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Windows Server 2003 server farms? info?

By nick ·
Hay guys, been getting into servers for a while, so just working my way through them, i work with afew guys who do alot of server farm work, i have been researching on the net but cant find much on windows server farms.

Can any one provide any information? whats the difference between hardware and software farms.

I hear alot of bad and funny new on setting up server farms, alot of people say its not proven, and it can be a for daunting task, if not done proberly. i also wanted to ask your advice. is there a need for server farms, wat other options do we have?

for redundacy and reliability.

Thanks alot

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by BFilmFan In reply to Windows Server 2003 serve ...

Are these application servers? You would be looking at clustering, which is used very often with IIS, SQL, file server (DFS) and Exchange by a large number of Fortune 1000 firms to achieve 99.9% uptime or better.

The technical overview of Windows 2003 clustering is available here:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/clustering.mspx

As cluters are a mixture of both hardware and software, even when virtualized, I am not quite sure what information you are seeking. You should note that while clusters can be virtualized that applications that make heavy usage of disk operations (SQL, Exchange, File Servers, Print Servers, etc) do not typically do well in a virtualized state. In addition, there is typically a 25-40% hit on processor utilization from the virtualized state.

Individuals who say that clusters are not a proven technology obviously are lacking in a depth of experience in working in data centers. I would advise you to not place much emphasis on their commentary.

One of the questions that I am sure you will have is "Can Active Directory be clustered?" The answer is that Active Directory cannot be clustered, but a node of a cluster can be an Active Directory domain controller, but it is not recommended by Microsoft. From my personal experience, I can tell you that it is not a great idea, due to LSASS causing potential issues with servicing LDAP requests and consuming all processor resources on the cluster and causing the cluster to fail.

Suprisingly, Active Directory does quite well on a virtualized server. Several organizations use this technique to assist with their disaster avoidance compliance plans and set up virtualized DC's to come online in the event of a disaster.

Best of luck with your research.

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by Curacao_Dejavu In reply to Windows Server 2003 serve ...

if it's a application farm you are looking for take a look at thinplanet.com and http://tinyurl.com/59ml

We have been running running TS since nt 4, it has not been taken off on the island as we had hoped.
There are not many people specialez on it in general here so we had hoped for something bigger. Once you have your application server farm running you can start looking at other ways to make it redudant.
MS clustering, citrix load balancing , that was also a application from veritas (forgot the name) that would a server redundant.

Hope this helps.

Leopold

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