Clustering is one of the oldest concepts in storage, but it's getting a new spin as major vendors chime in with...
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smaller players, promoting offerings that can scale well beyond the traditional set-up of two nodes tightly coupled for failover purposes.
Clustering is one of the oldest concepts in storage, but it's getting a new spin as major vendors chime in with smaller players, promoting offerings that can scale well beyond the traditional set-up of two nodes tightly coupled for failover purposes.
One of the most appealing aspects for some users is the ability to grow, or scale out, capacity in a modular fashion, beyond the limits of a single standalone storage system and geography. They simply add a node when the need arises, and the cluster automatically recognizes it.
Clustered storage systems may finally come of age now that major vendors are putting more muscle behind their new offerings and, in the process, providing even the most conservative of IT organizations with a greater comfort level to test the waters.
Corporate IT managers are often skittish about trusting their data in the hands of less-established companies and, for the most part, a raft of startups were responsible for jump-starting the high-scaling clustered storage market. But the vendor landscape is undergoing a dramatic transformation.
Clustered block storage is appearing at all levels of the storage environment. The technology can overcome several obstacles storage professionals face today, including scale, performance, reliability, upgradeability and ease of administration.
For primary storage, there are two basic clustered storage architectures: tightly coupled clusters such as those offered by 3PAR Inc., and loosely coupled clustering offerings from companies such as Dell EqualLogic Inc. and LeftHand Networks Inc. (owned by Hewlett-Packard Co.).
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