A Silicon Valley startup is offering load balancing for large websites looking to distribute traffic across a cluster of servers.
In collaboration with Microsoft, HolonTech has developed the 16-port, Hyper Extended Clustering Services (HyperECS) switch, that promises to manage traffic for Windows NT applications among multiple servers. The company said the switch works with the Microsoft Cluster Server service to allow up to 16 NT servers to work together, or up to 256 nodes in a cluster or clusters.
HyperECS acts as an external director for distributing resources among multiple Windows NT Servers. HolonTech embedded Microsoft's Quorum Resource Manager (QRM), a component of Microsoft's Cluster Service (MSCS), into HyperECS. By utilising QRM, the switch becomes the brains of a cluster and can monitor the availability of servers and applications, as well as detect and correct server failures.
The market for load balancers grew from zero to $150 million between 1996 and 1998, according to a recent report on the Internet Traffic Management market by Collaborative Research. And by 2002, Peter Christy, principal at Collaborative Research, predicts the load-balancing market will be worth $900 million.
"Assuming that what you are looking for from a load balancer is reliability, and that Web server software is what's causing the failure, it makes more intuitive sense to add a simple black box appliance that doesn't have a complex operating system, that doesn't have a disk, than to add software," Christy said.
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