for MetroCluster


ClusterLion – Automatic Switchover for NetApp MetroCluster

The use of MetroCluster technology is a common method of protecting data from failures. It uses synchronous mirroring to protect the data in a cluster and activates services on the survivor site to serve the mirrored data originally owned by the site affected by disaster.

A potential remedy is to operate a service at a third data centre which monitors both locations and in case of failure initiates service transfer to the remaining cluster partner. However this leads to increased costs and complexity, and still doesn’t fully eliminate split-brain syndrome.

If Always-On availability is needed, switchover needs to be automatic. This leads to the following challenges:

  • Automatic transfer cannot take place in the event of a power failure.
  • Storage clusters are unable to differentiate between an overall failure of the cluster partner or an interruption of the interconnects. Because there is doubt, no automatic switchover takes place.
  • Splitbrain complications exist when more than one cluster believes the others are dead and continues to access data. This can lead to data corruption.

In the event of a failure, the ClusterLion powers off the affected side to avoid a splitbrain syndrome and then initiates a switchover to the other side.


Watch the ClusterLion MetroCluster 90s video:

Customer Success Story

Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam implemented ClusterLion and benefited from automatic switchover

“Due to a power failure in the mid-voltage grid in both our data centres we were without electricity for half an hour. Unfortunately battery damage occurred simultaneously in one of the UPS which reduced the emergency power down to 5 minutes… which is far too short! For our central data storage we rely on a NetApp MetroCluster which is monitored and controlled by ClusterLion. Because of ClusterLion the MetroCluster switchover happened fully automatically!”
Steffen Loos

Helmholtz - Zentrum Potsdam

ClusterLion for MetroCluster Benefits:

  • Always-On availability – all storage services remain available even with a location failure.
  • Highest security and permanent data consistency in the storage cluster.
  • Lower TCO as a 3rd data centre is not needed.
  • Can be retro-fitted to any existing MetroCluster without service disruption.
  • Completely infrastructure-independent monitoring resulting in the most reliable decision-making.

Download Resources:

ClusterLion MetroCluster Data Sheet

ClusterLion MetroCluster Presentation (PDF)

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