1.0 Overview of Business Continuity Clustering

As corporations become more international, fueled in part by the reach of the Internet, the requirement for service availability has increased. Novell Business Continuity Clustering (BCC) offers corporations the ability to maintain mission-critical (24x7x365) data and application services to their users while still being able to perform maintenance and upgrades on their systems.

In the past few years, natural disasters (ice storms, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires) have caused unplanned outages of entire data centers. In addition, U.S. federal agencies have realized the disastrous effects that terrorist attacks could have on the U.S. economy when corporations lose their data and the ability to perform critical business practices. This has resulted in initial recommendations for corporations to build mirrored or replicated data centers that are geographically separated by 300 kilometers (km) or more. (The minimum acceptable distance is 200 km.)

Many companies have built and deployed geographically mirrored data centers. The problem is that setting up and maintaining the multiple centers is a manual process that takes a great deal of planning and synchronizing. Even configuration changes must be carefully planned and replicated. One mistake and the redundant site is no longer able to effectively take over in the event of a disaster.

This section identifies the implications for disaster recovery, provides an overview of some of the network implementations today that attempt to address disaster recovery, and describes how Business Continuity Clustering can improve your disaster recovery solution by providing specialized software that automates cluster configuration, maintenance, and synchronization across two to four geographically separate sites.