It sounds a paradox but LSI says its Syncro technology can make direct-attach storage (DAS) shareable - and it's doing just that to provide high availability for Windows Storage Server 2012.
Traditional SME and remote office/branch office (ROBO) high availability (HA) server setups have each server in a pair replicating storage changes to each other. If one server fails, the other kicks in and continues working with current data.
The downside? You need two sets of disk drive storage. Equip each server with LSI's Syncro cards and they can both access the same storage, seeing it as DAS even though it's actually shared.
Syncro first came out as a way of having up to 48 servers share a single boot volume, the Syncro MX-B boot appliance, made from hot swap disk drives. The idea was to reduce the boot volume failure rate in data centres with hordes of servers.
Then LSI extended Syncro in November last year to provide HA for a pair of servers, as Syncro CS, building it on its MegaRAID card technology.
Now products from various server manufacturers are coming out that run Windows Server 2012. That software provides the failover clustering and management at the server level, while Syncro CS provides the clustered, shared storage.
LSI claims that SME and ROBO customers can get server/storage HA at a much lower price than a typical enterprise-class HA system would cost.
The two servers can be separate, discrete, or a cluster pair in a box. Syncro CS is currently shipping to LSI's distribution network and OEM customers. Syncro-using servers are said to be coming from Fujitsu, Quanta, HP, Supermicro, Wiwynn and Intel, with Syncro CS storage partners including Violin Memory, X-IO and Xyratex.
Systems can be seen at Microsoft's TechEd conference in New Orleans, June 3-6. ®