The SteelEye DataKeeper is a data replication tool that performs multi-site clustering, which enables automatic failover across different geographic locations. Opposed to traditional clustering, multi-site clustering eliminates the need for a storage area network (SAN). SAN systems only have a single point of failure, often making cluster nodes unavailable if the system fails or is down.
SteelEye already has certifications in other versions of Windows Server including Windows Server 2003, 2003 R2 and 2008. This latest certification for Windows Server 2008 R2 verifies that SteelEye DataKeeper can operate with the latest version of the Microsoft server platform. R2 has several upgrades from Windows Server 2008 including enhancements to its Hyper-V virtualization product and support for live migration.
According to David Bermingham, director of product marketing at SteelEye, getting SteelEye's products certified in the Microsoft Server realm gives the company a one-up amongst other competitors.
"Certification is a stamp of approval from Microsoft saying that we've tested the solution," said Bermingham. "Microsoft has gone through and proved that we are robust, stable, and meet a certain level of best practices in terms of compatibility and stability and that we work well with R2. By achieving this certification, we get placed in the Windows Server catalog as a certified solution for R2, and so many of our customers won't even consider a solution that's not certified."
However, in some cases, certification is not that necessary, and by itself, may not be enough to determine whether or not a product is right for your company. Kevin Beaver, an independent information security consultant with Principle Logic, thinks users should look beyond certification in a product.
"Certification of an application on a specific platform can be beneficial, but it's not everything," said Beaver. "Just because a specific application has been 'certified' for your OS, there's no way to know for sure if it's going to perform the way you need it to in your specific environment. There are just too many technical and operational variables to assume that everything's going to fit nicely into place. I recommend people try before they buy. That's the only reasonable way to determine if something's a good fit."