There isn’t anything new here, more a case of just wrapping up some posts and tying some events together.
In July 2009 I posted about some significant issues with the Sitecore staging module. Two months later in Sept 2009 Alex Shyba announced a new shared source “Stager” module. The new open-source module took a different approach and fully implemented partial cache clearing in a staged server setup. This was great news, and it worked really well – issues of heavy cache and session clearing were now history. “Kudos for making this module” was the bottom line in a blog post from Mark Cassidy, but he also raised the important issue of support. As a shared source module, the new stager wasn’t supported by Sitecore, making it a difficult choice to upgrade. Fast forward another three months to December 2009 and it was again announced that the “Stager” shared source module has now become the de-facto “Sitecore Staging Module”, replacing the old module and thus becoming fully supported.
Fast forward again six months to July 2010 and the release of Sitecore 6.3 which raises the bar with in-built scaling ability. I haven’t had the opportunity to use it, but the feature list is impressive and includes the ability for multiple content master servers. So in 12 months, things have changed drastically for the better for multi-server Sitecore environments. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to use it sometime soon!