Management & Control Services Help Management & Control Services Help

Overview of MCS Server Clustering

Management & Control Services (MCS) can be installed on a single server, or it can be installed on multiple servers across your network, creating what is referred to as a server cluster. Servers in the cluster are listed in the left pane of the MCS window under Server Management.

Installing an MCS server cluster, rather than just a standalone MCS server, provides server scalability, failover protection, and the capability to provide load balancing. Load balancing requires additional third-party network hardware or software.

Benefits of server clustering include:

Caution All servers in your cluster must run on the same Web application server and under the same operating system. In addition, you must specify the same configuration options (for example, port numbers) for each server installation and you must install the same MCS management components on all servers in the cluster.

The Role of the Primary Server

To create a server cluster, you install two or more MCS servers. You can make the servers part of a cluster either at the time of installation, or later, through the MCS console.

One of the servers in your cluster acts as the primary server. All configuration changes take place through the cluster's primary server. Configuration data, event log files, and trace log files are dynamically replicated across all servers in the cluster, ensuring that all active servers have access to the latest data. Although you can access the MCS console from another server in the cluster just as you do from the primary server, the console request is automatically redirected to the primary server. If the primary server ever goes off-line, the server with next highest priority in the cluster takes over primary server responsibilities.

You can use the MCS console to find out which server is currently acting as the primary server, and to change the priority of servers in the cluster to reassign primary server responsibilities to a different server.

Servers in a cluster should be started one at a time. When it is started, each server gets the most up-to-date data from the primary server.

The Role of MCS Agents

Products and components (clients) that implement the MCS service agent use the agent to communicate with MCS and make use of its management services. The agent is installed at the same time as the client itself is installed, if an agent does not already exist on the client computer. Otherwise, the existing agent is detected during client installation and is used. The agent communicates with MCS through the primary server in the cluster. If the primary server goes down, the agent finds the server with the next highest priority in the cluster and directs future communication through it.

An MCS server cluster is illustrated below.

MCS Server Cluster

Managing MCS Servers and Clusters

When you install an MCS server or an MCS-compatible product (one that includes an MCS agent), the server or product registers itself with your MCS cluster, which allows it to be managed by MCS. Once a product or server is registered with MCS, you can use MCS to view information about that server and remotely configure a number of options on that server.

Related Topics
Bullet Data Replication and Failover Protection
Bullet Manually Adding a Server to a Cluster
Bullet Removing a Server from a Cluster
Bullet Changing the Priority of a Clustered Server
Bullet Renaming a Server Cluster
Bullet Adding an Agent Cluster
Bullet Overview of Management & Control Services
  Attachmate