Cobalt Releases Linux "Clustering" Software
In May Cobalt Networks Inc., a provider of server appliances, announced
Cobalt StaQware, a high availability clustering solution that ensures
the uptime of business critical Web sites and applications. StaQware,
which runs on Cobalt's RaQ 3i server appliances, offers 99.99 percent
availability and requires no customization or modification to applications.
[Source: Cobalt press release]
critical information and applications residing on a server are open to
power failure, operator error, software crashes, hardware faults and other
causes of server outages. Recovering from a server failure takes time,
money and new hardware. Cobalt StaQware is designed to provide constant
uptime reliability, real time content replication and full data and hardware
redundancy. With pricing below $1,000 and an easy to use browser-based
set-up and administration, StaQware is created to make high availability
services affordable and easy to implement for service providers offering
Web and application hosting services.
more customers migrate their business critical Web applications to a dedicated
RaQ 3i server appliance, the need for reliability and constant uptime
increases. In this market, time is money and failure or downtime is lost
revenue," said Kelly Herrell, vice president of marketing, Cobalt Networks,
Inc. "Cobalt StaQware offers service providers a means to deliver highly
reliable and affordable dedicated Web and application hosting services
that their customers are seeking."
lists StaQware's benefits as:
real time content replication
failure detection and rollover
data and hardware redundancy
administration and easy setup
requires the user to have two RaQ 3i server appliances as the hardware
platform. StaQware is available through the Cobalt Web site at shop.cobalt.com.
Through the end of June, Cobalt StaQware will be available at a special
introductory price of $499 - 50 percent off of the suggested retail price
We do not believe this product will drastically change the market. In
fact, we're not even sure we classify it as clustering.
the plus side, Cobalt handles content replication, whereas TurboCluster
is not marketed as such. Cobalt also sells StaQware as a bundled solution
(not for $995, of course) - with TurboCluster you need to have your own
hardware. The price is certainly attractive, especially under the current
the ability to cluster only two systems is hardly a world-beater. TurboLinux
already has a cluster solution (Ref. TurboLinux
Clusters - One More Step Taken) for approximately the same price as
Cobalt's (excluding Cobalt's special promo). The difference is TurboCluster
has a version that can handle 25 or more nodes, vs. two for StaQware.
StaQware does not load-balance, which we always thought was an intrinsic
part of clustering. In addition, the "failover" requires from one to 10
minutes for the backup system to spin up the disk, etc. Maybe we're being
provincial, but in our world, this is a replicated, semi-hot backup, not
a cluster. Even Microsoft clusters (until recently considered an oxymoronic
term by some) seem to be more cluster-like than this offering.
If you do not currently own any of Cobalt's RaQ 3i, and do not plan to
buy any, then this product is not for you, and you should go read something
else. (Note: StaQware will not run on RaQ 3 and RaQ 2)
you have one (or multiple) Cobalt RaQ 3i's, and need to have a semi-warm
backup server with replicated data, then StaQware may fill a need in your
those users considering Cobalt for its server appliances, this software
may help be a decision factor, but we cannot recommend buying a Cobalt
RaQ 3i for the sole purpose of getting StaQware. There are valid reasons
for buying Cobalt servers, but we do not feel this "clustering" solution