Shared nothing cluster vs shared disk cluster

Shared nothing cluster vs shared disk cluster

Shared nothing cluster vs shared disk cluster is an important point to consider when choosing a cluster solution. The deployment of a shared nothing cluster as implemented by SafeKit is much more simple than a shared disk cluster.

Comparison between shared nothing cluster vs shared disk cluster

Simplicity of a shared nothing vs a shared disk cluster


Shared nothing cluster

Shared nothing cluster

Shared disk cluster

Shared disk cluster

ProductSafeKit on Windows and LinuxClustering toolkit for shared disk
Extra hardwareNo - Use internal disks of serversYes - Extra cost with a shared bay of disks
Application data organization0 impact on application data organization with SafeKit.
Just define directories to replicate in real-time.
Even directories inside the system disk can be replicated.
Impact on application data organization.
Special configuration of the application to put its data in a shared disk.
Data in the system disk cannot be recovered.
Complexity of deploymentNo - install a software on 2 serversYes - require specific IT skills to configure OS and shared disk
FailoverJust restart the application on the second serverSwitch the shared disk.
Remount the file system.
Pass the recovery procedure on the file system.
And then restart the application
Disaster revoveryJust put the 2 servers in 2 remotes sites connected by an extended LAN.
Video of disaster recovery with a software SAN
Extra cost with a second bay of disks. New specific IT skills to configure mirroring of bays across a SAN.
Quorum and split brainApplication executed on a single server after a network isolation (split brain).
Coherency of data after a split brain.
No need for a third machine or a quorum disk or a special heartbeat line for split brain.
More information on heartbeat, failover and quorum
Require a special quorum disk or a third quorum server to avoid data corruption on split brain
Suited forSoftware editors which want to add a simple high availability option to their applicationEnterprise with IT skills in clustering and with large database applications

Video comparing a shared disk cluster and a shared nothing cluster when considering disaster recovery

More information on shared nothing clusters implemented by the SafeKit software on Windows and Linux here.

Key differentiators of real-time file replication and failover with the Evidian SafeKit mirror cluster

Evidian SafeKit mirror cluster with real-time file replication and failover

All clustering features All clustering features

Like  The solution includes all clustering features: server failure monitoring, network failure monitoring, software failure monitoring, automatic application restart with a quick recovery time, a virtual IP address switched in case of failure to automatically reroute clients

Dislike  This is not the case with replication-only solutions like replication at the database level

Dislike  Quick application restart is not ensured with full virtual machines replication. In case of hypervisor failure, a full VM must be rebooted on a new hypervisor with an unknown recovery time

Like   The cluster configuration is very simple and made by means of a high availability application module. There is no domain controller or active directory to configure on Windows. The solution works on Windows and Linux

Synchronous replication Synchronous replication

Like  The real-time replication is synchronous with no data loss on failure

Dislike  This is not the case with asynchronous replication

Fully automated failback procedure Automatic failback

Like  After a failure when a server reboots, the replication failback procedure is fully automatic and the failed server reintegrates the cluster without stopping the application on the only remaining server

Dislike  This is not the case with most replication solutions particularly with replication at the database level. Manual operations are required for resynchronizing a failed server. The application may even be stopped on the only remaining server during the resynchonization of the failed server

Replication of any type of data

Like  The replication is working for databases but also for any files which shall be replicated

Dislike  This not the case for replication at the database level

File replication vs disk replication File replication vs disk replication

Like  The replication is based on file directories that can be located anywhere (even in the system disk)

Disike  This is not the case with disk replication where special application configuration must be made to put the application data in a special disk

File replication vs shared disk File replication vs shared disk

Like  The servers can be put in two remote sites

Dislike  This is not the case with shared disk solutions

Remote sites Remote sites

Like  All SafeKit clustering features are working for 2 servers in remote sites. Performances of replication depends on the interconnect latency for real-time synchronous replication and on the bandwidth for resynchronizing data on a failed server

Like  If both servers are connected to the same IP network through an extended LAN between two remote sites, the virtual IP address of SafeKit is working with rerouting at level 2

Like  If both servers are connected to two different IP networks between two remote sites, the virtual IP address can be configured at the level of a load balancer. SafeKit offers a health check: the load balancer is configured with a URL managed by SafeKit which returns OK on the primary server and NOT FOUND else. This solution is implemented for SafeKit in the Cloud but it can be also implemented with a load balancer on premise

Quorum Quorum

Like  With remote sites, the solution works with only 2 servers and for the quorum (network isolation), a simple split brain checker to a router is offered to support a single execution

Like  This is not the case for most clustering solutions where a 3rd server is required for the quorum

Uniform high availability solution Uniform high availability solution

Like  SafeKit implements a mirror cluster with replication and failover. But it imlements also a farm cluster with load balancing and failover. Thus a N-tiers architecture can be made highly available and load balanced with the same solution on Windows and Linux (same installation, configuration, administration with the SafeKit console or with the command line interface). This is unique on the market

Dislike  This is not the case with an architecture mixing different technologies for load balancing, replication and failover

Examples of mirror modules

Click on the blue button to access the solution

Mirror modules (replication and failover)



Microsoft SQL Server-
Milestone XProtect (based on Microsoft SQL Server)-
Hanwha SSM (based on PostgreSQL)-
Generic mirror module for any application

FAQ on Evidian SafeKit [+]