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High Availability for the LAMP Stack Course – Introduction

High Availability for the LAMP Stack Course – Introduction


One of the most common ways to deliver web applications is through the use of the LAMP stack. LAMP is an acronym that stands for Linux,
Apache, My SQL, and PHP. In this design, Linux is the operating system,
Apache is the web server, MySQL acts as the database, and PHP is used as the programming
language. This architecture can be used to host open-source
software applications or custom-written web apps. Popular websites like Facebook, Wikipedia,
and Yahoo use this design to serve millions of users worldwide. Open-source applications such as WordPress,
Drupal, Joomla, MediaWiki and SugarCRM also rely on the LAMP stack. Whether you are deploying or supporting a
custom-written application or using an open-source solution, you’ll want to employ an architecture
that maximizes the availability of that application, eliminates single points of failure, allows
you to scale without downtime and is relatively easy to implement and support. It’s better to take the time upfront to account
for the requirements and long term goals of the service you are implementing than it is
to make architectural decisions during an emergency situation like an unexpected surge
of traffic or an outage. During an emergency is not the best time to
be designing solutions. Each project may have varying requirements,
but in general, there are a few important point to at least consider. They are redundancy, scalability, performance
and manageability. Redundancy is how to tolerate failures. Scalability is how to serve an increasing
user base. Performance is how to ensure each user’s experience
is at or beyond an acceptable level. Having a redundant, scaleable, performance service means nothing if it’s unmanageable or unsupportable. Therefore, manageability is a key consideration. Who is going to implement the design? Who is going to support it? Is it feasible to scale in the manner laid
out in the design? Sometimes, more complex solutions can be rolled
out due to the lack of resources, such as available finances and specialized staff. Also, complex solutions that were designed
to decrease downtime can actually increase downtime due to the level of troubleshooting
required when something unexpected occurs. This course lays out a couple of designs that
address all those points. The designs proposed eliminate single points
of failure and can be scaled to serve an increasing number of users with acceptable performance. Designs will be presented that work on physical
hardware, virtual servers, and in the cloud. They are relatively simple design that meet
all these requirements, making them easy to implement, manage and support.

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