Nowadays, storage is getting more and more important for everyone, as most of them need to store large amounts of data in the database, and network storage systems are becoming much easier to get than before. However, under the overall architecture, redundancy storage is a bit complex. The entire architecture sequentially goes from the data sent to the storage side, then sent to the server through the network, and finally to the client’s side.
This whole architecture though seems complicated but also very simple. The communication bridge among them is the network itself. Users can easily store and back up files from the established network storage environment, and these devices don’t need to be restricted by distance, and the storage devices can be centrally processed in the server room. What should you do to make sure your services can run continuously for your customers? Firstly think about what kind of feature helps you to upgrade your architecture? Considering the benefits of making everything to be redundant, let’s check the Failover Cluster here.
What Is Failover Cluster and What Benefits Can It Bring to Us?
Failover Cluster provides High Availability and scalability to many server platforms. These include server applications such as File Sharing, Microsoft Exchange Server, Hyper-V, Microsoft SQL Server, and others. The server applications can run on physical servers or Virtual Machines. This topic describes the Failover Clustering feature and provides links to additional guidance about creating, configuring, and managing Failover Clusters (that can scale up to 64 physical nodes and to 8,000 virtual machines).
The concept of Failover Cluster is that it shares one or more common networks and at least one shared storage location. One or more of the previously listed items running on these physical hosts are presented to Microsoft Failover Clustering as roles. The cluster can move these roles from one host to another very quickly in response to commands or environmental events. The cluster itself is represented in the network by at least one logical entity known as a Cluster Name Object.
That includes file sharing. It means, the Failover Cluster can share the same storage space. So that all the nodes in the Failover Cluster can share the file with each other. What other advantages for the Failover Cluster that users can be benefited?
Clustering Intelligence Servers provides the following benefits:
- Increased resource availability: If one Intelligence Server in a cluster fails, the other Intelligence Servers in the cluster can pick up the workload. This prevents the loss of valuable time and information if a server fails.
- Strategic resource usage: You can distribute projects across nodes in whatever configuration you prefer. This reduces overhead because not all machines need to be running all projects, and allows you to use your resources flexibly.
- Increased performance: Multiple machines provide greater processing power.
- Greater scalability: As your user base grows and report complexity increases, your resources can grow.
- Simplified management: Clustering simplifies the management of large or rapidly growing systems.
Which Environments Are Suitable for Using Failover Cluster? How Can I Manage This Kind of Architecture?
There are three main reasons for server clustering. They are availability, scalability, and reliability. The key to a protected IT infrastructure lies in redundancy. Creating a cluster of servers on a single network offers the ultimate redundancy and ensures that a single error doesn’t shut down your entire network, render your services inaccessible and cost your business vital revenue.
Speak with a customer service representative at a local web-hosting provider to learn more about the benefits of clusters and how to get started, that is, if your server room doesn’t have much storage that can support CIFS data sharing, and you will need to use the Failover Cluster server with block-level network storage. To reach the feature like unified storage does, behind so many benefits, there are some things that need to be mentioned:
- The architecture configuration is much complicated.
- The IT staff, architecture maintenance, and windows license are all needed. It means that its budget is a little bit higher.
- Backup is much difficult, doubling the devices is a must
But you actually have a better choice to replace this architecture, Unified Storage.
Redundancy in Unified Storage
The general network storage system usually uses the Block-Level iSCSI protocol for basic data storage. However, it’s not possible to read and write to the storage space at the same time like the CIFS protocol. So the same function and purpose can only be achieved through the above-mentioned Failover Cluster. In this way, Unified Storage (NAS) becomes the best solution.
On Unified Storage, you can easily divide the network storage space into a folder through CIFS or NFS to access the storage space, after mount it on the client-side, you can directly use the space on Unified Storage, and Unified Storage also provides a variety of practical functions for users. Like Remote Replication, to take a snapshot for you at a fixed period of time for future backup use. There is also Xmirror, which enables one-way and two-way data synchronization between your two devices. Finally, through Hybrid SSD cache + Deduplication, to achieve effective transmission speed and effective storage space-saving in exchange for budget savings. In other words, why not use unified storage (NAS)?
Here is a rough estimation chart using the market price of enterprise SATA and SSD drive.