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W2K Clustering Market Gets a Competitor

Windows 2000 availability clusters aren't just for Advanced Server and Datacenter Server anymore.

Legato Systems Inc. on Tuesday announced it has ported Co-StandbyServer to Windows 2000. The product, called Co-StandbyServer 2000, is available immediately.

It competes head-on in functionality with Microsoft Cluster Services (MSCS), which is widely acknowledged to own the Windows failover clustering market.

Microsoft includes MSCS only in Windows 2000 Advanced Server, which provides two-node failover clustering, and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, where four-node failover clusters are supported.

A main difference is that Legato's Co-StandbyServer will run on Windows 2000 Server, the lowest cost and most widely deployed version of the three flavors of Windows server.

The product doesn't compete head-on from a market share perspective, Legato executives willingly acknowledge.

"If you look at pure percentages and market share, there's no doubt a great percentage go with what Microsoft delivers," says George Symons, vice president of Legato's product management and development. "Microsoft had well over 80 percent of the clustering market on Windows. Even with that, there's a very large market here."

Legato will target the departmental market with its technology.

Co-StandbyServer differs from MSCS in the way the two solutions use disks. In Co-StandbyServer, which supports up to two nodes, Legato mirrors disk with continuous synchronization between the servers. Microsoft's approach is shared disk, both servers access the same storage. Legato also plans to port a product called Legato Mirroring Extension, which will mirror MSCS disks, next quarter.

Symons also says Legato focuses more on making its product ready for easy out-of-the-box use than Microsoft does with MSCS. The product includes application modules for SQL Server 7.0, SQL Server 2000, Exchange Server 5.5 and Internet Information Services 5.0.

The release may put Legato at odds with Microsoft, which did not provide a supporting quote for Legato's announcement.

Microsoft has floated plans to wean customers off of Windows 2000 Server and onto the higher profit-margin Advanced Server and Datacenter Server in the Whistler timeframe. (See story)

Legato charges $6,500 for a two-node cluster of Co-StandbyServer 2000.

About the Author

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

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