By Zachary Shess
Growing intolerance for server downtime, driven by e-business applications, has made IT administrators look to server clustering to ensure availability. In the past month, Legato Systems and Veritas Software significantly extended their clustering product lines and supported platforms.
For industry analysts, including Steve Duplessie of Enterprise Storage Group, the announcements mark the arrival of robust clustering that enterprise storage administrators have needed for some time.
"We've had the ability to replicate data for a while, but we haven't had any mechanism to fail over applications and hosts, especially over WANs," says Duplessie.
Legato recently began shipping clustering software, addressing e-business, WAN, and Linux environments. The company also released specific clustering software for EMC and Network Appliance storage devices.
In addition to monitoring and failing over applications to second sites, Legato's wanCluster handles application and data resynchronization back to the original site.
According to analysts, Legato's wanCluster represents the first clustering software for WAN environments. In addition to monitoring and failing over applications to a second site, wanCluster handles application and data resynchronization back to the original site. wanCluster for Legato Duplication supports Sun Solaris and HP-UX operating systems.
Legato expects to ship wanCluster for EMC's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) in the third quarter.
Legato also began shipping eCluster high-availability (HA) software, which is designed to increase website availability. eCluster is specifically de-signed to work with network load-balancing products, including Cisco Systems' Local Director. In addition to guarding against server failure and subsequent cascading failures as the remaining servers get overloaded, eCluster monitors and reallocates server loads to ensure http response times are adequate, or to determine if a website needs more capacity.
The suite is certified to operate with network-attached storage (NAS) servers from EMC and Network Appliance.
Legato added support for Linux by creating a Perl-scripting framework on its Cluster Enterprise software. This support will open up Legato's framework to Linux's large developer base, Duplessie says .
Veritas broadened its platform support by introducing Veritas Cluster Manager for Windows NT. The software provides high-availability clustering and fail-over for up to 32 servers, while monitoring as many as 256 clusters from a single console.