HP Labs Technical Reports
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Scalable Web Hosting Service
Keyword(s): web hosting service; web server farm; web server cluster; load balancing; scalability; performance analysis; SpecWeb
Abstract: Web hosting is an infrastructure service that allows to design , integrate, operate and maintain all of the infrastructure components required to run web-based applications. It includes Web server farms, network access, data staging tools and security firewalls. Web server farms are used in a Web hosting infrastructure as a way to create scalable and highly available solutions. One of the main problems in web server farm management is content management and load balancing. In this paper, we analyze several hardware/software solutions on the market and demonstrate their scalability problems. We outline a new scalable solution FLEX for design and management of an efficient Web hosting service. This solution can be applied to a Web hosting service implemented on different architecture platforms such as web server farms with replicated disk content, web server clusters having access to a shared file system or multi-computer systems using a global (shared) file system. A preliminary performance analysis provides a comparison of the current solutions and FLEX using a synthetic workload generator based on SpecWeb'96 benchmark. FLEX outperforms current solutions 2-7 times.
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