Saturday, March 06, 2010

Alternative to Clustering

Today my desktop machine had a hardware failure. Everything froze up, I tried rebooting and all I got was a symphony of beeps from the BIOS. Nada. If this had been a production database server and it wasn't in a cluster (as you can tell I'm having a lot of clustering problems lately) I would have been up the creek without a paddle. As it happens, I have a spare box lying around with very similar spec, and I was able to take my boot disk out of box 1 and put it into box 2 with very little downtime. It got me thinking. Even if you don't have a cluster with a warm machine waiting for failover, you could still reduce the cost of the outage by keeping a cold server of similar spec waiting for just such an occasion. If the data and log files are stored in a SAN, you could theoretically just bring up the cold server and attach the databases, and do some DNS magic on the clients... Would it work? Well, isn't that what DR days are for?

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