Server clustering came into being to do away with the limitations of single servers. And it promised a lot. It has delivered too. The MSDN library lists the following as the benefits of clustering:
- Improved scalability – Server Clustering enables applications to handle more load.
- Higher availability – Server Clustering helps applications avoid interruptions in service.
- Greater flexibility – The ability of clustering to present a virtual unified computing resource provides IT personnel with more options for configuring the infrastructure to support application performance, availability, and scalability requirements.
Now, let me add a few more to the list:
- Improved network performance – Cluster servers offer a considerable improvement in the performance of the network in terms of speed and reliability. The performance improves because the work load is distributed across multiple servers. This helps businesses acquire a more professional, better image.
- Business continuity – With cluster servers, your business’ network applications are not dependent on one server. When one server fails, you get the necessary support from the other servers. Availability is one of the biggest advantages of cluster servers.
- Easy maintenance – Maintenance is very easy with cluster servers. You can switch one server off while others work. This ensures that your network applications are always available.
- Easy configuration and management – Cluster servers are easy to configure and manage, not taking up much time on many resources.
Cluster servers are something not every organization can go for though. And it’s not just about the money. Yes, some cluster designs are expensive. But there are some other problems. Not all types of servers and applications are supported by clustering. And some cluster designs can be too complicated. If you decide to go for clustering, make sure you have looked into all its aspects.