It's been far too long since I've written a blog post, mostly due to the holiday rush. There's much going on in my world of geo-clustering with 2008 RC1 being released, and also there's been some development activity for SRDF/CE. I’ve been asked questions many times in various forms about the future outlook of geo-clusters and specificly, the longevity of a product like SRDF/CE. Some ask if EMC has any plans to support 2008 cluster and other ask if the product is dying due to new application features such as Exchange CCR or SQL mirroring. I’ll address this second part first as it’s easier to answer and I’m not sure how much I am allowed to disclose about future EMC product releases.
Some have suggested that Exchange 2007 CCR eliminates the need for clusters and SRDF/CE, so EMC’s product must be of the dying breed. In reality, I see an exact opposite effect occurring. With Microsoft promoting the idea of disaster recovery and multi-site clusters in their products, I see more customers looking at their current infrastructure and realizing that they have a need to implement some form of multi-site clustering solution. As they look at the major applications like Exchange and SQL, many customers will then realize that they have many other business critical applications/services in their existing clusters that they would also like to protect from a total site outage. Believe it or not, some customers use applications other than SQL and Exchange in a MSFT cluster…I see lots of Oracle, file & print and other custom apps in clusters. This triggers customers to look for a more robust and total multi-site clustering solution. This is why I feel that a product like SRDF/CE will be around for a long time to come.
As for future releases of SRDF/CE, more versions are planned and being developed. The next major release of SRDF/CE (version 3.0) will have support for 2008 server…I think this is pretty safe to say and I’m not really giving away any big company secrets. 2008 cluster is going to be HUGE for multi-site clustering due to the new AND/OR dependencies which remove the “same subnet” requirement that is in place for clusters today. I personally know of several customers that have dropped their goal of implementing a geographically dispersed Microsoft cluster due to this specific single subnet limitation. If you haven’t tested 2008 cluster, I would recommend grabbing a copy of 2008 RC1 from the Microsoft website and start poking around with this version to get used to some of the differences.
There are several MAJOR changes coming in this next release of SRDF/CE and one will be support for 2008 clusters. Another change will be another slight name change for the product. Version 3.0 will be dropping the SRDF part of the product name and will be named simply “EMC Cluster Enabler” or CE…rolls of the tongue a little nicer than SRDF/CE. The main reason for the name change is the addition of a little feature that I had mentioned in a previous post. I’ll write up some more about CE 3.0 in the near future.