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IDC: User Interest in RASS Software Growing

International Data Corp. (IDC, www.idc.com) today reported that user interest in reliability/availability/scalability serverware (RASS) software, and user interest in clustering software as a special type of RASS software are growing. IT organizations want to ensure applications and data running on distributed servers will remain available to end users, even if an outage occurs. Even in places where server consolidation is taking place, high-availability software provides important disaster-recovery features: If any single data center goes offline, WAN-enabled high-availability software will ensure that business-critical applications are running, and accessible in another data center.

"Techniques providing virtual storage and virtual processing are becoming ever more important as organizations strive to make their applications available at all times," said Dan Kusnetzky, program director for operating environments and serverware services at IDC. "RASS software is an important tool making these two concepts real."

IDC has developed a feature/function matrix of major products in the clustering software market segment. The matrix provides a level playing field on which to compare more than thirty different software packages that support high-availability, failover, and clustering capability.

The IDC matrix, which is in its second rendition, now includes clustering software from four major market segments by server operating environment: Unix, Microsoft Windows NT Server, Novell NetWare, and traditional host/server platforms, including mainframes and single-vendor platforms. The first edition of the matrix, published in December 1997, focused on clustering software for Unix and NT platforms only. Since then, IDC has defined the new category of RASS software. According to IDC's definition, RASS software includes high-availability software and clustering software, but extends beyond that to include a wide array of software that supports highly available applications for end users.

The IDC High-Availability Software and Cluster Software Matrix does not select winners and losers in the field. Rather, it focuses on functionality and lets readers decide for themselves which products best suit their IT needs. IDC plans to update the matrix periodically as new waves of enhancements appear, affecting products throughout the marketplace.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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