Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Infrastructure Consideration in Clustering

Infrastructure Consideration in Clustering

The performance of clustering is based on how the nodes are configured. Although the maintenance, control and monitoring of nodes in the cluster is based on the software that runs through different clusters, it is the hardware capability that determines how far the application could be pushed further. No matter how efficient the application is, the computing capability of the application will still be influenced by the hardware.

For that reason, the major consideration in establishing clusters is on the hardware. The right servers, routers, switches etc., is very important and should be planned out from the start.

But the best performing hardware for better clustering is not always the recommended product. Businesses have to consider the cost of their operations and the actual benefits they would get if they would implement clustering for their applications.

Although optimal efficiency of the application is always a goal, the cost of the hardware should not be in excess in terms of providing better service. Expensive hardware for clustering is not just on its price but also on its maintenance and additional cost when they are actually operated.

Connection to Users

Supporting the hardware are the connections implemented for user’s access. Availability of the clusters to improve user’s experience should be 24/7 or at least during the time when the network is expected to be accessed.

But hardware connectivity could be a little bit tricky especially when you are trying to establish complicated clustering. High Availability and Load Balancing clusters could be easily configured in itself but when they are implemented in connection to its users, errors could be easily experienced when they are not properly configured.

Proper connection is highly influenced by the distance of the clusters to the intended users. For that reason, different clusters could be found in different areas so that the application could be highly available for its users. A good example of this are the server farms located in different countries so that users from any region in the world could experience the optimized version of the application.

External Considerations

Aside from the hardware configuration and its location in relation to users, it is also important to consider the external factors that may affect the clusters. Factors such as general weather conditions of the area, availability of power and even the crime rate where the cluster will be located should be highly considered. Some consider this as small factors but they are still a threat to the stability of the clusters.

The structure where the clusters will be housed should be properly built so that maximum protection will be established. As already indicated, these external factors are not usually counted when planning the cluster but they could single-handedly destroy the hardware and might render them irreplaceable. Proper survey of the area should be conducted so that a clear idea of the general conditions where clusters will be put up could be perceived.

Connection between clusters especially for Load Balancing and High Availability form of clustering should be considered. This is very important since these forms of clustering require the clusters to have a highly active interaction during the computing process. Usually clusters are not located in one area alone which means connections to these clusters should be optimized so that they could easily update each other regarding the workload.

Infrastructure Considerations in Grid Computing and Compute Clusters

Compared to Load Balancing and HA Cluster forms, grid computing and compute clusters have different infrastructure considerations. Although the latter forms of clustering could be implemented in load balancing and HA cluster settings, grid computing and compute clusters have minimal hardware requirements.

To fully understand the infrastructure requirements for grid computing and compute clusters, it is important to know their objectives in using them. The main goal of these types of clusters is to provide optimal computing performance. Although 24/7 availability is desired in these forms of clusters, efficiency is well emphasized.

For that reason, the hardware requirements for grid computing and compute clusters should be localized so that connection between nodes and clusters is not only secured but efficient. Connection between clusters as much as possible should never have to be between two clusters on two different locations. By keeping them in one place, the maximum output of the nodes could be expected.

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