Here's a list of web cluster packages that you can use to kickstart your online web presence.
If your website is suffering from the sluggish performance that comes with high traffic, a dedicated web cluster is the perfect choice. Web clusters come in many varieties, but the purpose of using a cluster is always the same: spread the burden of serving your web content across multiple computers. In addition to faster load times, clustering provides protection against downtime. With only a single web server a crash means your critical content is offline. In a cluster, another server simply takes over and your customers don't notice a thing.
The point of clustering is to spread the load between multiple servers in order to speed up loading times. In the past, round-robin servers were used, and although they have shortcomings, they are still used today in the simplest web clusters. Load-balancing is a more frequently used clustering technology, and it forms the core of a modern web cluster.
Round-robin web clusters are the oldest clustering technology, and although they are infrequently used today, they are an excellent way to illustrate the benefits of more advanced clustering technologies. In a round-robin setup many different web servers all house the same version of a website. Multiple DNS entries are made for the same domain, each pointing to a different web server. As customers access the website a different server handles each transaction. In this way the load is effectively split between every server in the cluster.
A load-balancing cluster has an awful lot in common with round-robin clusters, although it is a more modern implementation. Load-balancing clusters monitor each server in the cluster and direct users to the web server that is least busy. This is a mature, reliable technology and can be used alone or as a building block for very advanced enterprise web clusters. In general, load-balancing clusters are most suited to domains with a large amount of static content which changes relatively infrequently.
Within a modern web cluster it's not uncommon to find different servers handling specialized tasks. Caching image servers relieve the burden on web servers by serving the customer images in parallel to other content. Application servers are often specialized, with a large amount of processing power and RAM memory, to speed up web applications. Both of these servers work to split the load between servers, in contrast to load balancing in which a single server is solely responsible for providing content. In large or high-use environments, employing specialized servers is often the only way to reduce loading times.
Caching image servers are frequently a part of modern load-bearing web clusters. Users who host a large amount of product images will frequently see big performance increases by bringing one or more caching image servers into their cluster. Caching servers work by keeping the most heavily used content close at hand, so to speak, in order to deliver it more quickly. Caches are kept in RAM memory, which has a much faster access time than a hard drive or network storage would. Other media can be cached in the same way as images, such as video or music, and they all offer the same speed benefits to your cluster.
Web clusters are very versatile and can offer benefits over and above faster load times. Clusters are far more resilient in the face of failure than a single web server would be. Web clusters can also be leveraged for cloud storage. The two technologies have quite a bit in common, and it makes good business sense to move vital information to the cloud.
Cloud storage has become a popular buzzword lately, but most people don't realize that the cloud has been around for over a decade. Web clusters have been leveraging cloud, or network, storage for as long as they've been in existence. Having all of your businesses data on the cloud ensures a regular backup and consistent availability of your vital files and records. There are many software suites that extend and enhance a web cluster and turn it into cloud storage.
For the majority of companies who do business online, downtime is unacceptable. A single crashed server can lead to incredible damage, with lost revenue, frustrated customers, and employees unable to do crucial work. Web clusters ensure that your website is always available when it's needed, guarding against failure with multiple machines doing their work simultaneously. When a modern, informed company needs 100% uptime they turn to clusters for the answer.
If your business or corporation needs a reliable, fast web server that can handle a large volume of users, then clustering is worth thinking about. Often web sites can be converted to a clustered version with little or no changes. If your company uses web applications clustering is critical to prevent sluggishness and crashing. If your website delivers a large amount of images, video, or music content, then clustering can increase performance and decrease load times. Web clusters are powering the largest, fastest, most successful sites on the internet. The benefits of having more than one server working to keep your website up and running are many. If growth and user happiness are vital to your company, then consider a cluster.