Veritas Brings Cluster Server to NT

Earlier this month Veritas Software Corp. shipped a version of its Veritas Cluster Server (VCS) that extends support to Windows NT.

Robin Purohit, senior director of product marketing for storage area networks and clustering at Veritas (www.veritas.com), says the company brought features normally reserved for HP-UX and Solaris over to Windows NT.

"We are moving VCS to more and more platforms, so as people use clustering more they can manage their clusters across multiple platforms," he says.

The first step was extending such support to Windows NT. Windows 2000 support will come later, Purohit says.

Dan Kusnetsky, program vice president, system software, at market research firm IDC (www.idc.com), says waiting to support Windows 2000 does not pose any problems because IDC data demonstrates that there isn’t a lot of Windows 2000 being used yet.

"It makes sense to get people thinking about managing clusters this way on NT," he says. "That way, they’ll be ready for it when they install Windows 2000."

VCS enables users with Windows NT-based applications to build high-availability clusters of up to 32 servers in a single cluster. The software can also be used to manage as many as 256 clusters from a single console. Purohit says this ability will be targeted at Windows NT users with large, single-function server farms for applications such as Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes.

Further, customers using storage area networks (SANs) to share consolidated storage between many servers can use VCS for NT to fail over applications such as SQL Server from one server to another and to logically remap SAN storage to the new server.

Kusnetsky points out that while VCS for NT can fail NT-based applications over to NT-based servers, or Unix-based applications over to Unix servers, the software cannot fail NT-based applications over to Unix servers.

When used in conjunction with Veritas’ Global Cluster Manager, however, VCS lets users manage Unix clusters and Windows NT clusters through a single interface.

Earlier this month, Veritas announced that Global Cluster Manager is in beta testing. General availability of a Solaris version is slated for June. A version for NT will follow shortly afterward.

The software is designed to provide monitoring and fail-over of a virtually unlimited number of clusters distributed anywhere around the globe. Veritas’ Purohit says Global Cluster Manager is targeted at e-commerce organizations with follow-the-sun operations. So a company with clusters in offices in Laurens, Iowa, and Moscow can manage the clusters via Global Cluster Manager’s single interface. Perhaps the most significant capability of Global Cluster Manger is its ability to fail-over clusters that reside at different locations. So if a Veritas Cluster Server cluster in Laurens goes down, it can be failed-over to a cluster in Moscow.

Purohit says Global Cluster Manager will also integrate with Veritas Storage Replicator or Veritas Volume Manager.