Are you about to have a multitude of servers set up in your own data center? Perhaps youíre a novice in the IT networking business and would like to find out if itís better to offer server clustering to your clients rather than load balancing or vice versa. The best way to go about this is to learn first the meaning of each one, then educate yourself on the advantages that each can bring to the table. Moreover, it would be much more helpful if you can try both setups to discover for yourself the pros and cons of each.
What is a Server Cluster?
Just imagine a group of servers in a cluster, running in tandem to boost your storage capacity and IT operations. This is what a server cluster refers to. In this form of setup, you can expect to enjoy the advantages of redundancy and greater bandwidth. Every serverís state is replicated in the others too because all of them are interconnected and aware of one another. They are all focused on a common goal.
Server clustering also often involves load balancing so as to distribute the load for easier and faster undertakings.
What is Load Balancing?
In the load balancing arrangement, you can expect a number of independent servers interconnected to share and deal out the load. But then, these servers are not aware of one another and thus cannot share their states. It is, however, possible to forward a particular request to another server in the system.
Which One is Better?
The question now is, which one is actually better? If you take a good and long look at server clusters, youíll discover that it makes access and manipulation of bigger files more probable because of the strengthened and increased resource availability. Your data center can also have improved operations because each server in cluster can be assigned a specific role. Of course with these servers working in unity, youíre bound to enjoy a much better speed too.
Indeed a server cluster offers numerous benefits because aside from the ones mentioned already, you can also enjoy redundancy, scalability, and reduced downtime in case you need to do an upgrade or repair.
On the other hand, there are also setbacks to making use of this clustering setup. First of all, it can be quite expensive. Second, these types of formations are known to succumb easily to heat. Also, youíll have to bear in mind that not all applications youíll be using will work well in a cluster environment.
Now taking a look at load balancing, youíll find that itís basically the same except that the servers here are not conscious of one another. In load balancing, you can also enjoy the benefits of great scalability and availability. The servers communicate with one another. However, you will not be able to have redundancy because the state of a server is not replicated in the others included in the system.
In comparison, take a look at this specific example. In a server cluster, if youíre working on a particular project and then the server youíre using suddenly fails, you may not notice it at all because you can continue working without interference. You wonít know that you have been transferred to another server already. On the other hand, if you only have load balancing, your work might get lost. You can reconnect to another server before starting over.
When deciding between these two, thereís really no one thatís ultimately better or which stands out more. Itís really up to the purpose of the data center and which will be more suitable for the use intended for it. Hence you just have to educate yourself even more and try experiencing both first to help you determine whatís best for you or for your clients if you are into this kind of business.