Geoff Anderson is senior product marketing manager for Cloud Platform and Orchestrator at UiPath.
High availability and geo-redundancy are popular topics as our customers scale their Robotic Process Automation (RPA) infrastructure, and the business impact of robot downtime becomes greater.
If you’re familiar with these terms, you can skip this paragraph, but to level-set: “high availability” means having two or more instances of a service running and synchronized so that if one fails, the service remains available. “Geo-redundancy” is a specific approach that places those instances in different countries, to protect against potentially more significant threats.
At UiPath, we’re committed to delivering great, supported options to keep UiPath Orchestrator running, and therefore keep your robot workforce working. Whether your Orchestrator needs are local high-availability or full geo-redundancy, and whether you choose on-premises servers, third-party cloud installation, hybrid configuration, or our upcoming SaaS offer the Enterprise Cloud Platform* to manage your growing robot workforce, we now have fully-supported solutions for you.
For on-premises, third-party, and hybrid configurations, our new solution is the High Availability add-on for UiPath Orchestrator. It’s built on, and replaces, REDIS, which many customers have used previously – but it comes from UiPath and delivers on key capabilities customers have been asking for:
- A fully supported, enterprise-grade UiPath redundancy solution
- Active-Active failover support with local latency
- Easy upgradability from REDIS (open source or Enterprise), our previous recommendation
- Scalability from two UiPath Orchestrator instances up to the largest global installations
Here’s how the High Availability add-on works:
If you’ve installed Orchestrator, you know that it lets you optimize your robot workforce. Among other things, Orchestrator prioritizes (and in some cases initiates) robots’ work, shares information between them, and lets you manage, monitor, and audit robots from one place.
With Orchestrator, your software robots do more for your business, but as your business scales robot use, Orchestrator itself becomes more and more critical to your RPA environment.
One Orchestrator can handle a lot of robots in a typical configuration, but any product running on a single server is vulnerable to failure if something happens to that server. This is where the High Availability add-on is like an insurance policy that keeps your robot fleet running.
The High Availability add-on enables you to add a second Orchestrator server to your environment that is always fully synchronized with the first server. If anything happens to one of the servers (from disaster to planned maintenance), the workload is picked up seamlessly by the other. And your robots carry on supporting your business as though nothing happened.
For uptime aficionados, the High Availability add-on can be used further to enable geo-redundancy: two or more Orchestrator servers can be installed in multiple countries, providing local latencies under normal conditions. However, if one of those servers fails, the others immediately pick up the workload.
If you are running Orchestrator in a third-party cloud, you probably won’t be as concerned about hardware failure - but you may still want to regionalize your Orchestrators and protect against needing to take one offline, especially if your compliance requirements mandate the ability to provide a full audit 24/7.
It’s important to note that the High Availability add-on is always required when you want to run more than one connected and synchronized Orchestrator instance, whether you are running them on your own physical hardware, virtualized hardware in the cloud, or a hybrid scenario.
In this blog post, we’ve tried to lay out some of the key drivers for the High Availability add-on. If you would like to know more, your UiPath representative, partner, or our support team will be happy to assist you if you have questions about the business case or appropriate architecture for your specific business continuity needs around RPA. Happy automating!
*If you just can’t wait, feel free to kick the tires of our Enterprise Cloud preview, a SaaS offer which has built-in high availability!
Note: Some of our preview customers may have heard the High Availability add-on referred to as “MIPS.” For general availability, we’ve renamed it to better reflect what it does and what it offers to customers. Don’t worry, they are exactly the same product and we’ll be sticking with this name from now on!