.

Recovery Point Objective

Your organization’s policy around Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is vital in designing your multi-site Automation Suite cluster. To achieve the desired RPO, you must take the following aspects into account:

  • Data synchronization;
  • Scheduled backup.

Data synchronization

When written to the primary data source, data must be synced to the secondary cluster as well. However, there is risk of data loss when the data center is down, and data is not synced. Exemplary network configurations, such as high bandwidth and low latency between the two data centers, can speed up synchronization.

Scheduled backup

Not all disaster recovery provides complete immunity to data loss. However, you can deploy a regular and periodic backup strategy to minimize the impact of the disaster on data recovery. For details,see Backing up and restoring the cluster.

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