Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Clusters - Monitoring and Measurement

Clusters - Monitoring and Measurement

Clustering is a very sensitive part of business operation especially when the business is focused on their online operation. Although highly technical, its stability suggests the success of the company’s operation. Proper clustering ensures that the online or even local network connections will remain stable and optimized. Clustering will also require resources and the right manpower as these requires consistent check and monitoring.

But monitoring is not only done by manually checking each node that composes a cluster. There should be monitoring and measurement tools implemented in different nodes so that more data will be available for the administrator.

Information such as temperature, processing speed and available node should be provided to the administrator in real time. Measurement data such as expected performance on various forms of connections, file compatibility and latency should also be available for administrators.

Monitoring and measurement tools could be installed by administrators in nodes or file servers so that it could actively monitor the cluster’s performance. But before the installation or purchase of the said tools, it is important to consider the advantage and disadvantages of the specific tools. Tools for clustering come with different features which mean they are geared towards a specific clustering environment.

Avoiding Bloatware

One of the many challenges for administrators in selecting the right monitoring and measurement tools for the clusters is in avoiding bloatware. A bloatware is a valid application for a specific purpose but would have too many functions that are not necessary or useful at all for users.

With the added functionalities that are not even useful, they could just use up the resources on the gadget where the application is installed. Bloatware could be found in different applications for different industries including tools for clustering.

But there is a special case in bloatware consideration for clustering. Ending up with a bloatware application is actually not the fault of the application itself. Most applications for clustering come with different functions that are geared for specific clustering environment.

An administrator for example would opt to choose a highly complicated monitoring and measurement tool which provides real time feedback and a wide array of reporting options even if the administrator is only handling two-node clusters. In this setting, the measurement and monitoring tools could easily use up the resources of the nodes which might render it useless when used in actual setting.

Combined vs. Individual Tools

Administrators should always take caution when choosing an application that provides both measurement and monitoring functionality. The possibility of using bloatware tools for clustering is high since different functions will be added to synch monitoring and measurement.

There is an advantage in using one application for measurement and monitoring. Instead of purchasing two applications, the business will just have to spend their funds on one purchase only. Support is also easier as assistance will only come from a single source.

On the other hand, individual tools do have their advantages. Administrators will be able to dig deeper on the functionality of their measurement and monitoring tools. As separate tools, administrator will be able to avoid bloatware since they can enable only one application to run whereas combined applications will naturally load two functions at the same time. Although there are financial and customer support considerations when purchasing these tools, this is the best option for highly efficient tools.

Reporting Options

A very important consideration for administrators in selecting monitoring and measuring tools is the reporting options. This is specifically important in monitoring as administrators need to be updated with latest data or status regarding the individual nodes and clusters.

Because of technology, reporting options has evolved that it can now include reporting in different platforms. The monitoring and measurement tools of today could provide real time feedback to administrators not only in the local area but online as well. When errors are detected, there are monitoring tools that can send out messages to administrators not only via email but even through text messaging. Mobile monitoring of the performance of nodes and clusters is also possible.

Real time monitoring and timely measurement of clusters is essential to ensure operational success. By properly selecting the right tools, administrators could fully harness the efficiency of clusters and would provide the right adjustments when an error in clustering is monitored.

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