“I want to know more about web hosting infrastructure and how Hybrid Web Cluster fits in.”
Traditionally web hosts have managed their own infrastructure
This means purchasing or renting server and networking hardware, a rack to put it in, power supply and internet connections to that
rack, air conditioning, security etc. In order to have web servers online, all of these things need to be purchased and maintained. In large hosting environments, some way to spread load over the servers needs to be devised, as well as provision to cope with spikes in demand as well as some form of redundancy or backups to ensure that failures don’t spell disaster. This typically means having a significant amount of spare capacity and a large administrative workload.
In the past, utilising multiple servers to provide a web hosting platform has been fraught with problems – dealing with failures has been particularly tricky, and many web hosts know all too well that failure of crucial hardware can all-too-often spell downtime and hours of tense firefighting. Spreading load evenly and dealing with changes in demand rapidly to ensure that your users never experience slow-down is also a difficult problem to solve. Until now, much of this has needed to be set up and maintained manually and hardware failures are often a critical event.
By implementing some clever software load-balancing algorithms and making use of our revolutionary ZFS filesystem replication Hybrid Web Cluster is able to greatly simplify the process of administering a large number of web and database servers, whilst achieving bullet-proof levels of redundancy and being completely fault-tolerant. This means that Hybrid Web Cluster can be configured so that failures in multiple parts of the system will not result any outage at all. Hybrid Web Cluster has no single point of failure.
Hybrid Web Cluster works just as well with cloud infrastructure as with real servers
We are seeing an increasing shift towards a model of server infrastructure in which server instances are provided by cloud infrastructure providers, these are virtual servers issued from a pool of available computing resource maintained by the infrastructure provider. In this model the actual hard work of buying and maintaining physical servers (and spare capacity), networking infrastructure and internet connectivity is all done by the cloud infrastructure provider, they sell you server instances on this infrastructure – removing a lot of the hassle of administering server hardware, and turning the management of a web hosting platform into a problem which can be solved entirely and very effectively in software alone. Cloud infrastructure allows you to completely forget about the entire physical aspect of maintaining and operating servers.
Hybrid Web Cluster has been designed to work just as effectively with real servers as with cloud server instances – this gives you an amazing amount of flexibility in your choice of infrastructure. You can choose to run the cluster entirely on your own physical servers, giving you total control over your physical infrastructure, but requiring that you provision new hardware to cope with increases in demand, and replace failed hardware as failures occur. Of course, with Hybrid Web Cluster, a hardware failure is not a serious event and all hardware can be replaced at a suitable time of your choosing.
The real power comes when you combine real hardware with cloud computing server instances – you’re given control over how you utilise cloud computing resource – you could elect to have normal hosting operations provided entirely by your physical hardware, but for all data to also be kept on cloud servers which would be ready to go instantly if your physical hardware dropped off the internet. You could also opt to have your hosting divided evenly between physical hardware and cloud resource – because you can mix and match real hardware and cloud servers like this, Hybrid Web Cluster enables you to use cloud hosting resource to instantly dynamically change the size of your web cluster to match changes in demand. You could choose to have a setup where under normal load, all hosting would be provided by your own hardware but under particularly heavy load, cloud server instances would be automatically spun-up so that your hosting never appears slow – in this setup you’d effectively be using cloud servers like an overflow, to cope with peaks in demand. This enables you to make full use of your existing hardware investment, whilst still taking advantage of the enterprise scalability and redundancy of the cloud.
It is also possible to run Hybrid Web Cluster entirely on cloud server instances – with this setup you gain complete freedom from the day-to-day burden of maintaining physical hardware, as well as being able to take full advantage of all the scalability and redundancy features that are built-in to the cluster as standard.
If you would like to take advantage of the incredible flexibility on infrastructure choices that Hybrid Web Cluster offers, contact us now to discuss your requirements or try a 48 no obligation free trial.