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Neverfail's Heartbeat Helps Keep Microsoft Clusters Up

As part of an effort to expand into the U.S. market, UK-based Neverfail Group announced last week Version 4.1 of its Neverfail Heartbeat product suite, a cluster-class, high availability software solution for Microsoft-platform applications.

Heartbeat uses a pair of interconnected redundant servers, configured locally (LAN) or remotely (WAN), to protect against failures due to common faults such as OS, application and site failures, and is targetted at companies ranging from small-to-medium enterprise (SME) through global enterprises.

Neverfail supports Exchange 2000/2003, SQL Server 2000, running on Windows 2000 or Windows 2003. In addition to Heartbeat and the Application Modules for Exchange, SQL Server, and File Server, Neverfail has an Application Module Extension Development Kit, which can be used to develop protection for third-party applications.

Features added to the new version, according to Neverfail, include network testing, ensuring the network is up, not just the server, and the application; and "split-brain avoidance" for WAN environments, to ensure that both servers don't ever become active at the same time, if the WAN were to fail.

To avoid/reduce application downtime, Neverfail's Heartbeat performs tasks including:

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