SCO is set to ship enterprise clustering technology for Intel multiprocessor servers ahead of Microsoft.
SCO's technology, which is based on its UnixWare operating system, is scheduled to begin shipping at the end of the month. Microsoft's competing Wolfpack clustering for Windows NT product is not due out until this summer, and then only as a phase one, two-node implementation. The full product, a four-node system, won't be available until next year.
The SCO ReliantHA clustering technology is an extension to the SCO UnixWare 2.1 Application Server and has been designed to allow existing UnixWare applications to take advantage of clustering without modification.
Although Unix has supported clustering for several years, SCO claims ReliantHA is the first to provide enterprise-level system clustering on industry-standard PC hardware.
ReliantHA provides proactive fault tolerance, continuous monitoring and automatic failover. SCO said the software can be configured using UnixWare's Configuration Monitor tool to reduce the overall impact of a single application failure on a multi-function server.
For example, when a system resource or application fails, the monitor restarts it, switches to an alternative data path or migrates resources to another system. If an entire system fails, another node in the cluster assumes responsibility for its disks and network address. Applications that were running when the node failed are restarted on the new system.
According to Malcolm Etchells, relationships marketing manager at SCO, no special hardware is required over and above standard PC server configurations.
"We support standard Intel architectures connected via Ethernet links," he said.
Using UnixWare's standard Volume Manager utility, four server machines can be plugged into the same disk pack and have their disks mirrored.
Etchells claimed ReliantHA was superior technology to Microsoft's Wolfpack.
He also maintained some PC makers were implementing their own clustering technology rather than wait for Wolfpack.
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