“Failover cluster”: a welcome vocabulary change

I have long been complaining about Microsoft’s inconsistent use of the word “cluster”, which has a specific meaning: a set of interconnected computers that can share work and have at least some redundancy and failover capabilities. The Windows network load balancing folks call their solutions “clusters”, as do the Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) team. This is needlessly confusing to customers. Thankfully, I noticed that the Exchange team is doing something about it– if you check out the Exchange 2007 docs, they are now (properly IMHO) labeling their clusters as “failover clusters” to disambiguate clustering-for-redundancy from clustering-for-load-balancing. Yay!

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