Protecting business uptime is an important challenge to many businesses. In some cases businesses try to have a Web site available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If they can’t deliver a Web site that’s highly responsive and always available, customers will find companies that can. Keeping a system up at all times is a high priority, especially in cases involving high financial stakes. To provide an infrastructure that meets these requirements, the system architect must design a platform that’s available, reliable, and scalable. The platform should also provide ease of implementation, interoperability, and a short turnaround time to market. The front-end systems, back-end systems, and the networking infrastructure should work in conjunction with one another to provide high-performing, reliable, and scalable Web sites to online customers. This chapter introduces many of the concepts essential to the design of highly available Web sites. Additionally, this chapter provides information about designing these sites and determining an appropriate method of ensuring high availability. Many of the concepts introduced here are discussed in more detail in subsequent chapters. The information is presented here in order to provide a cohesive introduction to designing highly available Web solutions.
To complete the lessons in this chapter, you must have