Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Solaris

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Determining Scope

Once you have determined that your application can be made highly available using Sun Cluster, you should consider the scope of the project you want to attempt. The scope can vary widely depending on the requirements of your particular situation, and it can obviously affect the amount of time it will take to develop the agent and have the data service running successfully in the cluster.

The chief topics to consider when determining scope are:

  • Cluster awareness
  • Simple failover or scalable
  • Fault recovery
  • Complex monitoring
  • Enterprise architecture considerations

Cluster Awareness

Most applications that are made highly available in a Sun Cluster framework have no internal knowledge of the cluster framework or even if they are running in a cluster. For these applications, the agent consists of wrapper programs used by the cluster to control the starting and stopping of the application. The in-memory state of the application is unlikely to be communicated between cluster nodes or maintained across failovers to different nodes.

This sort of application could be termed cluster compatible, since they can run in the cluster environment (having satisfied the qualification requirements discussed earlier in this chapter), but they don't change their internal behavior. They are often reasonably easy to integrate into the Sun Cluster framework.

At the other end of the scale are cluster-aware applications. These applications actually communicate directly with the Sun Cluster framework and change their internal behavior based on the cluster state. Furthermore, these applications may run instances simultaneously on multiple nodes of the cluster and communicate among those instances to maintain in-memory state even in the event of a node failure. One example of this sort of application is the Oracle 9i Real Application Clusters (RAC) database server. It should be fairly obvious that this sort of application is usually quite complex and requires more complex handling to integrate it into the Sun Cluster environment.

For most projects, the application will be cluster compatible, but if you decide to make one of your own applications cluster aware, you should allow more time for the development effort. Cluster-aware applications are discussed in more detail in Chapter 13, "Developing Cluster-Aware Applications."

Failover or Scalable

The Sun Cluster 3 environment allows for two types of data service: failover and scalable. A failover service runs on one node in the cluster at any given time and if that node crashes the application will start on a different node. To clients of the failover service, the restart will appear as if the server rebooted very quickly, but there will still be some delay (however small) between when the service stops on the first node and restarts on the second node.

By contrast, a scalable service takes advantage of the global file service (GFS) and shared IP addresses to run an application on multiple nodes at the same time, providing extra processing power through horizontal scaling and load balancing. A scalable service can also provide much better availability than a normal failover service because even if one node fails the other nodes are still running the service and can often accept new connections immediately.

In general, if you can make your application into a scalable service, you can more fully exploit the capabilities of the Sun Cluster 3 system. However, failover services more easily fit a wider range of applications without resorting to application code changes.

Scalable services are covered in more detail in Chapter 11, "Writing Scalable Services."

Fault Recovery

When planning the scope of your data service project, you should consider the process of fault recovery, particularly when a cluster node fails.

If client applications do not retry connections to a failed service, then downtime can be extended beyond what is required by the cluster because end users will have to manually detect and recover from the failure. This should be identified during the initial phase of agent development, since it may affect the entire scope of the project.

If an application to be made highly available is itself dependent on the availability of some other service (for example, a database), then this must also be taken into account. In some cases, supporting programs must be developed to check for the availability of the service before the application is started. There may also be special requirements on the fault monitoring programs to take action (such as restarting the application) if the required service is itself failed over.

Complex Monitoring

Fault monitoring and the associated application management can be the most complex part of the entire agent design and development process. While there are usually only very few ways to start and stop an application, there are often countless ways to monitor its behavior or remedial action if required. Questions that you should ask when determining the scope of fault monitoring include:

  • Should we only check for node failure?
  • Should we check if the application has crashed?
  • Should we check if the application has hung?
  • Should we check if the application provides incorrect data?
  • How frequently should we check?
  • How many retries should we allow before taking action?
  • How do we detect failures outside the cluster environment?

This is where previous knowledge of an application is extremely useful, if not vital. It is also the area where the scope of the project can balloon enormously.

Enterprise Architecture

No cluster system exists in isolation, and external elements in your IT infrastructure may affect service availability, which would render pointless any work to make the application available. Before starting work on a data service agent, you should investigate your IT infrastructure to check that there are as few single points of failure as possible, including network access, power, and so forth. You should also consider software components in your infrastructure: for example, investigating whether using a transaction processing monitor (TP monitor) would assist in speeding client recovery times.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020