Software clustering vs hardware clustering

Evidian SafeKit

Difference between software clustering and hardware clustering?

Overview

This article explores the pros and cons of software clustering vs hardware clustering by looking at features like data replication, shared disks, load balancing, hardware and software prerequisites, skills to configure the cluster...

Software clustering vs hardware clustering

The following comparative tables explain in detail the difference between hardware clustering and SafeKit, a software clustering product.

What is hardware clustering?

There are two types of hardware clustering solutions: hardware clustering for backend applications like databases and hardware clustering for frontend applications like web services.

Hardware clustering for backend (like with Microsoft failover cluster) is based on 2 servers sharing a disk with an automatic application failover in case of failure.

Hardware clustering for frontend is based on load balancers (like with F5 BIG-IP) in front of a farm of servers (2 servers or more). The load balancers distributes the TCP sessions to the available servers in the farm.

What is software clustering?

As with hardware clustering, there are two types of software clustering solutions: software clustering for backend applications like databases and software clustering for frontend applications like web services.

Software clustering for backend (like with SafeKit) is based on 2 servers replicating in real-time data with an automatic application failover in case of failures.

Software clustering for frontend (like with SafeKit) is based on load balancing in a farm of servers (2 servers or more). The load balancing is made by software and distributes the TCP sessions to the available servers in the farm.

Pros and cons of software clustering vs hardware clustering

SafeKit software clustering

Software clustering with SafeKit

Hardware clustering

Hardware clustering for a backend

Hardware load balancers

Hardware clustering for a frontend

Features
(1) Real-time file replication

(2) Failover toolkit

(3) Network load balancing (no dedicated proxy)

(1) Disk replication

(2) Failover toolkit

(1) Network load balancing
Hardware
Standard physical servers, virtual servers or Cloud Dedicated storage (shared or replicated) Dedicated network load balancing boxes
Software
Standard editions of Windows, Linux and databases (even OS for PC and free editions of databases) Enterprise editions of OS and databases Firmware in load balancers
Skills
No specific IT skills for deploying SafeKit High level skills in storage and OS High level skills in network

SafeKit High Availability Differentiators against Competition

SafeKit: an ideal solution for a partner application

This platform agnostic solution is ideal for a partner with a critical application and who wants to provide a high availability option easy to deploy to many customers.

This clustering solution is also recognized as the simplest to implement by our partners.

Demonstrations of SafeKit High Availability Software

SafeKit Webinar

This webinar presents in 2 minutes Evidian SafeKit.

In this webinar, you will understand SafeKit mirror and farm clusters.

Microsoft SQL Server Cluster

This video shows a mirror module configuration with synchronous real-time replication and failover.

The file replication and the failover are configured for Microsoft SQL Server but it works in the same manner for other databases.

Free trial here

Apache Cluster

This video shows a farm module configuration with load balancing and failover.

The load balancing and the failover are configured for Apache but it works in the same manner for other web services.

Free trial here

Hyper-V Cluster

This video shows a Hyper-V cluster with full replications of virtual machines.

Virtual machines can run on both Hyper-V servers and they are restarted in case of failure.

Free trial here

SafeKit Modules for Plug&Play High Availability Solutions

SafeKit Modules for Plug&Play High Availability Solutions

Network load balancing and failover

Windows farm

Linux farm

Generic Windows farm   > Generic Linux farm   >
Microsoft IIS   > -
NGINX   >
Apache   >
Amazon AWS farm   >
Microsoft Azure farm   >
Google GCP farm   >
Other cloud   >

Advanced clustering architectures

Several modules can be deployed on the same cluster. Thus, advanced clustering architectures can be implemented:

SafeKit Training

Introduction

  1. Overview / pptx

    • Features
    • Architectures
    • Distinctive advantages
  2. Competition / pptx

    • Hardware vs software cluster
    • Synchronous vs asynchronous replication
    • File vs disk replication
    • High availability vs fault tolerance
    • Hardware vs software load balancing
    • Virtual machine vs application HA

Installation, Console, CLI

  1. Install and setup / pptx

    • Package installation
    • Nodes setup
    • Cluster configuration
    • Upgrade
  2. Web console / pptx

    • Cluster configuration
    • Configuration tab
    • Control tab
    • Monitor tab
    • Advanced Configuration tab
  3. Command line / pptx

    • Silent installation
    • Cluster administration
    • Module administration
    • Command line interface

Advanced configuration

  1. Mirror module / pptx

    • userconfig.xml + restart scripts
    • Heartbeat (<hearbeat>)
    • Virtual IP address (<vip>)
    • Real-time file replication (<rfs>)
  2. Farm  module / pptx

    • userconfig.xml + restart scripts
    • Farm configuration (<farm>)
    • Virtual IP address (<vip>)
  3. Checkers / pptx

    • Failover machine (<failover>)
    • Process monitoring (<errd>)
    • Network and duplicate IP checkers
    • Custom checker (<custom>)
    • Split brain checker (<splitbrain>)
    • TCP, ping, module checkers

Support

  1. Support tools / pptx

    • Analyze snaphots
  2. Evidian support / pptx

    • Get permanent license key
    • Register on support.evidian.com
    • Call desk

Documentation

  1. Technical documentation

  2. Presales documentation