by Paul Bertucci
IN THIS CHAPTER
From Windows NT Enterprise Edition to Windows 2000 Advanced Server
SQL Clustering and Fail-Over Support
Network Load Balancing
You might be facing the need to gear up your environment into a truly enterprise-class computing platform. The question is whether Microsoft can support your needs. Windows 2000 Advanced Server (AS) has taken over the reigns from Windows NT 4.0 Enterprise Edition (NTSEE). Microsoft has also spun off other versions, such as Windows 2000 Datacenter that also leverages off of the former Windows NT 4.0 Enterprise Edition features.
When using Windows 2000 AS, you will be able to build SQL Server clustering within this architecture. This should launch you into a rigorous fault-tolerant and nonstop SQL computing environment.
Before you get into SQL clustering, you will need to understand what clustering is from the operating system point of view and then how SQL Server clustering works within this. The two are different, but heavily related.
Enterprise computing defines the entire set of technologies required to develop the mission-critical business applications of today's organizations. These technologies include the network operating systems, the application development environments, the database management systems, the servers, the desktops, and everything in between. When you think of enterprise development, you probably think of n-tier, distributed, and Web-based application development. Although these are certainly types of enterprise development, they are just pieces of a larger puzzle.
The following are the primary characteristics of an enterprise:
Scalability?As organizations grow, so does the need for more computing power. The systems in place must enable an organization to leverage existing hardware and to quickly and easily add computing power as needs demand.
Availability?As organizations rely more on information, it is more critical that the information is available at all times and under all circumstances. Downtime is not acceptable.
Interoperability?As organizations grow and evolve, so do their information systems. It is impractical to think that an organization will not have many heterogeneous sources of information. The ability for applications to get to all the information, regardless of its location, is becoming increasingly important.
Reliability?An organization is only as good as its data and information. It is critical that the systems that provide that information are bulletproof.