Linux Clustering

What is Linux Clustering?

A high availability Linux cluster is a group of Linux computers or nodes, storage devices that work together and are managed as a single system. In a traditional clustering configuration, two or more nodes are connected to shared storage (typically a SAN). With Linux clustering, an application is run on one node, and clustering software is used to monitor its operation. If the software detects an issue, it moves operation of the application to a secondary node in a process called failover. Since the secondary nodes shares storage with the primary, operation can continue quickly, meeting very short (seconds to minutes) recovery time and recovery point objectives.

Linux Open Source High Availability Clustering

Some Linux operating system vendors offer clustering software, such as SUSE Linux HAE; Red Hat Pacemaker; and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC). While they allow you to create a failover cluster, they present a variety of challenges. The HA configuration must include three related capabilities: data replication, failover clustering orchestration and a resource manager with a heartbeat monitor. With SUSE HAE and Red Hat Pacemaker, you are locked into one OS. If you want to use other less expensive or free OS versions, such as Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL), you have to buy a separate HA solution. Creating a Linux clustering solution with open source OS solutions for high availability is highly manual and prone to human error.

Linux open-source HA extensions require a high degree of technical skill, creating complexity and reliability issues that challenge most operators.

To add replication needed to create a SANless clustering environment in a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or Red Hat Enterprise Linux requires heavy custom scripting, which can take a long time to test and validate. It also requires retesting when any updates are made to the environment. Since these companies are operating system companies, their support is geared to operating system-level issues and limited HA expertise to help customers through the complexity of HA clustering.

Oracle RAC is a high availability solution architected for the database management tier. This means you need a different HA solution for those components that do the monitoring, management, and recovery of your application tiers. Oracle RAC requires you to make a costly upgrade from Oracle Database Standard Edition to Oracle Database Enterprise Edition in addition to paying for the RAC option – typically hundreds of thousands of dollars – when compared to SIOS LifeKeeper for Linux.

SIOS Protection Suite for Linux Clustering

SIOS LifeKeeper for Linux is sold in a purchasing bundle called SIOS Protection Suite for Linux that provides a tightly integrated combination of high availability failover clustering, continuous application monitoring, data replication, and configurable recovery policies, protecting your essential applications from downtime and disasters. While SIOS LifeKeeper for Linux can operate in a SAN environment to support a traditional HA hardware-based cluster, the architecture also enables a shared-nothing option to server clustering, allowing it to run SANless. It delivers a robust, versatile and easily configurable solution with automatic and manual failover/failback recovery policies for a wide variety of applications.

SIOS Protection Suite for Linux includes:

  • SIOS LifeKeeper, which provides flexible SAN or SANless failover clustering software that monitors the entire application stack
  • SIOS DataKeeper, which provides fast, efficient host-based, block-level data replication for mirroring local storage in a SANless cluster configuration or replicating to remote locations or cloud for disaster recovery
  • Application Recovery Kits (ARKs) modules that provide application-specific, automated configuration, input validation, and reliable failover orchestration in accordance with application best practices

End-to-End Support from HA Experts

SIOS HA experts support customers throughout the process of selecting, testing, configuring and managing their HA clustering environment. SIOS HA experts are among the most well-trained, highly experienced support and customer experience teams in the industry with numerous certifications from cloud vendors such as Microsoft Azure and AWS.

In addition, SIOS LifeKeeper supports all major Linux distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Rock Linux, and Oracle Linux and accommodates a wide range of storage architectures. SIOS software has been adapted and optimized to run on these operating systems and the components are tested so ensure the SANless cluster solution will work on each OS.

Lastly, with the SIOS Protection Suite for Linux, you can run your essential applications in a flexible, scalable cloud environment, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) without sacrificing performance, high availability, or disaster protection.

Linux Clustering in AWS

While cloud providers, such as AWS, provide high availability options, they do not provide the level of high availability and breadth of protection across the whole application infrastructure that customers demand and that you once achieved by using clusters before cloud computing. SIOS LifeKeeper for Linux achieves these desired levels of high availability for our mutual customers and the critical applications they are moving to the AWS cloud.

SIOS Protection Suite for Linux on AWS provides all the elements you need to create a high availability Linux cluster in a virtual private cloud (VPC) within a single AWS Region across two Availability Zones. It also supports out-of-the-box protection for SAP systems, Oracle databases, and other business-critical applications.

The SIOS Protection Suite Quickstart on the AWS Marketplace, helps you create a fully configured and operational Linux high availability cluster in a few short steps. It sets up an AWS architecture for SIOS Protection Suite for Linux and deploys it into your AWS account in about half an hour. This Quick Start, available is for enterprise users who want to deploy SIOS Protection Suite for Linux on AWS into their test or production environment.

SIOS Clustering for Linux

SIOS is a high availability company with 20+ years of delivering reliable, easy-to-manage HA for essential applications, such as SAP, SQL, Linux, Oracle. Its experience is built into its product, and installation and configuration take a fraction of the time and cost when compared to custom scripting required with the Linux distributions. In addition, SIOS tests and validates new versions of operating systems and applications so its customers don’t have to.