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Load Balanced - High Availability Solution.

I didn't really know where to post this question, but to the best of my knowledge, I believe this is the right place.

I've been a webserver administrator for 5 years, I've always had two servers, one for production and a replica for backup. I've rarely needed the backup server but I have used it for my production server upgrades and system maintenance.

Now, I've been thinking for a while of the best way to setup an environment where both servers are working, they share one database, one source of files, and a shared log file.

We have another system that is basically a content management switch that has three servers attached to it, but the database is oracle and it is on a different server. The content is replicated manually, and most content is on the database.

In my case, my static content is always changing, and my dynamic content is too. Has anyone done a fault tolerent (software based) solution? Or some sort of fail-safe implementation with open source software?

My dreams had awakened when MySQL release a cluster in 4.1, but its still in Aplha, when this becomes stable, I could install the cluster on the two servers, setup a proxy on both that redirect to both servers. So when my main server is up, its the proxy that is serving the pages, but getting requests from both servers, and vice versa.

I also thought of sharing the static content by running rsync to update any change....

But I'd love to know if someone has done something that works... even ideas would do...

Sorry for the long question... But its one of those things that you'll never rest until you know :)
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kalmen
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kalmen
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1 Solution
 
rhandelsCommented:
Hi,

I only know these things from the Microsoft product (not quite sure if this is what you want), but if your data is static, there is one hell of a nice feature on the 2003 platform, it's called NLB (Network Load Balancing). You can add up to 64 nodes to the static cluster and it works using round robin:

Let's say, you would have 4 nodes using the .2 .3 .4 and .5 address and the cluster is .1. Then all request would go to .1. Then the first request would be proceced using .2, the second using .3 the third using .4 and so on. So all info on the servers need to be the same, else the data on the website wouldn't be correct.

The other option is a Server Cluster (which you would need a SAN for) and isn't a real option...
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kalmenAuthor Commented:
I acutally read about that and we thought of implementing it with one of our setups. We decided not to take it, and we used a cisco content managed switch (basically a proxy - but hardward) and its going quite well, only that its configuration needs an expert and sometimes hard to get figured out.
Have you used it? I want to find something for linux, but I want it to be a software solution, not OS.
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rhandelsCommented:
Unfortenately, i don't have the linux knowledge to say there is some sort of cluster on it. I know openBSD can pull thisone off, but it's seems to be quite hard to do. Building an NLB cluster is done within 5 to 10 minutes... And it's very easy to set up.

Oh, yes, i used NLB clustering and Server clustering... NLB works pretty need. Second thing to take into consideration (for money's sake), you can buy 2003 Web Edition, it is a lot cheaper, but can only have 2 GB max internal memory and cannot be a DC (but it saves ya money)..
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kalmenAuthor Commented:
I was looking for a solution in linux/unix mainly, but your answer is perfectly okay for windows.
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