A New Database Solution

3 April 2000
The database blues got you down? Several options have hit the market of late from Oracle and IBM. Plus, a new product, Clustra Parallel Data Server 3, just came out in March and promises the "five nines" of high availability--meaning it's available 99.999 percent of the time.

With Clustra's (www.clustra.com) new database management system, customers experience less than five minutes downtime annually, explained Gary Ebersole, senior vice president of sales and marketing. Most online gaming customers, he added, have come to expect a constant gaming 'tone' or access, exactly like the always there dial tone for telephones.

"Traditional telecommunications quality-of-service requirements are quickly becoming Internet requirements, and e-businesses are starting to demand that their online applications deliver the same reliability and dependability people have come to expect from the telephone system," Ebersole said.

Whether you are a simple online casino or juggling customers from telephone, Internet, satellite and interactive television betting accounts, Ebersole said the Clustra system would benefit. The company is also actively working with WAP companies, a feature that many online gaming companies are also actively pursuing.

Already, Clustra has signed on two clients and is working extensively with European telecommunications firms. "Almost all have either chosen our company, or considering choosing us now," he added.

A typical Clustra database configuration employs two units, often located in separate buildings or sites, each maintaining a complete set of application data on an identical number of server modes linked through a high-performance, redundant network. Should the system fail, database access is transparently redirected to an available system resource. Additionally, the site can detect problems and repair itself.

Adding transactional throughput and storage capacity is easily accomplished by adding new server nodes, without disrupting current business, Ebersole added. The Clustra Parallel Data Server 3.0 starts out at $75,000 for a cluster of four active nodes running on Intel platforms, including Linux, Windows NT and FreeBSD. Unix, meanwhile, starts out at $100,000.

On the downside, sites using Structured Query Language, Open Database Connectivity and Java Database Connectivity will have to wait until later this year for a Clustra database system.

The company was founded in 1997, and is headquartered in Massachusetts.

Vicky Nolan joined the IGN staff in October 1999. She's best known for inventing fire, the wheel and swiss cheese. She can be reached at vicky@igamingnews.com.