Why choose clustered server hosting?

Published on August 19, 2022 by Laure - Updated on 14 mai 2024 à 14H04

Bertrand Cebador, NFrance's Systems Administrator, explains what a cluster is, how it works, its advantages and why you should opt for it.

Definition: what is a cluster?

To run a web site, a server needs to implement several pieces of software, such as Apache for the web server, MySQL or MariaDB for the database server, PHP or Java for code interpretation.
These services can be distributed across one or more servers. When they are spread over several servers, we speak of a cluster. These servers are generally located close to one another, and interconnected by a dedicated network. The distribution of Services determines the topology or architecture of the cluster.

avantage Cluster NFrance
avantage Cluster NFrance

How does a server cluster work?

The cluster's gateway to the Internet is a proxy server. It controls access, routes requests to the appropriate components, and distributes them in such a way as to enable load balancing and failover.

The proxy sends requests to a set of virtual machines. These machines communicate via a private network. They exchange application or site data via a shared storage server and shared database servers.

In the event of failure of one of the servers, tasks are distributed to one or more other servers. This is known as fault tolerance.

France-infrastructure cluster
France-infrastructure cluster

What are the advantages of cluster hosting?

  • A cluster ensures high availability thanks to fault tolerance. When designing a cluster, we choose to redundant certain components to eliminate single points of failure (SPOF).
  • A application performance thanks to load balancing. Applications are able to handle a large flow of requests.
  • The easy maintenance of applications and systems. When one service updates, the other servers continue to work.
  • The scalability (scalability). In a cluster, we can not only allocate more resources (processor, memory) to a server (vertical scalability), but also multiply the number of servers delivering the same service (horizontal scalability).

For what kind of needs is it worth installing a cluster architecture?

It's worth setting up a server cluster for :
  • Applications that are frequently updated, such as e-commerce sites and mobile applications.
  • Applications that support a high load on an occasional or constant basis, such as event-driven websites.
  • Applications integrating several Services based on different applications and technologies.
  • A scalable, highly available platform to host a large number of websites, enabling :
    • Isolate the pre-production phase
    • Share costs
Web agencies make extensive use of website sharing to meet their customers' functional needs, and also to enhance the security of their applications.

Why choose NFrance?

The NFrance teams provide you witha proven cluster architecture architecture with customized according to customer needs.
Originally, clusters were based on physical servers. Today, they are made up of virtual and/or physical machines offering :
  • The access management through the use of a Directory
  • A single point of entry that filters network flows
  • The centralized configuration management for easy upgrading. As the setup is reproducible, additional nodes can be added to increase Resources.
  • The 3-tier breakdown (proxy, web, DB) allows resources and their use to be adjusted according to need, in a targeted way to optimize performance.
  • The ability to add physical machines to virtual machines if there is a need for isolation or specific performance (hybrid cloud).

Can you give us some case studies of how NFrance has set up IT clusters?

Our teams set up a public cloud cluster architecture for Valoris développement (a network of temporary employment agencies). public cloud"cluster architecture to meet their future volume challenges due to the increase in the number of franchisees, the launch of their Mobile application and the redesign of their website.

For the e-commerce site of the Bernard Group, our experts installed a cluster platform consisting of virtual machines for the various Services (proxy, web, DB and cache) in order to best meet their need for segmentation while integrating the technologies already used for their website (nodeJS for the front and Magento for the Back Office).

We have also set up this type of system for web agencies such as webqam, inconito, sloop and e-obs.

For example, to meet Webqam's growth challenges, our teams installed a cluster cloud architecturecloud architecture to replace its physical server-based architecture.

IRP Auto, the social protection group for automotive Services professionals, has opted for a cluster architecture to isolate their application platforms and their pre-production and production environments.

At NFrance, we offer managed hosting of your data in an ISO 27 001-certified datacenter located in the Toulouse Region and fully operated by NFrance. As experts in data monitoring, our team can help you protect your data against cyber-attacks. Our experts ensure the security of your data stored in France, and guarantee your independence by using mainly open source technologies.

Don't hesitate to contact an NFrance expert at 05 34 45 55 00.