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Cluster failover capabilities

I am told that NTAP has automatic failover capabilities. The filers monitor the heartbeat and can detect a problem and then a initiate the failover. What I am trying to determine is what additional equipment is needed? Does this work in long distance (WAN) remote operations? How it actually works? If in remote situations does it require manual intervention? This is an option and how much does it cost?


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Network Appliance has fault tolerant failover with their cluster series products that are designated by the letter "c" suffix such as F880c, F840c, F820c, and F810c. They are priced appropriately for the function over what the base models are. They work in a LAN environment with a clustering distance limit of 500m (remember, distance takes time so the longer the distance, the more considerations you'll have to make for failover). The heartbreak is done using an installed cluster adapter that has the VI protocol. All the failover hardware and software are included with the Fxxxc models.

For failover, the NFS failover is seamless because it is automatically retried. CIFS does not do the retry so after a failover, the user will have to reconnect the NAS device (this is true for all CIFS implementations).

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in May 2002

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