I'll admit it, I've been tardy in sharing some of the details of a conversation concerning SteelEye's Lifekeeper product family I had with Bob Williamson of SteelEye immediately after LinuxWorld. What can I say? I had the best of intentions. Life got in the way.
Bob and I discussed LifeKeeper Protection Suite for VMware Infrastructure 3 and why he thought it was named the Best Clustering Solution in Linuxworld.com's 2007 Product Excellence Awards. In the words of the company:
The SteelEye LifeKeeper family of software products and services offer unique scalability in terms of integrated solutions for data protection, high availability clustering, and wide-area disaster recovery. SteelEye LifeKeeper enables enterprises of all sizes to ensure continuous uptime of business-critical systems. With 'out of the box' support for the widest range of applications, databases, and storage subsystems running on Intel-based Windows and Linux servers, SteelEye LifeKeeper ensures enterprise-grade reliability at a fraction of the cost and complexity of traditional solutions. In addition, SteelEye provides a full range of High Availability consulting and professional services to assist organizations with the assessment, design, and implementation of solutions for ensuring High Availability within their environments.
I asked Bob some of the questions about clustering that were addressed in the post Single system image clusters — Where do they fit today?. The industry seems fixated on Virtual Machine technology at the moment and older, established technology, such as clustering seems to have faded from the scene. After all, multi-tier, service oriented architecture applications don't need clustering technology - or do they?
Bob and I agreed that each of the layers of virtualization technology are important for different reasons. We also agreed that many established applications, applications that are critical to an organization's success, are often a chronological layer cake of technology, some of which is over 20 years old. Many of these applications or components of these applications must be highly available, scalable and highly reliable. Clustering software, such as that offered by SteelEye make that possible.
Does your organization use clustering technology as part of critical systems? Are you using singe system image clustering software, HA/fail over clustering software, storage clustering software or something else?