The Cluster service is one of two Microsoft Windows Clustering technologies available for the Windows 2000 family of server products. A server running Windows 2000 Advanced Server or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server and the Cluster service provides failover support for back-end applications and for services that require high availability and data integrity. These back-end applications include enterprise applications such as database, file server, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and messaging systems. First designed for the Microsoft Windows NT Server 4 operating system, the Cluster service is substantially enhanced in the Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Datacenter Server operating systems. The Cluster service allows you to connect multiple servers into a cluster that provides high availability and easy manageability of data and programs running within the virtual server. In addition to the Cluster service, Windows Clustering includes Network Load Balancing (NLB), which supports highly available and scalable clusters for front-end applications and services such as Internet or intranet sites, Web-based applications, media streaming, and Microsoft Terminal Services. This chapter explains how to design Cluster service clusters to improve fault tolerance in your network. NLB is discussed in Chapter 5, "Network Load Balancing (NLB)."
To complete the lessons in this chapter, you must have