Fidelity has begun deploying the software for high-availability applications running on Hewlett-Packard Windows servers and EMC Corp. storage area network systems. Later plans call for using the clustering software for pilot projects involving SQL Server database and Linux systems.
The PolyServe software "looks like a pretty strong clustering solution," says Keith Shinn, Fidelity's VP of distributed computing architecture and storage. The company expects to achieve a 20% reduction in the number of file servers, with commensurate reductions in administrative costs and user downtime.
PolyServe's clustering software, File Server Solution, allows industry-standard servers, storage, and systems-management products from Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and others to work together. Should one node in the cluster fail, clients are transparently moved to a surviving cluster node. For example, HP's new Clustered Gateway employs the software to build a network-attached storage file system incorporating as many as 16 ProLiant servers and 8.2 petabytes of storage capacity.
The PolyServe software is based on the concept of a distributed file system in which files and directories residing on separate nodes in a cluster are managed as one. "Instead of 10 file systems oozing out of those machines, they're going to present one file system," says Arun Taneja, consulting analyst at Taneja Group.
After carving out a niche in high-performance data-center environments, PolyServe is now targeting NAS environments, a market dominated by Network Appliance and EMC. Says Taneja, "Instead of a separate NAS box with a separate file system, PolyServe can cluster different NAS boxes together with a single file system."