What Is Server Clustering and How Does It Work?

What Is Server Clustering and How Does It Work?

High server uptime is a necessity for any business offering online services as website downtime will have adverse effects on your business. You’ll be setting your business up for failure if your website is not performing efficiently.  

Here, you will learn about server clusters and how they can positively impact your business operations. 

What Is a Server Cluster? 

A server cluster consists of a group of servers that work simultaneously under a single IP address to provide the website owners with greater system scalability, a higher level of availability, and enhanced data protection. 

A node is what you call every server that is associated with a cluster. It has its own RAM, CPU resources, and hard drive so that if a server in the cluster fails, then the task can be easily transferred to another server. With this transfer, you can experience minimised outages and downtime. 

 3 Types of Server Clusters 

Based on how the cluster system is connected to the device meant to store configuration data, there are three types of server clusters: 

 Single Quorum Cluster 

Single Quorum Cluster, also known as Standard Quorum Cluster, is a widely used server cluster that has multiple nodes with one or more cluster disk arrays that use a single connection device referred to as a bus. Each of the individual cluster disk arrays within the cluster is managed and owned by one cluster. 

Majority Node Set Cluster  

Every node manages its copy of the cluster’s configuration data that flows consistently across all the nodes. This type is ideal for clusters having their individual, respective servers located in different geographic locations. 

This type also doesn’t need a shared storage bus to function, as every node locally stores duplicate quorum data. 

Single Node Cluster 

Single Node Cluster contains only a single node and is often used for testing purposes. It is also used as a tool in the research and development of cluster applications.  

However, a single-node cluster’s use is limited by its lack of failover as it is made with a single node which can cause the unavailability of cluster groups. 

Server Clustering Capabilities 

Server clustering capabilities involve protecting the server against outages that occur because of hardware failure, software failure, and external events acting upon the physical server.  

 A server cluster can help you cope with failures like: 

 Application/Service Failure 

Application/Service Failures involve any outages that occur due to critical errors in services or software that are important to the server’s or data center’s operation. Though most servers implement redundancy measures for preventing service/application failures, it is difficult to anticipate and prepare for them. 

While a proactive, vigilant, and knowledgeable admin can address such issues before they become big, no server admin can provide comprehensive protection for application/service failure. 

System/Hardware Failure 

System/Hardware failure occurs due to the failure of the physical hardware on which your server is running. The physical memory, processors, and hard disks are all amongst the components most susceptible to failure because of their importance in keeping the server running. 

While the server components are eventually improving in terms of functionality and reliability, no components are immune to failure. This failure can occur because of poor optimisation, overheating, or simply the component reaching the product lifespan’s end. 

Website Failure 

Website failures are generally caused by events that occur outside the data center environment like power disruptions, natural setbacks, and more. 

While some effects of natural disasters can’t be nullified by anything less than a judicious choice of locations, those caused by the power outages and the related complications can be prepared for with the use of redundancy measures like server clusters. Especially for the data centres that are in areas prone to natural disasters, such redundancy measures are important. 

For all the above-mentioned types of failures, redundancy measures like server clustering are the only way for ensuring near-complete reliability. Therefore, to ensure unfailing performance every minute, data centers should deploy clustered server environments. 

READ: How to Improve Website Performance with Cloud Hosting

Benefits and Capabilities of Server Clusters 

What are the benefits and capabilities of server clusters once you decide to invest in them? Let’s take a detailed look at each benefit of the server clusters: 

Increased availability 

High-availability server clusters provide increased availability of your hosted services by sending out user requests to other nodes if one node is busy. 

For example, if you are hosting a web app on a server and it is busy accommodating another website, you’ll have to wait until the server is available for your request to be entertained. 

However, if you host your website on a server cluster, you won’t have to wait as it has multiple nodes available at one time, meaning if one node is busy, another node is available to serve your request. 

Failover protection 

Failover protection is important as it maximizes server reliability by preventing service outages and data loss due to software failure, hardware malfunctions, or other issues (like power outages due to any natural disaster). 

Precisely, it ensures that your services do not shut down even when your server fails. 

Guarantee High Server Uptime on Your Website 

High server uptime is crucial to your business because it contributes to your overall success. You have already known what the adverse effects of a website downtime are on your business. Thus, you must ensure that your website is up and running efficiently to prevent profit loss, customer dissatisfaction, and reduced search engine rankings. 

BigRock offers servers at different affordable plans so that you have flexible choices that fit your website’s needs. Maximise the benefits of our server solutions so that you’ll reap the benefits of having a high server uptime. Contact us now for more information. 


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