PolyServe, Microsoft Pair On Shared Data Clusters - InformationWeek

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5/24/2004
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PolyServe, Microsoft Pair On Shared Data Clusters

Users will be able to aggregate multiple Windows servers and manage them as a single entity, bringing application scaling to a Windows-based cluster.

Linux software company PolyServe has teamed up with Microsoft to deliver a shared-data clustering solution for the Windows data center.

Slated to be launched this week at Microsoft's Tech Ed 2004 event in San Diego, PolyServe's Matrix Server for Microsoft Windows enables users to aggregate multiple Windows servers and manage them as a single entity, company executives said.

Developed as part of a two-year partnership with Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, Matrix Server for Windows employs shared-data clustering technology, which enables seamless scaling of applications and shared storage across multiple servers. For example, a cluster of up to 16 Windows servers can be aggregated and managed as high-performance NAS using Matrix, PolyServe executives said.

The form of clustering now available in the two high-end versions of Windows Server primarily offers failover features and high-availability benefits in the event of downtime or a system crash.

PolyServe executives said the data-sharing clustering solution brings application scaling, an ability to concurrently read and write to shared data on a SAN to a Windows-based cluster. For instance, customers can consolidate disparate servers and storage resources into a centrally managed cluster, which offers Windows-based data centers a layer of flexibility once reserved for high-end Unix environments and Linux clusters, they said.

"This enables you to scale out applications on a two-way cluster, so you can tap into the volume economics of Intel servers and couple that with a high-performing system," said Steven Norall, director of marketing at PolyServe. The application and storage scaling enables server consolidation, but the solution uses a different approach than VMware or Microsoft Virtual Server, which offers scaled-up virtualization on a single server.

PolyServe, which employs many former Sequent Computer employees, also unveiled a partnership with Hewlett-Packard that will deliver File Server Consolidation and SQL Server solutions based on Matrix Server for Windows. In addition, PolyServe released a Linux shared-data clustering solution several years ago, and the company partners with HP on solutions for that market. Linux leader Red Hat recently acquired a company, formerly known as Sistina, that offers shared data clustering.

Beaverton, Ore.-based PolyServe offers four solution packs: SQL, File and Print, Oracle 9i and 10g RACs, and Web Content Consolidation. Matrix for Windows starts at $1,500 per CPU.

PolyServe lists Northern Trust, Star Gas, Tylin International, First Data and Wells Fargo as customers of the Matrix Server for Windows product. The software company launched a channel program last year and now has 25 high-end resellers on board, executives said.

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