Frequently Asked Questions Q: Can I cluster the internal hard drives in my server?A: No, generally a cluster node requires a shared storage device external to the server, commonly referred to as an storage enclosure. To "cluster" the internal drives in a server defeats the purpose of a cluster which is to remain available in the event of a single system failure.
Clustering background information:
Today, in our IT infrastructure, we may have application data or even worse, everything disappear from our server's hard drive in the blink of an eye. There are many things that can be put into place to help ease the burden of a drive failure; one of the most redundant is a cluster.
Clustering is the grouping of devices to allow for better data availability, performance, and to ensure that networked environments are available in the event of a failure. There are many products out there today that will allow for a cluster to be configured within your network.
There are products such as Networked Attached Storage, Server Attached Storage, Directly Attached Storage, and Storage Area Networks that allow for the redundancy of data in critical networks and a higher level of protection over data loss. It is a simple fact that hard drives can and sometimes do fail. Hard drive failures mean your data is no longer available from that disk. If this disk is not mirrored or redundant with another disk, the data is then required to be restored from backup, and that is only if there was a backup done of the data. In larger corporate size networks, clustering is key to the reliability and availability of network data. Depending on your performance requirements, you can utilize a SCSI based solution, fiber-channel solution, or Ethernet based solution.
Gateway offers several options with regards to clustering. Our Customized Integration Solutions team is capable of providing cluster capable operating systems, hardware, and software applications to meet the needs of your environment. RaidTec, a leading vendor of SAN, NAS, and DAS solutions and a Gateway partner has an excellent white paper describing the benefits and different options for a clustered environment. The links below should help in discovering what is required to cluster systems for fault tolerance, and load balancing.
With the information in these links above, you will be able to see what hardware, software, and infrastructure is required when choosing a clustering solution that will suit your company's goals and ensure high data availability.
Choose Gateway for your enterprise clustering requirements!