Determining Your High Availability Requirements

For those designing a new web server cluster or multi-dedicated setup, this guide will help you determine the right high availability (HA) requirements.

Dedicated server clusters offer a number of benefits to businesses with high-traffic websites. Learn about some of the key benefits and speed up making informed decisions about your new IT infrastructure.

understanding server cluster

Server clusters provide important redundancy and information sharing. These assets ensure that your website does not go down or lose essential functionality or data. A clustered configuration also makes horizontal growth scalability much more possible.

Clustering servers into multiple groups (or nodes) provides customers with better reliability, optimal load balancing, website and infrastructure scalability, and higher levels of availability than they could expect from a single server.

This infrastructure provides several benefits to businesses or users. Maintenance is simple. Server clusters allow individual servers to be taken offline for maintenance or updates while maintaining overall service continuity. Clustered servers provide resiliency and uptime with outstanding performance.

Setting up dedicated server clustering may cost more, but losing business to a competitor due to website or application performance issues will cost you more in the long run.

Advantages of Dedicated server cluster

Dedicated server clusters offer a number of benefits. Although the investment in a dedicated server cluster is greater than a VPS or single dedicated server, the performance, security and resiliency improvements cannot be overstated. Consider the following benefits of dedicated server clusters:

  • Redundancy: Different server cluster configurations can provide active or passive capabilities to act as backups in case one server goes down. The passive option runs your application on a dedicated master server. Then, if the primary server fails, the redundant dedicated server can take over these tasks. In an active configuration, two sets of servers operate applications or services and pull from a shared database, so that each server can take over the other in the event of a system failure.
  • Load Balancing: If you are experiencing significant traffic, setting up your server for maximum speed and performance may require splitting traffic and functions across multiple server units for best results. Instead, each can be set up to have a target function, including a database, application, storage system, or web server. Server clusters allow you to dramatically improve service, scale operations up or down as needed, and detect cyberattacks before they cause serious problems and downtime.
  • High Availability: Clustering also lowers the risk of single points of failure and system vulnerabilities. With redundant load balancers, databases, web servers, and redundant network infrastructure, downtime due to malfunctions, cyberattacks, repairs, or natural disasters can be minimized when requirements are split across multiple data centers.
  • Enhanced Storage: Businesses, blogs, charities, and information resources can all benefit from server clusters. As you grow, you will need one or more dedicated servers. Deploying server clusters makes it easy to scale without downtime.

The importance of high availability

Server uptime and site availability are top priorities for any business. However, ensuring stability is of paramount importance to those who monetize their website. Unfortunately, unplanned downtime comes at a cost, and hardware failure is the most common cause. Fortunately, it can be prevented. By adding redundancy to your hardware environment, you can isolate your business to protect your revenue and reputation.

A high availability (HA) hardware environment does this by assigning a floating IP address, keeping a second server (a cluster of servers), data replication synchronized, and adding a failover mechanism. In the event of a hardware failure, the second server takes over and traffic continues to flow with minimal disruption. A high-availability solution allows upgrades without downtime.

Determining High Availability Requirements

Your business is unique and your needs are unlikely to be the same as those of any other company. When considering setting up multiple dedicated or highly available servers, consider the following:

Performance

Performance requirements vary greatly depending on the use case. For example, do you have a static website with moderate to predictable traffic numbers? Or do you have thousands of concurrent logged-in users accessing your system during a predictable period of time?

Your performance requirements will have a huge impact on your overall investment. Memory and processing power, the two key components of performance, are where much of the final cost is determined. Therefore, it is important to match performance requirements with the new high-availability environment.

security

Some businesses, such as financial services and healthcare, have different security and compliance requirements than other sectors. Of course, no business wants their infrastructure to be left vulnerable to intrusion, but higher prices are associated with the strongest security.

Align your security and regulatory requirements with the security posture of your high-availability infrastructure. Determining the level of security you need is mostly a matter of looking at the data you store, how you access and use it, and the sectoral requirements that apply to your business.

uptime

If your business is a simple brochure site with low traffic, a few seconds (or even minutes) of downtime once or twice a year won’t be the end of the world. But on the other hand, if you’re running an e-commerce store that processes orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even a brief downtime can cost you revenue, customers, and reputation.

Determining your uptime requirements comes down to calculating the cost to your business (such as lost revenue, lost customers, and reduced customer or employee satisfaction) against the cost of avoiding downtime with a more robust high-availability environment.

scalability

Scalability and uptime combine to form key components of high availability. That is, the ability to access and utilize the environment as often as possible and with the highest possible level of performance.

While uptime is about resources that are online and available, scalability is about adding or removing resources as needed. If your site or application experiences a spike in traffic, how quickly can you deploy or allocate new resources to meet that demand? If your site is dormant or has little activity, how quickly can you get rid of unnecessary resources so users don’t pay for stuff they’re not using?

A high availability environment must inherently have strong uptime and scalability. So consider whether (and when) you need to scale your resources up or down when determining your needs.

save

Storage requirements aren’t as simple as determining how many gigabytes, terabytes, or petabytes your business needs for its data. Storage is also a matter of how that data is stored, how easily it can be accessed and transferred from one location to another, and security requirements for the data itself.

Traditional hard drives are less expensive than solid state drives or SSDs, but have slower read and write speeds. On the other hand, SSDs are lightning fast but more expensive. Choosing the right combination of drive type, size, and configuration is important to get the most out of your high-availability environment.

Care and maintenance

Who manages and maintains the infrastructure? Do you have an internal IT team to handle patching, updating and managing your servers and network devices? Or do you need a third-party or managed hosting provider to help you maintain a highly available server environment?

budget

When planning a budget for high availability, it’s important to consider all of the factors discussed above.

Uptime, scalability, and storage requirements are all important considerations and you should calculate acceptable downtime or scalability. You also need to consider ongoing administration and maintenance costs and the cost of any additional hardware or software required for a highly available environment.

A high-availability environment can be expensive, but it’s often worth it for businesses that can’t afford downtime. Careful budget planning can help you get the most out of your high-availability infrastructure.

Infrastructure that fits your business needs

Depending on the use case, this type of infrastructure investment can be the difference between a business that is capable of growing and transforming, and one that is simply looking back while trying to keep its IT environment up and running. However, planning and deploying an environment that meets your needs should not be taken lightly.

Liquid Web’s expertise and experience can help ensure that your new high-availability environment fits your business needs. To get started, learn more about dedicated server clustering and how it can help, contact The Most Helpful Humans In Hosting® today.

Source

For those designing a new web server cluster or multi-dedicated setup, this guide will help you determine the right high availability (HA) requirements.

Dedicated server clusters offer a number of benefits to businesses with high-traffic websites. Learn about some of the key benefits and speed up making informed decisions about your new IT infrastructure.

understanding server cluster

Server clusters provide important redundancy and information sharing. These assets ensure that your website does not go down or lose essential functionality or data. A clustered configuration also makes horizontal growth scalability much more possible.

Clustering servers into multiple groups (or nodes) provides customers with better reliability, optimal load balancing, website and infrastructure scalability, and higher levels of availability than they could expect from a single server.

This infrastructure provides several benefits to businesses or users. Maintenance is simple. Server clusters allow individual servers to be taken offline for maintenance or updates while maintaining overall service continuity. Clustered servers provide resiliency and uptime with outstanding performance.

Setting up dedicated server clustering may cost more, but losing business to a competitor due to website or application performance issues will cost you more in the long run.

Advantages of Dedicated server cluster

Dedicated server clusters offer a number of benefits. Although the investment in a dedicated server cluster is greater than a VPS or single dedicated server, the performance, security and resiliency improvements cannot be overstated. Consider the following benefits of dedicated server clusters:

  • Redundancy: Different server cluster configurations can provide active or passive capabilities to act as backups in case one server goes down. The passive option runs your application on a dedicated master server. Then, if the primary server fails, the redundant dedicated server can take over these tasks. In an active configuration, two sets of servers operate applications or services and pull from a shared database, so that each server can take over the other in the event of a system failure.
  • Load Balancing: If you are experiencing significant traffic, setting up your server for maximum speed and performance may require splitting traffic and functions across multiple server units for best results. Instead, each can be set up to have a target function, including a database, application, storage system, or web server. Server clusters allow you to dramatically improve service, scale operations up or down as needed, and detect cyberattacks before they cause serious problems and downtime.
  • High Availability: Clustering also lowers the risk of single points of failure and system vulnerabilities. With redundant load balancers, databases, web servers, and redundant network infrastructure, downtime due to malfunctions, cyberattacks, repairs, or natural disasters can be minimized when requirements are split across multiple data centers.
  • Enhanced Storage: Businesses, blogs, charities, and information resources can all benefit from server clusters. As you grow, you will need one or more dedicated servers. Deploying server clusters makes it easy to scale without downtime.

The importance of high availability

Server uptime and site availability are top priorities for any business. However, ensuring stability is of paramount importance to those who monetize their website. Unfortunately, unplanned downtime comes at a cost, and hardware failure is the most common cause. Fortunately, it can be prevented. By adding redundancy to your hardware environment, you can isolate your business to protect your revenue and reputation.

A high availability (HA) hardware environment does this by assigning a floating IP address, keeping a second server (a cluster of servers), data replication synchronized, and adding a failover mechanism. In the event of a hardware failure, the second server takes over and traffic continues to flow with minimal disruption. A high-availability solution allows upgrades without downtime.

Determining High Availability Requirements

Your business is unique and your needs are unlikely to be the same as those of any other company. When considering setting up multiple dedicated or highly available servers, consider the following:

Performance

Performance requirements vary greatly depending on the use case. For example, do you have a static website with moderate to predictable traffic numbers? Or do you have thousands of concurrent logged-in users accessing your system during a predictable period of time?

Your performance requirements will have a huge impact on your overall investment. Memory and processing power, the two key components of performance, are where much of the final cost is determined. Therefore, it is important to match performance requirements with the new high-availability environment.

security

Some businesses, such as financial services and healthcare, have different security and compliance requirements than other sectors. Of course, no business wants their infrastructure to be left vulnerable to intrusion, but higher prices are associated with the strongest security.

Align your security and regulatory requirements with the security posture of your high-availability infrastructure. Determining the level of security you need is mostly a matter of looking at the data you store, how you access and use it, and the sectoral requirements that apply to your business.

uptime

If your business is a simple brochure site with low traffic, a few seconds (or even minutes) of downtime once or twice a year won’t be the end of the world. But on the other hand, if you’re running an e-commerce store that processes orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even a brief downtime can cost you revenue, customers, and reputation.

Determining your uptime requirements comes down to calculating the cost to your business (such as lost revenue, lost customers, and reduced customer or employee satisfaction) against the cost of avoiding downtime with a more robust high-availability environment.

scalability

Scalability and uptime combine to form key components of high availability. That is, the ability to access and utilize the environment as often as possible and with the highest possible level of performance.

While uptime is about resources that are online and available, scalability is about adding or removing resources as needed. If your site or application experiences a spike in traffic, how quickly can you deploy or allocate new resources to meet that demand? If your site is dormant or has little activity, how quickly can you get rid of unnecessary resources so users don’t pay for stuff they’re not using?

A high availability environment must inherently have strong uptime and scalability. So consider whether (and when) you need to scale your resources up or down when determining your needs.

save

Storage requirements aren’t as simple as determining how many gigabytes, terabytes, or petabytes your business needs for its data. Storage is also a matter of how that data is stored, how easily it can be accessed and transferred from one location to another, and security requirements for the data itself.

Traditional hard drives are less expensive than solid state drives or SSDs, but have slower read and write speeds. On the other hand, SSDs are lightning fast but more expensive. Choosing the right combination of drive type, size, and configuration is important to get the most out of your high-availability environment.

Care and maintenance

Who manages and maintains the infrastructure? Do you have an internal IT team to handle patching, updating and managing your servers and network devices? Or do you need a third-party or managed hosting provider to help you maintain a highly available server environment?

budget

When planning a budget for high availability, it’s important to consider all of the factors discussed above.

Uptime, scalability, and storage requirements are all important considerations and you should calculate acceptable downtime or scalability. You also need to consider ongoing administration and maintenance costs and the cost of any additional hardware or software required for a highly available environment.

A high-availability environment can be expensive, but it’s often worth it for businesses that can’t afford downtime. Careful budget planning can help you get the most out of your high-availability infrastructure.

Infrastructure that fits your business needs

Depending on the use case, this type of infrastructure investment can be the difference between a business that is capable of growing and transforming, and one that is simply looking back while trying to keep its IT environment up and running. However, planning and deploying an environment that meets your needs should not be taken lightly.

Liquid Web’s expertise and experience can help ensure that your new high-availability environment fits your business needs. To get started, learn more about dedicated server clustering and how it can help, contact The Most Helpful Humans In Hosting® today.

Source

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