With the size of net work enterprise constantly scaling up more and more demand is being placed on the application servers. It is not uncommon to have thousands of people accessing a single data base application. Even with employment of the most powerful and high- performance hardware single servers are not enough. Therefore there is need to combine several severs and server clustering seem to offer the solution. Delivering always available, high performance, secure and high performance web applications is an indispensable concern to all businesses. Effective installation of severs ensures good web site performance in terms of response time and reliability. Proper plans should be put in place to ensure that problems do not rise during and after installation of servers. This calls for proper understanding of the configuration options that will ensure your system is appropriately configured during the installation process. The servers can be designed to operate as single independent servers or as sever clusters where the servers are designed to work together. When servers are designed to work together, they become efficient and reliable and are associated with many merits such as scalability and easy management of the net work.
Before any installation is done, servers should be carefully selected after putting several factors into account. The servers selected must be fully reliable. For instance it should be able to avail content on a web on full time basis in its real and intended form. The control panel of the server must allow easy access of the web to do upgrades and updates. A control panel that is easy to use will ensure that that the website is easily updated. Another factor that should be considered is the disk space. One should have a good idea of the space he will need on the server. This is a vital consideration because of the possibility of expanding the web. The band width of the server should also be considered. This is the size of data that can be streamed from the server at any particular moment. The band width chosen should be adequate enough to ensure that content is accessed efficiently. (Marimoto 2008).
The sever cluster consisting of five servers working together as a single system will be far more efficient than when the 15 single servers are combined. This because when a failure occurs in one computer in a cluster the resources is redirected and the workload redistributed to another computer in the cluster. This makes sure that the users always have access to server-based resources. Therefore in this case, the cluster that consist of five computers working together as single entity to provide high degree of reliability , scalability and easy management of the net work than when one computer is used in single servers. Client access to the servers in a cluster is managed by loadbalancer .An effective sever cluster should be selected to prevent the system from failures such as system and hardware failure, application and service failures which affect application software and vital services and site failures in multisite or organization which can be as a result of connectivity outages, power outage or natural disasters. In server cluster, each server owns and manages its local devices and a copy of operating system that the cluster is managing. The sever cluster is designed such that the cluster work together as a unity to protect data, keeping the applications and services on failure of one sever. The design should also ensure that the consistency of cluster configuration is maintained in the fullness of time.
There are various clustering approaches; each approach has its advantages and drawbacks. In this case a majority node set cluster offers the best option. This is because they can be used for geographically dispersed clusters. Also in this system, a quorum disk can be taken off-line for maintenance and the cluster as a whole will continue operating. (Microsoft 2000).The limitations of clustering arise from the problems of implementing clustering because one cannot cluster all types of severs and also several applications are not supported by clustering design. Thus clustering may not help every organization. Also the cost of setting up server clusters is far high that setting up single servers hence cannot be economical for small organizations.
Another important aspect that when installing servers be considered is the server racks. The current IT trends show that rack density is increasing as more and more servers are installed into standard cabinets. This trend has caused overall power racks to rise as well. This calls for power racks that are designed to care of the escalating of cabinet power demands and also, reduce the installation cost and increase the operational reliability. Selecting the right server rack will help effectively power, cool and protect the equipment. One of the most important things to consider when selecting a server rack is its cooling mechanism; this greatly depends on the environment in which one is operating. When installing racks one should also put into consideration the latest power technologies that are available in this case the power distribution units are considered. The server rack should also be of appropriate size with sufficient internal space to house the equipment and also leave space for any future expansion. The server racks should have the necessary security details that make sure that data center is well secured. (42U 2005).
When installing a sever some important factors will be considered. This includes taking into consideration of the system requirements and hardware and software requirements of the selected server. The next requirement that should be reviewed is check parameters for the system configuration checker. Another important requirement that should be taken into account is security considerations that are associated with the selected server. After ensuring that the computer meets this installation requirements; then the integration services of the selected server are installed. This will differ depending on the environment. (Marimoto 2008). One should also select appropriate back-up software for exchange server deployments. This is done by putting into consideration the appropriate hardware technology that will be compatible with the software back-up.
A software rollback plan should also be designed to take care of any potential problems that may rise when the system is being up-graded. For instance the use of software such as ADMT wizards will effectively implement rollback. This is because when the migration process begins, you cannot roll back the changes that are made to the active directory domains. This is because during the restructuring process the accounts are moved from one domain to another and not copied thus making the changes not reversible. The rollback plan is very essential in returning the source domain if your plans change after you begin the migration process. (Microsoft 2003).
The Server clustering offers a superior experience that will reap more benefits than individual servers and promises to help areas where single servers cannot. For instance it ensures availability of applications, scalability and makes maintenance and management of servers. These benefits that cannot be realized when servers operate individually. Despite these benefits, clustering is faced by limitations such as high cost and that some applications are not supported by clustering system. Thus, this requires an organization to have some singe servers that are not in a cluster to take care of this problem. Therefore an organization with server clusters and single servers, a good roll back plan and efficient, secured and spacious server racks will operate more effectively and efficiently and will ensure that the limitations that come as a result of clustering do not affect the running of an organization.