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Scaling Considerations

There are many issues to consider when you're building a clustered environment. Proper planning of your application architecture is important, as well. Many factors are involved, and laying out a plan before purchasing and building your clustered environment can save you many headaches later. Questions you may want to ask include:

  • How many servers do you need? The number of servers will depend on how much traffic you expect and how Web site functionality is distributed in your server farm.

  • What types of servers and operating systems do you want to deploy? Choosing servers and operating systems depends on many factors, including your team's skill sets and experience in these areas.

  • How do you balance traffic between the servers? The methods that you select for load balancing may affect your choice of load balancer. You may want users to stay on one machine for the length of their session. Failover and server monitoring are other considerations when balancing traffic in a cluster.

  • How will you keep the Web site content in sync among all the servers, and how will you deploy the Web site? This is potentially one of the most troublesome areas in Web site maintenance. Not only do you need to keep Web site content in sync, but each server requires periodic configuration changes, patches, and hot fixes to be deployed as well.


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