Dell High Availability Clustering

Dell High Availability Clustering

Solutions Center

Business Solutions Center
Dell Networking Solutions


Server Consolidation
Storage Consolidation


Unix Migration


Business Continuity
High Availability
Client Security
Data Archiving for Regulatory Compliance
Secure Exchange


Systems Management
Client Management
Networking Management

Software Solutions

Dell OpenManage
Microsoft Exchange
Oracle Databases and Applications

Specialty Solutions

Retail Industry

Clustered solutions that are built with industry standard commodity based components

High Availability Clusters


High Availability Solutions Brochure (Adobe Acrobat format)
Dell Cluster Configuration Support Matrices

Overview and Benefits.

For many businesses, computing systems have become such an integral part of their company's business that severe consequences can occur when their systems are unavailable. These systems are used for critical business functions such as order processing and tracking, inventory control, transaction processing, customer support, and electronic commerce. And when these critical functions are not accessible it can result in lost revenue, lost productivity, reduced customer satisfaction, possible data loss or reduced decision making capabilities. As a result, in today's global environment, these computing systems must be available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Improved availability must balance the cost of downtime against the cost of any proposed solution to find the most cost-effective method of availability. The first consideration should be the basic quality and reliability of the server (to minimize failures). Dell servers have been designed with a broad array of redundant features to maximize a server's availability. High Availability Clusters provide the next level of availability to further increase business critical applications availability.

Dell's strategy is to provide clustered solutions that are built with industry standard commodity based components, which deliver entry level, mid-range and high-end availability solutions. The entry level, mid-range and high-end cluster have all been designed to remove all single points of failure. Each cluster level provides the ability to recover from additional failures, thus protecting against many multiple component failures. By removing failure points, higher levels of availability can be achieved. Thus, customers can now use the same build to order model they have become accustomed to with Dell servers, to build the availability level that best meets their high availability requirements.

High Availability Cluster

Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) controls access to the storage system(s). Although both servers have physical connections to the storage system(s), only one server can have access to the data on any disk at any point of time

The systems that are clustered together are interconnected via a private LAN and utilize this LAN for a heartbeat mechanism to determine the health of each system. When a failure occurs, the failed system's applications and application data is migrated to and restarted on the healthy system. The effort required to restart the application varies greatly depending on the type of application (e.g., file/print vs. DBMS) and the amount of data associated with the application. Ideally, when an application switches from one node to another, the user experiences no disruption at all and isn't even aware that the job has been switched to a different server.

Realistically, the disruption the user experiences can range from a slight delay to an extensive application restart. By transferring the users to a backup system, high availability clustering is designed to minimize the amount of downtime.

Red Hat®  Advanced Platform - Red Hat Cluster Suite and Global File System

As part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Advanced Platform, Red Hat Cluster Suite is a tightly integrated set of software components that can be deployed across a variety of configurations to suit your needs for high-availability, load balancing, scalability, file sharing, performance and economy.

Red Hat Cluster Suite provides fundamental management functions for clustered systems including: configuration, file management, membership management, lock management, and fencing. In addition, Red Hat Cluster Suite high-availability service management provides service failover from one node to another in the event a node becomes inoperative. The cluster administration and management tool add-ons feature Red Hat Global File System allowing multiple nodes to share storage at the block level - allowing nodes to access each volume concurrently – as if storage were connected locally to each system node.

Available as part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform, Red Hat Cluster Suite supports 2-16 node HA configurations for NFS, Shared SCSI or SAN-based clusters. Red Hat Cluster Suite is designed to provide cost-effective clustering in an open-source environment and can be architected either as pure failover or on-node failover to maximize total system availability.

Dell/Red Hat High Availability Solution Support Matrix