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Cobalt Unveils StaQware Fail Safe Clustering System

Server appliance market leader Cobalt Networks Inc. Tuesday introduced Cobalt StaQware, a clustering solution that ensures uptime of business critical Web sites and applications.

StaQware runs off from two of Cobalt's RaQ 3i server appliances and offers the reliability necessary given providers' stringent service level guarantees. The server tandem requires no customization nor modification to applications and DNS can be set up in about 15 minutes.

Kelly Herrell, Cobalt vice president of marketing, said more customers are demanding mission critical applications and migrating their Web sites to dedicated setups.

"As more customers migrate their business critical Web applications to a dedicated RaQ 3i server appliance, the need for reliability and constant uptime increases. In this market, time is money and failure or downtime is lost revenue," Herrell said.

But so-called "big iron" systems start at $15,000 and it's a service that has been out of reach to most Internet service providers. Cobalt is introducing their failsafe server system at one-tenth of the price of most mirrored hardware systems, making dedicated e-commerce Web hosting feasible for ISPs seeking to add services.

Herrell said finally ISPs have a cost effective solution for providing mission critical services for their customers.

"Cobalt StaQware offers service providers a means to deliver highly reliable and affordable dedicated Web and application hosting services that their customers are seeking," Herrell said.

Often business critical information and applications residing on a server are open to power failure, operator error, software crashes, hardware faults and other causes of server outages. Recovering from a server failure takes time, money and new hardware.

Cobalt StaQware is designed to provide constant uptime reliability, real time content replication and full data and hardware redundancy. With pricing below $1,000 and an easy to use browser-based set-up and administration, StaQware is created to make high availability services affordable and easy to implement for service providers offering Web and application hosting services.

Herrell said that more and more small-to medium-sized businesses depend on the Internet for their business applications, so service providers must be able to expand their service offerings while ensuring solid reliability, simplicity and affordability to their customers.

"Cobalt StaQware intends to deliver yet another value-add service for Internet and application service providers hosting dedicated Web-based applications that are critical to everyday business needs," Herrell said.

Cobalt was named worldwide market share leader in April by Gartner Group's Dataquest Research.

The independent research firm reported that Cobalt topped total market and entry-level market share of the global server appliance business in 1999, while it completely dominated the mid-range market segment.

The markets Cobalt addresses are growing quickly. The Dataquest report estimates that the total server appliance market grew 44 percent from 1998 to 1999 in terms of unit shipments. In addition, specific segments targeted by Cobalt grew by at least 125 percent in unit shipments.

Peder Ulander, Cobalt senior produce marketing manager, discussed Cobalt's global leadership of the server appliance market.

"Cobalt's total market share of server appliances is about 15 percent, and that's the number one slot," Ulander said. "We own 27 percent of the entry-level market, and 99 percent of the mid-range server appliance market segment."

Ulander said the StaQware tandem and its software would help maintain Cobalt's market share because of it's ability to produce a quick return on an ISP