an LIC (Larg's Internet Cluster)

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LIC rack


An LIC (Larg's Internet Cluster) is a collection of computers that provide complex services to the Internet.

what it is

Every big business enterprise has its own cluster of computers providing Internet services. The high cost of building and maintaining an Internet cluster forces smaller organizations to outsource management of their Internet services.

The LIC is useful to any business enterprise on a budget. This type of cluster is built from commodity hardware and free software to keep the build price down. Maintenance of many LICs can be done from one central location, over the Internet. The price of the LIC is low but the price of ISP links are, unfortunately, still high.

The LIC includes many resilient features to keep the performance up and avoid service downtime. It is an HA (High Availability) architecture, designed to keep running practically non-stop. Computer maintenance does not affect customer service. A computer crash does not disrupt a customer session. A disk failure does not lose customer data.

The hardware of the LIC includes several computers. Three act as gatekeepers, attached to the Internet. Three computers behind the scenes provide the customer services. Many more computers can be added as demand increases. The LIC is full of commodity hardware: computers built from standardised cheap components. The LIC contains many computers, which is good for distributed computing like SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), These are not very powerful, which is bad for virtual machines like VMware and Java.

The software of the LIC is open source. This type of software is more suited to back-office systems than to front-office. They tend to be strong on capability and weak on usability.

A cluster of computers is usually located in a secure air conditioned room in a data center. My test LIC is located in my shed.