Cross your fingers.  Rub your lucky rabbit’s foot.  Pray to the server gods.  It won’t happen to you, right? 

 

But what if it does happen?  And the servers are down... 

 

Maybe you can help save your company from some of the heartache and costs of downtime.

 

Failover Clustering has been around a long time now (since Wolfpack, for those who remember), and, well... maybe it had a reputation for being a bit arcane to set up and configure.  But that’s really ancient history at this point.  With Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (or R2) and a couple of servers you're just seven clicks away from a cluster. 

 

Don’t worry – you will still have the control of your cluster you expect and require.  We’ve just simplified and automated setup and management – improving the interfaces you can focus on managing your applications, not your cluster.

 

Certification and support of your cluster are simpler now, too.  Do the hardware components of the cluster have the Certified for Windows Server logo?  (Most server hardware does.)  If so, just run the included validate tool – if it passes, you’re supported.  Or use its extensive reporting to help identify and correct potential problems.

 

Want to know before you buy that you’ll end up with a supported cluster that works?  You can easily identify pre-tested and certified server configurations on vendor websites through the Failover Clustering Configuration Program

 

Clustering isn’t just for large corporations, high-end servers, or specialists – not any more.  IT professionals in organizations of all sizes who want to avoid the pain of a service disruption can potentially benefit from failover clustering. 

 

So while you might try the other techniques in this article's title, I'd suggest exploring Windows Server Failover Clustering.

 

-Dan Reger

Sr. Product Manager

 

P.S.  Failover clustering is available in the Enterprise, Datacenter, and for Itanium-Based Systems editions of Windows Server 2008 (and, of course, in the R2 beta available now).  To learn more click here.  Looking for introductory technical information?  Try here.  For the cluster team’s blog and more details on clustering features in Windows Server 2008 R2 click here .