iCluster 4.0, like its predecessors, is geared specifically for the System i and provides real-time backup from DB2 application data to a secondary source. The new version from the Markham, Canada-based DataMirror is available now. Victor Szabo, the company's software development manager, would not comment on the price.
The software's features include:
First American Bank, an Illinois financial institution with about 40 branches in the Chicago metropolitan area, has been using a previous version of iCluster to back up its financial data from its primary iSeries box to its secondary iSeries box located about 35 miles away. First American Bank's CIO Noel Levasseur said the company has been using iCluster for at least three years, and that all of the bank's branches are connected to both iSeries boxes.
The privately held bank has 615 employees and more than $2 billion in assets, and thus has a strong need to protect its data. Levasseur said iCluster is also valuable if the data center needs to apply patches or OS upgrades to one of the iSeries boxes.
"We'll point service systems and employees at the other system," he said. "It takes about a half-hour to failover in an orderly fashion."
Szabo said another new feature of iCluster 4.0 is its ability to let data center managers watch a switchover step-by-step on a single interface, so they can monitor the process and discover any problems.
"Switchover is a very sensitive time," he said.
The most valuable part about iCluster for First American Bank, Levasseur said, is its ability to provide high levels of availability for its customers.
"The reality is that today your self-service systems are so important, because you no longer have employees that are really part of the chain of delivering the service," he said. "[Customers] go to an ATM, and when they put their card in, they expect to get money out. It's really key that you provide [high availability] levels for them, because sometimes there's no employee there to deliver it."
Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer