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A Fibre Channel Based Architecture for Internet Multimedia Server Clusters

Chen, Shenze; Thapar, Manu

HPL-96-125

Keyword(s): Fibre Channel, Internet, World Wide Web, cluster, multimedia servers


Abstract: Recently, the Internet has experienced an explosive growth by the World Wide Web technology. New users are increasing at an exponential rate, and many Web servers have been overloaded by client requests. System administrators are realizing the limitations of single processor systems to handle all of these requests. In this paper, we present a Fibre Channel (FC) based architecture for a cluster of Internet multimedia servers. A significant advantage of the FC based cluster is that it allows "direct storage attachment to the interconnect". Because of this feature, FC based clusters will change the fundamental data sharing model of existing and proposed clusters by eliminating remote data accesses. This in turn will improve the cluster cost and performance. It also achieves better load balancing across the storage devices in the cluster. Many of these aspects are critical to real-time multimedia applications, such as audio and video services. We address the cluster control mechanism, scalability, and fault tolerance issues of the FC based architecture.

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