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PolyServe squeezes SQL Servers

Apr 17, 20062 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsSAN

Consolidation effort aims to improve failover, reduce costs.

To improve failover and reduce costs, PolyServe plans to release software this week designed to help companies consolidate their growing legions of SQL Servers.

The company’s SQL Server utility uses PolyServe’s shared-data clustering technology and lets users consolidate their SQL Server instances and reduce the amount of Microsoft software they must buy and maintain. The utility includes a dynamic rehosting feature that lets users shift workloads almost instantly, a high-availability service that allows an instance of SQL Server to run among a group of servers, and a maintenance tool for sending updates and patches to multiple instances.

While SQL Server has grown in popularity, so has the size of deployments as users build in fault tolerance by limiting instances of SQL Server to a single server and underusing that server’s capacity to protect against traffic spikes. Such a configuration can inflate licensing and maintenance costs.

“We now have 14 active servers in our clusters backed up by two passive servers,” says David Miller, a director for system integrator Avanade and leader of a consolidation project for a large British government agency, which he asked not be named. “In the past we had 14 active and 14 passive SQL Servers in the clusters.”

Miller says PolyServe doesn’t require the passive nodes, but he maintains them as extra protection. He says the agency had more than 1,000 SQL Servers running within the previous clustered environment.

Miller says he has reduced failover time from five minutes to 30 seconds and slashed by 90% the number of users who lose connections during a failover.

PolyServe Database Utility for SQL Server is built on the company’s Matrix Server. The server lets users group a collection of servers and a collection of storage, and provides a storage virtualization layer on a cluster that lets any of the servers read and write to any data on the storage-area network.

The Database Utility for SQL Server is priced at $25,000 per server with a typical installation carrying a price tag of $100,000.