Neverfail ClusterProtector - Benefits and Requirements

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Summary

This Knowledgebase article provides details on the limitations of Microsoft Clustering, the benefits of deploying Neverfail ClusterProtector and the requirements.


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Limitations of Clustering

Many customers have implemented clustering to provide High Availability for their mission critical applications like Exchange and SQL Server. The clustering solution does not provide Business Continuity protection in the event of total site or total cluster failure. Neverfail ClusterProtector can help organizations overcome implement a comprehensive Disaster Recovery solution.
Without Neverfail ClusterProtector, the business will need to tackle the following:

  • Data loss in the event a cluster suffers a SAN failure (due to service pack / firmware upgrades, improper LUN reconfiguration, and physical device failure), a site wide outage (such as power failure or an environmental issue such as flooding).
  • User downtime because the Clustered Application is no longer available while Administrators manually rebuild the Cluster and restore data from backup.
  • Clustering requires intelligent monitoring to determine when failover is required.
  • SAN Replication can be prohibitively expensive; it requires low latency WAN links limiting distance between sites and requires high bandwidth.
  • Business Continuity requires rollback protection against data corruption.


Benefits of Neverfail ClusterProtector

  • Neverfail’s Cluster Optimized Replication Engine (C.O.R.E.) reduces the performance impact on the Clustered Application through real-time off-site asynchronous replication, which unlike synchronous SAN replication will not slow the application if there are bottlenecks or latency problems on the WAN. Combined with WANSmart data de-duplication this helps minimise RPO by reducing bandwidth usage.
  • ClusterProtector can detect SQL Server and Exchange Server performance problems and alert Administrators to impending bottlenecks affecting end users.
  • Ensures mission critical data is always protected and replicated off-site with the ‘Automatic database protection’ feature which detects new SQL Server and Exchange databases and adds replication filters for them.
  • Data Rollback Module protects against data corruption, by providing point in time snap shots of critical data.
  • Provides total protection for a loss of cluster hardware including shared storage and total site failure with a shared-nothing technology which eliminates the single point of failure.
  • Seamless client reconnection across different subnets ensures that the business user or business applications reconnect automatically without requiring a restart or reconfiguration just because the clustered application has failed.
  • Through intelligent cluster and the network availability monitoring, Neverfail ClusterProtector can proactively detect and trigger the appropriate action based upon cluster node failure (no site failover) vs total cluster failure and trigger failover to the disaster site.
  • In the event of Cluster failure, Neverfail ClusterProtector provides seamless and automated failover to an identical copy of the protected application and its data at the disaster recovery site.
  • Neverfail dynamically and automatically updates DNS records, enabling clients to remain continuously connected to their mission critical applications even when failover takes place across subnets.
  • For deployments with SQL Server the Disaster Recovery site does not require a cluster or shared storage, eliminating the need to duplicate a SAN environment at the remote site which reduces the deployment costs for a DR solution for a Cluster.
  • Simple one touch site recovery reduces the time and effort to bring the primary site back online; automatic synchronize of data will take place once the Cluster is recovered and brought back on line and the Administrator can then simply switch back to the Production site.


Cluster Requirements

Neverfail ClusterProtector
  • Offers continuous data replication for:
    • Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering (WSFC) on Windows Server 2012 starting with Neverfail Heartbeat v6.7.0
    • Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering (WSFC) on Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering (WSFC) on Windows Server 2008
    • Microsoft Server Cluster Service (MSCS) on Windows Server 2003
  • Configurable Cluster support for:
    • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
    • Windows File Server 2003 and 2008
    • Oracle Database Servers
Neverfail ClusterProtector for Exchange
  • Provides out-of-the-box protection for 2-node active/passive Exchange:
    • Microsoft Exchange 2007 Single Copy Clusters (SCC)
    • Microsoft Exchange 2007 Continuous Cluster Replication (CCR)
  • Supported Clustered OS:
    • Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering (WSFC) on Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering (WSFC) on Windows Server 2008
    • Microsoft Server Cluster Service (MSCS) on Windows Server 2003
  • Storage Requirements in the DR Site:
    • ClusterProtector for Exchange requires a single Node Clustered Exchange, Shared Storage for SCC deployment, and local storage for CCR deployment.

Neverfail ClusterProtector for SQL Server
  • Provides out-of-the-box protection for 2-node active/ passive SQL Server:
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
    • Databases for Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft Dynamics or any other mission critical applications.
  • Supported Clustered OS:
    • Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering (WSFC) on Windows Server 2012 starting with Neverfail Heartbeat v6.7.0
    • Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering (WSFC) on Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering (WSFC) on Windows Server 2008
    • Microsoft Server Cluster Service (MSCS) on Windows Server 2003
  • Storage Requirements in the DR Site:
    • ClusterProtector for SQL Server requires a standalone SQL Server and local storage

Networking requirements

  • One additional NIC on the each node in the Cluster (3 NICs in total): 1x Public, 1x Private Cluster communications, 1x Neverfail Channel.



Applies To

Neverfail Heartbeat v6.7.0
Neverfail Heartbeat v6.6.0
Neverfail ClusterProtector v201.5.4
Neverfail Clustered Exchange Plug-in v201.5.1
Neverfail Clustered SQL Plug-in v201.5.2


Related Information

None

KBID-1912

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