MEC 2001: Cluster luster

Edward Hurley, Assistant News Editor

MEC 2001, ORLANDO, Fla. - If you're a Windows user, you have three clustering routes to travel. Pick a path, and head towards your destination of big-time scalability and reliability.

Microsoft offers three options for clustering to keep costs down so you get only the functionality you want, said Manoj Nayar, technical product manager for Microsoft's server enterprise. "A customer may use NLB as they don't need a full-blown cluster."

Multiple identical servers or "clones" can use Network Load Balancing. NLB can balance the load of IP traffic across a set of up to 32 identical servers. Such functionality is well-suited for Web servers.

Component Load Balancing allows the dynamic balancing of COM components for up to eight servers. For complete fail-over, Windows Cluster Service allows failover for applications for clusters with up to four servers.

When .Net server comes out, users will find it easier to create clusters of machines at different locations. For example, a company can set up a cluster with servers in Orlando and in Seattle. The machines will be able to failover to a different location.

It's been important for Microsoft to include clustering technology within its operating systems, not simply as a separate product, Nayar said.



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