Linux distributor SuSe and hardware manufacturer Silicon
Graphics (SGI) are developing a high availability version of Linux
using SGI's clustering software, Iris FailSafe.
Iris FailSafe running on Linux will enable network managers
to link two or more servers together so that one transparently
picks up the computing load should another fall over. An Iris
FailSafe Linux cluster in the back end will remove any single point
of failure and allow applications to increase availability to the
level required for mission-critical data centre operations.
Welcoming the development work, Linus Torvalds said: "High
availability is an important piece of the puzzle. Having this
technology available for Linux will be important to companies that
use Linux in production environments."
Chris Martin, an analyst at Xephon, said the development of
clustering technology would give users more confidence to deploy
high-availability ebusiness systems on Linux. However, he warned
that: "There are still question marks around the scalability of
Linux and whether it can handle the workload generated by the
With input from the Open Source Software community, SGI and SuSE
expect to have software available by the second half of 2000. SGI
intends to release to open source a version of Iris FailSafe
software for Linux to encourage development in the Linux
In addition, SGI will release the Irix XFS journalling file
system to the open source community within two months. The
technology allows IT departments to run Linux servers that share
disks over a storage area network (San).
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