"Anyone in the hosting business knows that high availability is
absolutely required. The real questions: how much do you need, how
do you ensure it, and how much to spend in doing so. A plethora of
alternatives exist, from fault-tolerant servers to hardware load
balancers to open source software. Those with a bankroll can spend
anywhere from $7K to $70K on high-speed switching and traffic
management boxes that transparently distribute load and bypass
failed nodes. Enterprising admins with time but no cash can dig
into heartbeat and takeover code being developed by the
High-Availability Linux Project."
"Near the low end of this price/feature spectrum is StaQWare, a
high-availability solution for Cobalt RaQ3i server clusters. This
$999 software add-on provides continuous system monitoring,
unattended fail-over, and real-time data synchronization for a
redundant pair of identical RaQ3i's. Providers using this
high-density 1U Cobalt box to host customer web, file, mail, and
name services can employ StaQWare to ensure up to 99.9 percent
"Each HA solution makes a tradeoff between capital
investment, cost of operation, performance overhead, and achieved
RAS. Deciding how much availability is enough for your business and
your customers is the first step. Understanding what each
alternative does -- and doesn't -- do is the next. To that end, we
took a hands-on look at StaQWare in our test lab."
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