Server Clustering and How It Works
Industries are constantly finding ways to improve efficiency and data center optimization. For those who need a high availability solution, a server cluster provides redundancy, reliability, and scalability.
What Is A Server Cluster?
A server cluster consists of a group of servers working simultaneously under a single IP address. Clustered servers are commonly used for servers that include files, prints, databases, and messages. These clusters increase data protection and maintain the consistency of cluster configuration over time. Server clustering also ensures higher availability, proper load balancing, and system scalability.
Each server associated with a cluster is called a node, which has its own hard drive, RAM, and CPU resources to command. If one server within the cluster fails, then the work can easily transfer to another server. When another server takes over, the clusters will reduce downtime and outages. Since the work is uninterrupted, users will be able to easily access server related resources at any given time.
Understanding Server Clustering Capabilities
Server clustering helps provide protection against outages that occur as a result of software failure, hardware failure, and external events acting upon the physical server site. A server cluster is capable of dealing with outage failures such as:
- Application/Service Failures: These outages occur as a result of critical errors involving software or services that are fundamental to the operation of the server or data center. Application/Service failures may be caused by a wide range of factors and are generally unavoidable.
- Hardware/System Failures: This type of outage occurs due to failures with the physical hardware that the server is running on. These failures can occur as a result of overheating, poor optimization, or the component reaching the end of its product lifespan. CPUs, memory, power supplies, and hard drives are common components of failure due to their significance in keeping the server running.
- Site Failures: Site failures are usually caused by events that occur outside of the data center environment. These failures are caused by natural setbacks, power disruptions, and more.
Three Types of Server Clusters
There are three types of server clusters based on how the cluster system (node) is connected to the device responsible for storing configuration data.
1. Single Quorum Cluster – Most commonly used cluster and is also known as Standard Quorum Cluster. This type has multiple nodes with one or more cluster disk arrays that utilize a single connection device (called a bus). One server manages and owns each of the individual cluster disk arrays within the cluster.
2. Majority Node Set Cluster – Each node manages its own copy of the cluster’s configuration data in the cluster. This type is ideal for clusters with individual servers located in different geographic locations. This cluster does not require a shared storage bus to function, as each node stores a duplicate of the quorum data locally.
3. Single Node Cluster – Contains only one node and is often used for testing purposes. This type is often used as a tool in the development and research of cluster applications.
Benefits Of Server Clustering
A server cluster on a single network provides redundancy and ensures that a single error will not shut down the entire network. Server clustering allows you to automatically recover from outage failures without user intervention. If there is a problem with one of the servers within the cluster, then it will not affect the availability of the data or applications. For data centers that need uninterrupted performance, server clustering is an excellent way to configure and manage servers.
To help manage your servers, we provide a wide range of server racks, server rack rails, and rack shelves that you can select from.
- Racks: Our 4 Post and 2 Post racks are an effective way to mount your equipment. Depending on your needs, we provide open frame racks, enclosed racks, and wall mount racks.
- Shelves: We provide rack shelves that come in different sizes and configurations to serve a wide variety of needs. To store your servers on the rack, you can choose between our fixed shelf or sliding shelf.
- Rails: Server rack rails are a great way to mount your servers in a 4 post or 2 post rack. We provide a large selection of rails, rail kits, and universal rails.