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Application / service deployment

Please explain how to best deploy application servers, windows services, stand alone applications, etc: scattering them on multiple boxes or placing them on as few as 1 or 2 boxes?
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thuhue
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thuhue
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Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
With that level of vagueness all you will get is opinions and general suggestions. I virtualize everything as the flexibility is invaluable.

Personally I will group similar roles on the same (virtual) server. So I have all my authentication stuff on one box: ad, radius, ldap. Aside from that, most applications get their own (virtual) server.
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Ryan McCauleyCommented:
I agree that you'll only get general advice without more specific requirements, but here's a quick run-down.

From a convenience perspective, it's easy to have everything on a single server because it's easier to connect components (no firewalls, authentication is easier, etc), but then you run into an issue where a single server goes down and it takes down all your components. If your database goes down, it would be nice if your website was still online so you could display an error message to your end users, right?

The other extreme is that you put one thing on each server - the management overhead is higher and it's more servers to keep track of, but a single server going down only impacts part of your service, not the whole thing. You can display error messages as appropriate to your users, route them around problems, or handle issues with less interruption.

The other consideration is whether you can scale out any of your components - in the case of something like AD or LDAP, you can deploy it to multiple servers so that authentication is still available if any single server goes down. Again, there's some higher setup and maintenance costs here, but they may be justified. Same with something like a web server - if you add a second web server, you can balance the load between the two and one can go down without taking down your entire site (you'll need to set up load balancing here).

Stateful services (like databases) can generally only run on one server at a time, so you can't load balance in many cases (though there are some options here too like Oracle's RAC or SQL Server's AlwaysOn). In those cases, you can have a standby server available to take over in case there's a problem with the first server - this is generally called "Clustering", though it can go by some other names too.

Not sure if that provides any help for whatever you're planning, but I'd recommend getting some expert advice on your specific situation.
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