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What Is a Server Cluster?

Updated on Jun 16, 2022
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Any company that provides online services must have a high server uptime to meet the user demands and expectations. Frequent downtimes can be disastrous for your business as they result in dissatisfied customers, lost revenue, and a tarnished reputation. That's why investing in server clusters to improve the uptime of your hosted web services is always a good idea. Below, we have discussed more on server clusters, from what they are, types, benefits, and everything in between.

What Is a Server Cluster?

A server cluster refers to a collection of servers that work together under the same IP address to provide users with a greater level of availability. Clustered servers are often used for file, print, database, and messaging services. These clusters are intended to prevent downtime and disruptions by letting another server take over if one fails.

Here, several servers or cluster of servers is connected to the primary system. So as soon as one of these servers experiences a service interruption, the workload is shifted to another server. Each server (called a node) owns and manages its own devices in a clustered server environment, and has a copy of the operating system used to run the other servers in the cluster. This allows for increased reliability, consistency, and security of your sensitive data.

Server Cluster

Types of Server Cluster

There are three types of server clusters. Each type is distinguished by how the cluster system (also known as a node) is connected to the device that stores the configuration data. The three types are:

A Single (or standard) Quorum Cluster

Also referred to as Standard Quorum Cluster, this type comprises several nodes, each with one or more cluster disk arrays connected by a single connection called a bus. Each of the cluster's separate disk arrays is managed and owned by a single server.

Majority Node Set Cluster

Unlike the Single Quorum Cluster, this server cluster's configuration data is owned by each node and is consistent across all nodes. Similarly, it is distinct because it does not need a shared storage bus to operate since each node in a majority node set cluster stores a copy of the quorum locally. In other words, this server cluster type does not need a common storage bus to function, giving more freedom in remote server architecture. The model is suitable for clusters having individual servers in diverse regions.

Single Node Cluster

This type of server cluster has only one node and is frequently used for testing purposes. They are also used to design and research cluster systems, plus their utility is severely limited due to limited failover.

Before picking any of the three types of server clusters, it's best to consult a local data center or web hosting provider to determine which model is the best option for your company. Ideally, the Standard Quorum Cluster would be your standard choice unless you have expansive needs or have several geographically scattered sites.

Benefits of Server Clusters

If you consider adopting clustered server architecture in your company, there are several reasons why this would work best for you. Below are some benefits of server clusters you would want to keep in mind.

  • Greater Resource Availability: Whenever an Intelligence Server in a cluster fails, the burden can be picked up by the other Intelligence Servers within the network. As a result, the clustered servers will save you valuable time and resources.

  • Strategic resource utilization: With clustered servers, you have complete control over how projects are distributed across nodes. This lowers overhead by allowing you to use your resources more flexibly since not all the machines are required to perform the entire task.

  • Improved performance: More computing power is available when multiple machines are used.

  • Better scalability: As your user base expands and the complexity of your tasks increases, you can conveniently scale your compute and storage capabilities, thanks to clustered servers.

  • Simpler management: Clustering makes it easier to manage large or ever-growing systems.

Evaluate Your Needs

Network and service redundancy provided by server clusters are critical to the efficient operation of your IT system. By deploying a clustered server environment, you future-proof your network from downtimes and unexpected system failures. The benefits are reliable operations, increased data security, and satisfied customers.

Most businesses use a clustered multi-server model to optimize flexibility and scalability in applications where all operations from the network connection to storage run on a single server. Similarly, clustering makes it possible to scale a single server to meet the rising business needs as it's easier to add a new node to an existing cluster.

Whether you want to reduce downtime, increase scalability or enhance service availability, server clusters could be your ideal option. Always evaluate your networking needs and seek professional advice from an IT expert or a trusted web hosting provider before deploying clustered servers on your premises.

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