Legato Advances Clustering Solutions

SAN MATEO (04/04/2000) - Legato Systems Inc. today unveiled wanCluster and eCluster, two clustering systems intended to simplify complex, multivendor Web site configurations and ensure greater data security in the event of a calamity at the primary hosting location.

Surrounded by officials from industry partners IBM Corp., Caldera Systems Inc., Network Appliances, Cisco Systems Inc., PGP/NAI, and Datalink, Terry Dickson, vice president of the data-availability division at Legato, introduced the network clustering solutions at a launch event today in San Francisco.

Legato wanCluster ensures complete Web site fail-over in the event of a wide-area outage caused by cataclysmic scenarios such as fire or natural disaster, according to Dickson.

"In the case of such an event, wanCluster assures that data is carried over to a remote location, regardless of what happened to the original site. And when the original site is recovered, you resync the data back to it," Dickson said.

"We prefer to refer to wanCluster replication as automated, not automatic," explained Kelly Polanski, an application availability business line manager at Legato. "We recommend a beeper warning to alert someone in the company (about the failover), in order to have a human oversee the replication."

The eCluster offering is designed to enhance and simplify Web sites using server load-balancing solutions such as Cisco's Local Director. It shifts the duties of certain servers over to others, depending on network traffic and other load-creating tasks such as internal business data and e-mail. The Legato eCluster monitors load capacity, can restart Web servers, offers preventive maintenance without shutting down the entire system, and provides firewall fail-over, all with a single point of control for the operator, according to officials at Legato.

Both the clustering solutions provide certified interoperability between the joined technologies represented by the individual companies.

More a necessity these days than a trend, offering a "single point of contact" for customers wanting to implement complex, global networks for multi-tiered e-commerce Web sites "is the only way to ensure your network is going to stay up and running," according to Carolyn DiCenzo, a San Jose, California-based chief analyst for management software at Gartner Group Inc.

"There's no way (a technology manager) is going to want to undertake this alone," DiCenzo said. "They don't want to pick up the phone and be told, well, that's all we know about that part of the network, we'll have so-and-so get back to you. Companies want a single point of contact, so if there's a problem they can even blame the vendor for trusting whoever they've partnered with."

"Events like this represent a shift from vendors who produce individual solutions to vendors joining to provide the management of multiple solutions," said Erik Hughes, the director of product management at Caldera Systems, in Orem, Utah.

Legato Systems Inc., in Palo Alto, California, is at http://www.legato.com/.

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