Cluster-like Non-Clusters for SMB Messaging


Courtesy of two empty bottles of Nyquil comes the first long article I have written in well over a year. To be honest I was under an NDA for most of that time and couldn’t write about it even if I wanted to but I do want to urge you to shift your thinking when it comes to deploying services in small business. Just because you’re a small business does not need mean you need to accept a small uptime / availability.

I wrote an article on the system I put together last night between 3AM and 4AM:

Hope you enjoy it, here is the premise:

Regardless of size, no business can afford to be without e-mail access these days. Combine that with the more and more services we pile on these mail servers and you’ve got the making of a perfect SMB disaster. Mail servers are far more than just “mail”, they drive groupware functionality, faxing services, calendaring, mobile device security as well as remote document and file access. We have consolidated and built a civilization on top of a single box yet haven’t raised our budgets and expectations to drive what used to be spread over multiple servers, workstations and was the sole job of a few part time employees. The following article helps you take a look at your small business infrastructure and realize the potential in new cluster-like features in Microsoft Exchange 2007. Read more here..

Personal note: Convincing SBSer to consider clustering is like doing a lobotomy on a chimp: way too much mess and the patient looks brain-dead. The PSS team made fun of me when I presented this content to the DFW SBS group and two people feel asleep during my presentation. Regardless, I believe this is the future and I thank you for taking your time to consider it. We are no longer stuck spending tens of thousands of dollars on enterprise gear AND we can get high end enterprise reliability using commodity hardware. The only thing standing in our way is the notion that we have to stick to a single system and that we should be bulding disaster recovery systems INSIDE a single box instead of spreading the redundancy out.

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