Bridgewater, New Jersey-based Entersoft Systems Corp has now released the 16 node cluster version of NCR Corp’s LifeKeeper 2.0 clustering and high availability software, and is pushing hard to establish it into the Windows NT world. Before now it was restricted to the four node version. Entersoft has been selling LifeKeeper and NCR’s Top End […]
Bridgewater, New Jersey-based Entersoft Systems Corp has now released the 16 node cluster version of NCR Corp’s LifeKeeper 2.0 clustering and high availability software, and is pushing hard to establish it into the Windows NT world. Before now it was restricted to the four node version. Entersoft has been selling LifeKeeper and NCR’s Top End transaction processing software for the last two years, ever since NCR decided to open up its middleware to a set of master distributors (CI No 2,864). It remains the only US outlet for the software aside from NCR Corp itself and its OEM partner Amdahl Corp. Entersoft’s contract survived NCR’s sale of Top End to BEA Systems Inc earlier this year (CI No 3,415), and Entersoft says it’s now talking to BEA about broadening the relationship into the transaction processing field. But in the meantime it’s pushing LifeKeeper as a high-end clustering, failover and load balancing system for NT, in the face of what appears to be heavy undermarketing from NCR itself. LifeKeeper, it says, is the only NT clustering software that is capable of supporting 16 nodes, and the only technology focused on the high-end. Competitive systems from Vinca Corp, the Qualix Group Inc (Octopus) and Platform Computing Corp don’t have enterprise systems support, it claims. The newest version of LifeKeeper supports such features as cascading recovery, N-way failover, parallel recovery, geographic failover or extended mirroring, and compatibility with Microsoft Corp’s Cluster Server, aka Wolfpack. Entersoft has added a Print Services Recovery Kit to the new release, filling an inexplicable hole in NCR’s software, so that document print queues are saved in the event of a crash. Entersoft’s Paul Tanwanteng says that clustering and high availability software continues to require expert installation, even for low end set-ups, which is one reason why Microsoft has been slow off the mark establishing Wolfpack. He says that over the last twelve months his company has been seeding the market with copies of LifeKeeper at sites intending to cluster NT servers in their thousands. It sells LifeKeeper on Compaq Computer Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co and IBM Corp servers, but doesn’t have marketing or OEM agreements set up with any of these companies at the moment. Entersoft founder Ward Geise came from Information Management Co, one of the companies originally swallowed by BEA, and it wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to see Entersoft negotiating with NCR to take full control of LifeKeeper in the future, just as BEA did with Tuxedo. The only other LifeKeeper activity from NCR’s point of view, aside from its Entersoft and Amdahl deals, is the inclusion of LifeKeeper as part of NCR’s joint development with Sun Microsystems Inc to add high availability features to Solaris. Prices start at $1,500 per server.