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Types of Data Access

data access overview
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At the basis of every cluster configuration is the opportunity to share the data set between all nodes. SteelEye LifeKeeper offers a wide range of data access types, and is easy scalable for this.

A cheap solution to offer syncronous data for both nodes is to use the data replication feature. This kind of data access enables a simple to build disaster recovery solution. Entry level cluster configurations use shared storages with SCSI or fibre channel access. Typically, this solution consists of two nodes. Clusters with direct attached SCSI storages are limited to two nodes. The standardisation and the common use of Fibre Channel Technology was the breakthrough for clustering solutions. This enables clusters with much more than two nodes, and to use SAN as a shared data store. With Fibre Technology, clusters are scalable with no limitation.

Using WAN connections enables an administrator to build stretched clusters over different locations. With this technology, the loss of a complete data center will not bring about an absolute disaster. Of course, there are a number of critical issues in switching business critical applications to a different location within a small downtime.

A typical configuration to achieve application availability in conjunction with protection against disaster is to have a two-level protection. The first level is to have a cluster with a local failover for all the daily issues. Only after the crash of the backup node or the break down of the whole data center there will be level two protection; to have a failover to the remote cluster node(s) based in a different data center. This failover is a complex process.

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