IT332_M4 Assess data communication and networking options for a computer system.
Purdue University Global
When looking into computer clustering and everything that goes along with it the
benefits, challenges, and potential applications it can be very confusing. Breaking it down to
one type and focusing on the one that makes the most sense for our company is where we
should place our focus. I want to place my focus on load balancing because it is one type of
clustering that will make the biggest overall impact to our company and how we operate .
Load balancing is a way for IT departments in companies or organizations to evenly
distribute workloads across many different servers or to allow computer resources to better
optimize capacity, network efficiencies and reliability. In order to use load balancing there
needs to either be a virtual or physical appliance to work through in order to determine in a
real time state which server in a server farm can best meet the load being sent out .
Depending on your load balancer set up during periods where the load is heavier the load
balancer can add servers to mitigate spikes in traffic and in the reverse of that drop servers
when demand is low. Load balancers can be a software application, an appliance, or a
combination of both. Network load balancing is a great feature that allows setup to use a
single IP address to balance the loads between two or more machines. You can setup IIS or
Internet Information Services on bother servers as well as Windows Operating System, as
well as a static IP address .
When looking at the server itself they come in multiple configurations such as blade, rack,
tower and all have various performance levels as well as space, budget and scalability
depending on their configuration. I want to focus on blade servers because they offer excellent
processing power in heavy dense environments and are small circuit boards that
really act as servers .
Our company could choose to also use a COTS server which is a commercial of the shelf
server. They offer versatility, tons of cost savings, ease of integration, & easy maintenance,
plus, their cost of ownership is lower, but when looking at the two blade servers are more
powerful and easier to service so there is a cost savings on the service end which can be
where you see a lot of cost over time .
Whatever server configuration you ultimately choose will in some way impact the way in
which your load balancing functions. Having a network of multiple devices that are dependent
upon consistent, fast, and efficient server quality and in order for the failover from server to
server to happen you will want a configuration that supports the software of appliance of the
Load balancing are usually agnostic applications that normally sit outside the server
application. Your load balancer is really in charge of the decisions on how and when your
network of devices functions. Load balancing controls what servers the devices travel through
and how to direct the traffic if one of the servers goes offline for some reason or has a failure
of any kind.
When looking at high availability which is the constant availability of a service which is why
load balancing redundancies is so lucrative. Although it is sought after it alone is not a stand
a lone strategy to ensure high availability in your system. High availability actually works to
address failure on many levels that include storage, network, and even the data center. Using
products across all your platforms in your network that utilize redundancies to ensure there is
not one single component failure .
Working in the IT world is fast moving and is always changing staying in tune with how
things operate and how to make the various components of your overall system function
together and reduce failure is key. Using load balancing on your servers reduces failure on a
server level. Also having monitoring on your system to watch functions in various levels of
the system from the database to the data center also helps track issues and see trends. Load
balancing offers the ability to help distribute your system load across many different servers
in the system. Having overall high availability also helps mitigate failure inside your system
on many levels .
When building your IT infrastructure its best to look at your company and what needs they
have look at what fail points they may currently have and what level of risk they are willing to
accept. Next you need to know what ramifications come from a system outage and what the
cost of being down would be for that company. If you work for a company that is dependent
upon network like a gaming company having an outage is not only inconvenient but is also
impacting paying customers. If you take the flip side of a small candy shop it may not be
convenient if their system is partially down or down completely because they probably have a
plan B for that situation. Building your system to deal with redundancy and high availability
really comes down to the type of company you’re dealing with.
All companies would love to say they are 24/7 and are never down, but in reality, there are
outside forces you have to deal with as well as internal. Since ensuring that everything will
run 24/7 it is best to focus on the various ways to help your company deal with the risk of
being down and having redundancy where it is available and having a plan of action where it
is not. If cost is a factor and you can’t make it all redundant that what major components can
you afford redundancy in.
Talking to your CTO and business leaders will help address where they want to focus their
money and at what levels of risk, they are willing to accept. Having redundancy and knowing
your weak points will help you have an overall picture of your system and how to best
maintenance it will also help as you scale the system up where to put focus on areas that may
be lacking redundancy of any kind.