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What is Clustered Hosting All About?

Daren Low
June 17, 2024


Although clustered hosting isn’t the most popular hosting option, it can be the right solution for certain types of websites.


In a clustered hosting environment, multiple servers are used to host a single website. This can provide improved performance and redundancy over traditional single-server hosting. It is a reliable and scalable option that can be a great way to tackle dreaded downtime and ensure your website’s always available.



In this article, we’ll discuss what clustered hosting is, some of the benefits it can offer, and what to look for when considering a provider.


What Is Clustered Hosting?


While traditional web hosting often involves a single server that stores all of your website’s files, clustered hosting uses multiple servers (hence the term “cluster”). These servers are connected and work together to host your website. If one server goes down, the others can pick up the slack, ensuring that your website stays up and running.


Clustered hosting is often used by businesses that have high traffic levels or require scalability. For example, if you expect a huge spike in traffic during a sale or promotion, clustered hosting can help ensure that your website can handle the increased traffic without crashing.



How Clustered Hosting Works


Clustered hosting works

Diagram of clustered hosting – round robin algorithm. (credit: ESDS)


Clustered hosting assigns each site its own server resources, such as CPU, memory, and disk space. This is in contrast to shared hosting, where multiple websites share the same server resources. When a website hosted on a cluster receives a request, the load balancer distributes the request across the different servers in the cluster.


The server that is best able to handle the request will then process it and return the results to the user. This ensures that each website hosted on a cluster gets the resources it needs to function optimally.


While clustered hosting and cloud hosting are similar in that they both use multiple servers, there are some key differences between the two.


With cloud hosting, your website is hosted on a network of servers that are all located in different physical locations. This offers increased redundancy because if one server goes down, your website can still be up and running on the other servers in the network.


Clustered hosting takes things a step further by connecting the servers in the cluster, typically in the same physical location, so they can share resources and information. This allows for even greater reliability and scalability because the servers can work together to handle increased traffic or other demands.



What To Look For In A Clustered Hosting Provider


Clustered hosting for offices and businesses

Clustered hosting can be a good option for certain offices and businesses.


When choosing a clustered hosting provider, there are a few key features to look for:


  1. High availability
    When your business website is down, you’re essentially losing money. To avoid this, look for a provider that offers high availability, meaning that if one server in the cluster goes down, the others can pick up the slack. This way, your website will always be available to users, even if one of the servers experiences an issue.
  2. Load balancing
    As we mentioned earlier, load balancing is essential for ensuring that each server in the cluster gets the resources it needs. Look for a provider that offers an intelligent load-balancing solution that can automatically distribute traffic across the cluster based on server resources.
  3. Scalability
    Make sure the provider can easily scale your website as your traffic levels change. When it comes to nodes (servers), more is usually better. This way, you can be sure that your website will always have the resources it needs to function properly, even during spikes in traffic.
  4. Flexibility
    Look for a provider that offers both managed and unmanaged services so you can choose the level of support you need.
  5. Security
    Choose a provider that offers robust security features to protect your website from attacks.


If you’re seeking out a reputable hosting provider, you might want to check out ScalaHosting or Liquid Web – two of the most popular cluster solution companies. These companies tick all the boxes and ensure uptime for your business with pre-defined and custom plans.


We’ve written a full guide on the important features secure web hosts should offer.



Pros And Cons Of Clustered Hosting


Pros and cons of clustered hosting

Clustered hosting can improve the performance of your site.


Clustered hosting offers several advantages, including increased reliability, scalability, and performance. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. Below, we’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of clustered hosting so you can decide if it’s the right solution for your website.


Pros of clustered hosting


  • Increased reliability
    Since clustered hosting uses multiple servers, if one server goes down, the others can take over and keep your website up and running. This is in contrast to traditional hosting, where a single server crash can take your website offline.
  • Scalability
    Clustered hosting is highly scalable and can accommodate businesses that experience seasonal or promotional spikes in traffic.
  • Performance
    Clustered hosting can improve the performance of your website by distributing requests across multiple servers. This way, each website gets the resources it needs to function optimally.


Cons of clustered hosting


  • Increased costs
    On the other hand, this way of hosting is more expensive than traditional hosting because it requires multiple servers. It is a less affordable option for small businesses or those on a tight budget.
  • Complexity
    Clustered hosting can be complex to set up and manage. This is because it requires multiple servers that must be configured and maintained. As such, it’s best suited for businesses that have the resources to manage a clustered hosting environment.



Is Clustered Hosting Right For You?


Clustered hosting is a great option for businesses that require increased reliability, scalability, and performance. However, it’s important to keep in mind that clustered hosting is more expensive and complex to manage than traditional hosting. As such, it’s not right for everyone. Before deciding if clustered hosting is right for you, be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons.




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