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Other services include the ability to do live migrations of virtual server and storage in Microsoft Hyper-V environments, as well as the ability to use Hyper-V to set up disaster recovery solutions, LSI's McCarthy said.
John Loveall, principal program manager for Microsoft Windows Server, said that when Window Server 2012 was released last year, it was designed to be cluster-friendly.
"We figured out that high availability has evolved from a nice-to-have to a table-stakes feature for SMBs and SMEs [small and midsize enterprises]," Loveall said.
Loveall said the LSI Syncro CS, while offering high availability, is not a fault-tolerant system like those offered by Stratus Technologies.
"Servers like those from Stratus are hardened for five nines [99.999 percent] availability," he said. "We can't touch that. That's a huge bar for availability. Ours offers high availability for small businesses or branch office, with a failover time of maybe 15 to 20 seconds, and works with customers' existing applications."
Microsoft worked with LSI to develop the LSI Syncro CS solution for a couple of years to take advantage of LSI's advanced storage hardware, Loveall said.
"Microsoft has partnerships for cluster-in-a box solutions, and works with almost every vendor," he said. "This is all about a pre-cabled, pre-configured solution."
One of those partners is DataON Storage, an Anaheim, Calif.-based developer of storage solutions, which it sells direct to customers with custom integration or to other solution providers in 15 countries.
William Huang, vice president of sales at DataON Storage, said that clustered solutions with Windows Server 2008 cost about $3,000 per node for the enterprise version of the operating system, along with $10,000 to $20,000 for high-availability external storage.
"Or customers can go to EMC, NetApp, Hewlett-Packard or Hitachi for high-availability shared storage via their proprietary solutions," Huang said.
While LSI provided great RAID controllers with its MegaRAID family, customers couldn't use two of those controllers for high availability, Huang said.
Therefore, he said, DataON Storage is happy to be working with Microsoft and LSI to develop its own cluster-in-a-box solution. "We believed external storage should be like Lego blocks, easy to deploy," he said.
Rocky Shek, technical product manager for DataON Storage, said his company will use the LSI Syncro CS to provide a Microsoft-based cluster-in-a-box solution with two nodes and its 2U, 12-drive or 4U, 70-drive storage enclosures.