Tuesday, June 30, 2009

99.99% available ASP.NET and SQL Server SaaS Production Architecture


You have a hot ASP.NET+SQL Server product, growing at thousand users per day and you have hit the limit of your own garage hosting capability. Now that you have enough VC money in your pocket, you are planning to go out and host on some real hosting facility, maybe a colocation or managed hosting. So, you are thinking, how to design a physical architecture that will ensure performance, scalability, security and availability of your product? How can you achieve four-nine (99.99%) availability? How do you securely let your development team connect to production servers? How do you choose the right hardware for web and database server? Should you use Storage Area Network (SAN) or just local disks on RAID? How do you securely connect your office computers to production environment?

Here I will answer all these queries. Let me first show you a diagram that I made for Pageflakes where we ensured we get four-nine availability. Since Pageflakes is a Level 3 SaaS, it’s absolutely important that we build a high performance, highly available product that can be used from anywhere in the world 24/7 and end-user gets quick access to their content with complete personalization and customization of content and can share it with others and to the world. So, you can take this production architecture as a very good candidate for Level 3 SaaS: