High Availability Infrastructure

Services & Live Applications

High availability of services and live applications fall into two areas.  The first is redundancy in the event of a failure (eg power, hardware or connectivity), and typically focuses on physical failures.  The second is around scaling to meet demand and tends to apply to key consumer-facing applications (particularly web and mobile services such as e-commerce).

For each of these, there is always a trade-off between costs and requirements.  At the start of any project, we look to assess the balance of these by looking at the true risks and costs of failure, presenting the business with a case on which to make an informed decision on the level of availability required.

Hybrid Cloud Services

Increasingly, organisations are looking to move much of their infrastructure to cloud services.  This is often with the combination of cost savings and high availability in mind.  Cunniffe & Helm have expertise designing and managing these issues and identifying areas where on-site, cloud and hybrid cloud solutions can be leveraged to best suit an organisation’s needs and facilitate efficiencies.

Data Centre Solutions

If you are looking into the options of moving services off-site and into a data centre, we can help you identify the best solutions for you and analyse their costs and benefits.  We can advise on how best to create the required levels of redundancy, how to deploy multi-site deployments and where best to host and connect your services.

Application Design

Our experience in application architecture, and designing to scale with demand, can help you understand some of the key challenges that deployments face as they grow and handle often unpredictable demand.

High Availability: Physical Redundancy

High availability for physical redundancy is best achieved through deploying a multi-site architecture.  Depending on your business needs and reach, this may involve selecting different geographical locations either in or out of the country.  For some applications, particularly media-related where the size of data transfer required is very high and direct access to storage is vital, it may be about deploying separate infrastructure but within the same location.

Depending on the individual use case, either hardware or hybrid cloud redundancy may be appropriate.  Where possible, we look to leverage hybrid cloud solutions to reduce ‘standby’ costs.

For each project, we begin by building a situation and cost analysis to assess the extent to which availability is required, before proceeding to recommend solutions and architectures.  We work throughout the process from planning to deployment to assess current high availability solutions.

High availability can also be about assessing the solutions required.  In some cases, legacy technology and solutions can significantly increase costs.  Taking a holistic view of business requirements, we look to deliver true value for money solutions that will be appropriate in the medium to long term as well as right now.

Our knowledge of data centre deployments and experience building high availability networks makes us ideally placed to independently advise on your infrastructure needs.

High Availability: Demand Scaling

Scaling applications on demand requires a careful balance of baseline infrastructure and rapidly scaling additional capacity.  How that capacity scales, the time required to pre-warm resources and cost control need to be delicately balanced and are most effective when combined (where possible) with trend analysis.

Equally important is the ability of the application, and primarily its data store and session management, to work within a replicated or decentralised architecture.

Cunniffe & Helm have a background in advising on the application architecture and the underlying infrastructure required to handle rapid scaling.  We look at solutions that allow the costs of the infrastructure to scale up and down with demand, focusing primarily on cloud and hybrid cloud solutions.

In addition, we look to create methods to stress test systems to assess their performance, and to mitigate security concerns such as DDoS attacks.  Contact us so that we can build an understanding of your applications needs, and how we can help you scale them.

  • Experience architecting applications and code bases to scale with demand.
  • Design of scalable database replication services.
  • Real-time content delivery solutions to reduce application load.
  • DDoS mitigation and survival.
  • Full & hybrid cloud architecture.
  • Stress testing and assessment.


Keeping your workforce connected to the applications and services, VoIP systems and messaging services they require is key to business continuity.  The often multi-day ‘time to resolve’ targets of connectivity providers and the nature of the civil works required to fix fibre connectivity mean that planning redundancy into your network is vital.

Redundancy can be planned at several levels: provider, physical route and technology.  With a strong background in working with and building service provider networks, Cunniffe & Helm specialise in designing and deploying truly redundant connectivity for high availability demands.  This can be either at premise or data centre level.  Our knowledge of altnet providers and different technologies allows for flexibility to suit budgets and requirements.