Web Farm Setup

Posted on 2005-05-03
Last Modified: 2013-11-30
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.
Question by:GentooOS
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    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
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    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.

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    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.


    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    If you are wanting to use Windows Server 2003 for your web servers, ensure you buy the Windows Server 2003 Web Edition...

    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:

    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:

    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...
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    For the Microsoft architecture blueprints, check the WSSRA on Technet:
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    I provided great documentation and blueprints on design for this question.

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