Tue, September 20, 2016

Failover Clustering for High Availability

How much does an hour of downtime cost your organization? If your business has 2 or more servers and a SAN, it may be wise to consider failover clustering in the event of a hardware failure as a means of minimizing lapse in service.

What is Clustering?

Failover clustering, as defined by Microsoft, is a group of independent computers that work together to increase the availability of applications and services. The clustered servers, also known as nodes, can be connected by physical cables and by software. Therefore, if one of the nodes fails, another node begins to provide service to minimize downtime impact and duration. Failover clusters provide high availability and scalability to many server workloads.

Microsoft Exchange Server, Hyper-V, Microsoft SQL Server, and file servers are the most common server applications used for clustering. Failover clusters can run on either physical servers or virtual machines. They can scale up to 64 physical nodes and to 8,000 virtual machines.

By utilizing virtual technology, such as Hyper-V, you can improve the efficiency of your computing resources. In addition, server availability typically also improves due to not utilizing as many physical computers as needed in a physical failover configuration.