Difference between Clustering and Load Balancing?Information Assurance, Governance, Risk and Compliance

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Home Forums Information Assurance, Governance, Risk and Compliance Difference between Clustering and Load Balancing?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  gboye 3 years, 5 months ago.

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    Team- Could somebody please explain the difference between clustering and load balancing? Thanks.



    My understanding – please someone correct me if I am wrong (trying to answer sans Google):

    – Clustering is when you have multiple nodes working in unison to service requests. This provides such benefits as scalability (add nodes as volume increases), resilience (if one node fails, others carry on working seamlessly) and maximum uptime (for example you can take one node out, patch it or upgrade code, then put it back into production, with no downtime)
    – Load balancing is when you have two (or more) separate instances servicing requests, often (but not always) at different locations (such as production and DR sites). To the end user, they don’t know or care which one services their requests. The benefit is that you can make most effective use of HA or DR kit as it is not just sitting switched off or idle or the time, but servicing requests.




    Load balancing can be used on IIS servers to distribute the load whereas Clustering in used on SQL server, Windows Server so you host highly available VMs






    Nice information, thanks guys!




    From the explanations given of the difference between load balancing and clustering, there does not appear to be any difference between the two. At the end of the day you have HA with both options, they essentially are very similar.
    I think the major difference is in the setup. Clustering is achieved by using the functionality built into the OS, each machine in the cluster is aware of the other and continue to monitor one another. It also almost always includes load balancing through a load balancing policy.

    With load balancing, the servers are unaware of each other and it is achieved by a dedicated hardware such as the F5 load balancer etc or software dedicated strictly for the purpose .

    Here is a pretty basic article on the differences

    Clustering vs. Load Balancing – What is the difference?


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