1.0 Overview

As corporations become more international, fueled in part by the reach of the World Wide Web, the requirement for service availability has increased. Novell® Cluster Services™ offers corporations the ability to maintain 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, US federal agencies have realized the disastrous effects that terrorist attacks could have on the US 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 km or more (the minimum acceptable distance being 200 km).

Many companies have built and deployed geographically mirrored data centers. The problem is that setting up and maintaining the two or more 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.