A Novell Business Continuity Clustering cluster is an automated cluster of Novell Cluster Services clusters. It is similar to what is described in Cluster of Clusters, except that the cluster configuration, maintenance, and synchronization have been automated by adding specialized software.
BCC supports up to four peer clusters. The sites are geographically separated mirrored data centers, with a high availability cluster located at each site. Configuration is automatically synchronized between the sites. Data is replicated between sites. All cluster nodes and their cluster resources are monitored at each site. If one site goes down, business continues through the mirrored sites.
The business continuity cluster configuration information is stored in eDirectory. eDirectory schema extensions provide the additional attributes required to maintain the configuration and status information of BCC enabled cluster resources. This includes information about the peer clusters, the cluster resources and their states, and storage control commands.
BCC is an integrated set of tools to automate the setup and maintenance of a business continuity infrastructure. Unlike competitive solutions that attempt to build stretch clusters, BCC uses a cluster of clusters. Each site has its own independent clusters, and the clusters in each of the geographically separate sites are each treated as “nodes” in a larger cluster, allowing a whole site to do fan-out failover to other multiple sites. Although this can currently be done manually with a cluster of clusters, BCC automates the system by using eDirectory and policy-based management of the resources and storage systems.
Novell Business Continuity Clustering software provides the following advantages over typical cluster-of-clusters solutions:
Supports up to four clusters with up to 32 nodes each.
Integrates with shard storage hardware devices to automate the failover process through standards-based mechanisms such as SMI-S.
Uses Identity Manager technology to automatically synchronize and transfer cluster-related eDirectory objects from one cluster to another.
Provides the capability to fail over as few as one cluster resource, or as many as all cluster resources.
Includes intelligent failover that allows you to perform site failover testing as a standard practice.
Provides scripting capability that allows enhanced storage management control and customization of migration and fail over between clusters.
Provides simplified business continuity cluster configuration and management by using the browser-based Novell iManager management tool. iManager is used for the configuration and monitoring of the overall system and for the individual resources.