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Web Farm Setup

Posted on 2005-05-03
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I'm looking to setup a web farm.  I'm looking for the best way to do this.  The web servers are Windows 2003 servers.  Would the correct way be to have a shared storage that all the web servers connect to?  Or each server have the the data local and replicate it across all servers?  If shared storage what hardware devices do you recommand or know of that could be used and maybe cost?  Also any links on the best practices on setting up a web farm would be great.  Thanks.
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Question by:GentooOS
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by:markgrinceri
ID: 13924970
Look i haven't setup a web farm before but this is the way tha i would do it.

1) Setup each server as the a webserver
2) keep a local copy of the site on each server as you don't want network delay and site are usually not very big
3) setup a router (I recommend a cisco router) to perform NAT load balancing

If you want to how how to do it on a cisco router let me know
The cost of a cisco 2611 router of ebay is AUS$400

Hopefully this will help
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by:harbor235
ID: 13925908
If I were a customer I would not want my data on shared storage, and if you get any security minded businesses they won't either. Why not have a dedicated storage solution for each customer. This model
moves the cost of building the storage solution onto the customer, as they require it. I worked
for a large hosting company and thats exactly how we did it. It scales and is managable.

harbor235
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by:swinterborn
ID: 13926888
As harbor has implied, need to understand more of your problem before suggesting a solution. A farm to host internet facing content for multiple customers with different security requirements is very different to a farm for a single client who needs a large amount of data to be constantly available on the intranet.

Cheers

Simon
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by:plemieux72
ID: 13951361
If you are wanting to use Windows Server 2003 for your web servers, ensure you buy the Windows Server 2003 Web Edition...
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/features/compareeditions.mspx

You don't mention what kind of web farm you want however, for an E-commerce-type setup, follow Cisco's guidelines in the SAFE blueprint:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns340/ns394/ns171/ns128/networking_solutions_white_paper09186a008009c8b6.shtml#wp42742

For any other type like just hosting web pages, you don't need the 3-tier (front end web servers, application servers, database back end) but some of Cisco's recommendations might still apply.  Follow the Corporate Internet Module in the SAFE blueprint:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns340/ns394/ns171/ns128/networking_solutions_white_paper09186a008009c8b6.shtml#wp42592

I don't know about your storage question.  A SAN/NAS may be appropriate but I will let other experts give more suggestions.
Sounds like you have some work ahead...
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plemieux72 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13951411
For the Microsoft architecture blueprints, check the WSSRA on Technet:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/wssra/raguide/ArchitectureBlueprints/default.mspx
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by:plemieux72
ID: 14458729
I provided great documentation and blueprints on design for this question.
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