Feeds

Windows in HA does go

High availability without the rocket scientists

The essential guide to IT transformation

High Availability (HA) environments can obviously be classed as a `good thing’. For most users, however, the balance between need and the cost of implementation usually ends up tipping them towards the `not bother’ side of the fence.

One of the cost issues that plays an inevitable part in this process is that of applications development, for high availability systems have traditionally been specialist environments requiring specialist skills. Put it this way, a typical Windows developer would not be expected to slot into that world at the drop of a hat.

One solution to this, adopted by Marathon Technologies, has been to provide an environment in which Windows developers can become HA `specialists’ without having to learn any new tricks. Indeed, they do not even have to know about development issues for Microsoft’s own clustering environment. According to Marathon’s EMEA sales director, Nick Turnbull, the Windows-based everRun technology makes no demands on developers for it has been developed to appear as a single server. “Any application that can run on a single Windows server can run on Marathon,” he said.

This is due to the architecture of the system and the patented virtualisation technology it employs. The HA software is a virtual server running on one member of a pair of identical servers connected by GBit Ethernet. The single instance of an application then runs in this virtual server, which in turn drives the two servers so that one runs as a permanent hot standby. The virtual server also acts as a metadatabase of the state of the two co-servers to ensure full synchronisation. The virtual server can be switched between the two servers as incidents, or maintenance schedules, demand.

As well as the everRun system, which aims to provide zero downtime continuous availability, there is also a lower-cost implementation called everRun HA. This is aimed at the data replication market and has the added advantage that the servers need not be identical as the virtual server only runs on one of them. There is also a disaster-tolerant implementation called SplitSite.

Though only Windows-based to date, Turnbull indicated that a Linux version is in development. “But users are not running critical applications on Linux,” he rather bravely suggested.

One environment that is a strong base for critical applications is Java and following the rapprochement between Microsoft and Sun Microsytems, and the appearance of news tools to allow Windows applications to run in Java (and vice versa) this could prove to be a useful tool for developers in both camps looking to offer HA operations without recourse to more traditional and expensive options. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.