How does Blackbaud Hosting Services handle network load balancing?
1. Statement of uptime guarantee. a. As with any technical solution there is no guarantee that issues will not arise. Blackbaud Hosting Services practices a prudent approach to keeping systems and services online and performing to the highest standard. Through a mix of risk mitigation, redundancy design, monitoring and capacity planning best practices, Blackbaud Hosting Services works continuously to ensure that the Service Levels outlined in the Hosting Service Agreement are met. We are committed to achieving these standards
2. Site Affinity a. To optimize performance, Hosting Services monitors key performance metrics including Internet connectivity, Firewall through-put, Local Area Network, Server connectivity, Server RAM, Server processor, I/O, and SAN accessibility. These metrics are monitored in our Network Operations Center in Charleston. In addition, all systems are redundant to eliminate single points of failure. For example, the IIS web servers used to run the BBNC site are clustered and load balanced. This means that a user hitting a web site hosted by Blackbaud will hit either of these servers based on which one has the most resources. Once connected, any users coming from the same Class C IP address will hit that same server. This is called site affinity. Likewise, if one server fails, the other server is designed and provisioned to have enough capacity to handle the load of both servers. So in essence, there is at a minimum 2 times the amount of hardware and resources.
3. Availability of Resources a. Currently the Hosting Services model is a shared Hosting model. That is, the servers and other system components are shared by multiple organizations. This serves two purposes. First, it keeps costs because Blackbaud is able to optimize the service across a smaller footprint than the sum of the minimum requirements for all of the organizations within the farm. Even at this lower cost point, each client is able to obtain access to Enterprise class systems and management. For instance, most organizations that host their own RE and BBNC could not afford to implement a dedicate Storage Area Network to help preserve the data, dual web servers, or dual SQL servers. Collectively, the organizations can reach this higher standard. b. Additional resources are proactively provisioned to the environment as is dictated by growth trends and seasonality.