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1. WHAT IS VIRTUAL SERVER? Virtual server is a highly scalable and highly available server built on
a cluster (collection) of real servers. The architecture of server cluster is fully transparent to end users, and the users interact with the cluster system as if it were only a single high-performance virtual server. The real servers and the load balancers may be interconnected by either high-speed LAN or by geographically dispersed WAN. The load balancers can dispatch requests to the different servers and make parallel services of the cluster to appear as a virtual service on a single IP address, and request dispatching can use IP load balancing technologies or application-level load balancing technologies. Scalability of the system is achieved by transparently adding or removing nodes in the cluster. High availability is provided by detecting node or daemon failures and reconfiguring the system appropriately.


i LOAD BALANCING: In computing, load balancing is a technique used to spread work load among many processes, computers, networks, disks or other resources, so that no single resource is overloaded. Load balancing can also be considered as distributing items into buckets:

Data to memory locations Files to disks Tasks to processors Packets to network interfaces Requests to servers

Its ultimate goal is even distribution of load on each server of the cluster. ii. CLUSTER: A computer cluster is a group of linked computers, working together closely so that in many respects they form a single computer. The components of a cluster are commonly, but not always, connected to each other through fast local area networks. Clusters are usually deployed to improve performance and/or availability over that of a single computer, while typically being much more cost-effective than single computers of comparable speed or availability. A computer cluster is of following types: a) Load balancing clusters b) Compute clusters


The following are some of the examples of the components used in a standard Virtual Server: Virtual Host Server: Physical Hardware running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 DatacenterEdition X64 with Virtual Server 2005 R2 X64 application installed or any other server.

Virtual Guest Servers: Servers running various operating systems on the Virtual Host Server. Each Virtual Guest Server is usually comprised of 3 4 files. ISO: An ISO image or .ISO file is a computer file that contains the complete contents of a CD or DVD. ISO images are often created to backup a CD or distribute CD's over the Internet or other network. They can be used by Virtual Server 2005 as a mounted CD or DVD within a Virtual Guest Server. Terminal Services Client: Utility built into XP and an add-on to Windows 2000 to access remote servers or virtual guest servers for administration. PCAnywhere: Third-party utility for remote control administration of server or virtual guest servers. Virtual Machine Remote Control Client A Microsoft utility for remote control administration that allows BIOS level access to virtual guest servers.

There are a number of reasons for considering Virtual Servers as a solution to the growing number of Windows machines in the data center. A few of these are: Better utilization of hardware A reduction in the number of physical servers and supporting hardware Greater Flexibility and Fault-Tolerance Reduced overall cost and speed to implement servers

It is important to remember that while Virtual Servers provide significant hardware cost savings, there is still a requirement to license all application and operating system software.

More complex hardware with a large price tag. Larger amount of data to backup due to fixed disk configuration. Virtual Host System failure could mean a large number of servers down at once. Balancing the load of all guest servers can be tricky and requires ongoing performance monitoring of the virtual host systems. Infrastructure applications can cause problems with your virtual hosts. i.e. Symantec scheduled scans 20% CPU resource hit against 12 servers adds up to a number well about 100% . No physical server to walk up to. There is no need to do this, but those responsible for the application on the server are used to having something physically in front of them. Is the virtualization layer making my application run incorrectly? Most likely No, but maybe.

By: Ravi Joshi Vivekananda Institute of Technology

(4th Year--Information Technology)