1.3 Business Continuity Clustering

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, the BCC solution uses a cluster of clusters. Each geographically separate site hosts an independent cluster that is treated as a peer cluster in a larger geographically dispersed cluster of clusters. This allows a site to do fan-out failover of resources to multiple other sites. BCC automates the failover between peer clusters 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: