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Understanding specifications

I'm a little confused. I have a requirement saying "an automatic redundant storage capabilities." I don't have any more information. What does it mean? Is it full failover capabilities or what? I'm obligated to use Microsoft software like Exchange, SQL and Windows 2000 server.

I need to find a good solution? Should I use a double server with a central cluster unit (RAID 5) with a Microsoft Windows 2000 advanced server with Exchange 2000 and SQL 2000 with an Enterprise edition? It must be inexpensive with good quality!

I've many questions because I'm new to this subject. If you can't discuss CIE products, can you give me a good Web link besides I've read enough!

Best regards.

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It's difficult to interpret a weak specification such as the one you have been given. Lets try to break it down into parts to try to understand it.

Automated = not manual. OK, mirroring and RAID are both automated - but all primary storage is. Maybe they are referring to an automated tape backup system with a tape autoloader or library.

Redundant = multiple devices or copies of data, such as through the use of mirroring, RAID and backup.

Storage = not necessarily redundant servers.

So, I would implement disk mirroring (RAID 1) with a tape backup system that includes a tape library and the software that manages the media in the library. I would argue that such a solution meets the vague requirements that you were given.

Marc Farley

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This was first published in October 2001

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