Server Clustering: The Quick Guide

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server clusteringOne of the biggest IT challenges you might face is making sure that servers are not affected by outages. If they are, then you want to limit the downtime to reduce the impact on those affected by the outages.

Easier said than done, right?

Downtime with a single server or multiple non-connected servers is not a matter of if, but when. In the tech world, server downtime means disaster.

That is where server clustering comes in. It is a method that allows for servers to be linked together in a way that reduces downtime when outages occur.

In this post, we will go over the basics of server clustering, so you will have a better sense of what it is. You will be able to keep all your IT clients happy!

Sound interesting? Keep reading to find out more!

What Is Server Clustering?

The most basic definition of server clustering is that it refers to several servers on one system, working together.

In other words, in a server cluster, if one server goes down, then another server will automatically jump in and take over for that server. This cluster option means there is little to no downtime.

With more control over your servers and IT system, you will keep your data safer as well.

Most Common Uses

Server clustering is most commonly utilized in applications that have data that is constantly changing and being updated. Examples include file servers, print servers, messaging servers, and database servers.

In these situations, each server works in a dual manner.

They each run independently and are responsible for the management and operation of their own devices. At the same time, they have copies of the operating system that is running the other servers.

They are set up to work together, allowing data protection and operational consistency, while minimizing data loss.

Three Types of Clustering Servers

The cluster system as a whole is referred to as a node. The way the node is connected to the device that stores configuration data affects the type of server cluster it is.

There is a Single Quorum Cluster, which is made up of several nodes that are connected by a bus. The bus is another name for a single connection device.

In this setup, which is the most common, one single server is responsible for managing the individual disk arrays in the cluster.

There is also the Majority Node Set Cluster. The main difference between it and the Single Quorum Cluster is that each node has a copy of the configuration data for the entire cluster. This data is the same from node to node.

Finally, there is the Single Node Cluster. This setup is very basic, containing a single node. It is most often used for testing purposes, so it is less common than the other two kinds.

Why Use Server Clustering?

The primary reasons to use server clustering are reliability, availability, and the ability to scale. With a cluster of servers, you have redundancy built in. That way an error in one server does not shut down a whole network.

If you have questions or would like to know more, contact us today!

Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.