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Minimize the cost of planned and unplanned downtime

To protect against outages caused by application or server faults, many organizations deploy application clustering solutions to automate application failover to redundant server hardware. To protect against failure of an entire site, most customers utilize a data replication solution to keep an up to date copy of critical data at a remote location. What is typically not considered is that these two solutions can be combined to create a complete solution that completely automates the process of brining up an environment, including the data applications, at a remote location.

Customized your remote Site Solution with additional servers, storage solutions ,load balancers to build a powerful database driven enterprise-class hosting architecture
Design and deploy within any network infrastructure
Achieve fast, automatic failover of data and applications

What is a server cluster?

Before I begin talking about planning your cluster environment, let's address the question of what a remote site "remote server cluster" is: a group of servers that function as one. By doing so, client machines see the service or application processed by the cluster as though it were coming from a single machine. There are three basic advantages to running a server cluster:

  • Server clusters offer scalability. This means that if you've got an application that requires two servers today, you can simply bring another server online tomorrow when demand on the application grows. Any time your application starts to bog down, you can plug in another server and watch the application's performance improve.
  • Clustered servers offer high availability. For example, suppose you had a cluster of three servers running a critical business application. Now, imagine that one of the servers experienced a critical failure. In the old days, your application would have been down for the count, and your business wouldn't have been able to function until the server was brought back up. In a cluster environment, the two servers still running detect the failure and adjust themselves to pick up some of the slack. The application may run a little more slowly, but it will never go down--it will continue to function normally. When the problem server is repaired, it can be brought back on line and resume its old workload.
  • Clustering makes managing the network easier. For example, how many times have you had to schedule system maintenance for 3 A.M. because that was the only time you could get away with bringing the server down? In some environments I've worked in, management didn't even like the idea of bringing down the network at that hour because the business functioned 24 hours a day. In such an environment, clustering is absolutely wonderful. An administrator can manually shift a portion of the workload to a different server so that they can perform maintenance on any given server without the application ever going off line. That's right: You can do your maintenance during the day! Once the maintenance is done, simply shift the workload back to the server you just tweaked and begin on the next one.
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