The “Cloud” is just another word for timesharing and it has been around for decades. Even Larry Ellison of Oracle has said that many a time. Advertisers like to use new words to make their products sound more valuable whether they are or not. The “Cloud” is still just the same old web or internet to me. The first real time share I used was to use a typewriter terminal with an acoustic interface to connect using dialup with the credit bureau via the telephone line. This was long before the current networking we use now a days. Most all internet traffic was done via the phone line. Using the traditional telephone line for the internet nowadays would be a last resort setup. It is so much easier to do networking today.

Our goal in this project is to have what is called a high availability access to a web site such as the one you are reading now. That is two (or more) redundant servers (just like being twins) will be pushing the same content or web site to the network. If one of the servers goes down there would be no loss of service because the other server is still running. That means the web site is still available. We will be doing this with both a Debian based and then a Centos based distros. Two similar Dell computers will be the guinea-pigs. Doing this with software (aka licensing) from a certain proprietary companies would be cost prohibitive for us.

Now for the hardware setup. Each mirrored server will have two network interface cards (aka nics). One card will be for the public network traffic (what we can access) and the other card will be for the communication between the mirrored machines only (private network). A ethernet crossover cable will used to connect the two machines via the private network. The public network will be connected as normally for any system. That is two normal cables and 1 crossover cable.

As the systems are running we will physically disconnect each of the two normal cables one at a time to simulate a server failure. We will be using yet another computer to see if the web site is still accessible through all the wire changing. Almost like a Mythbusters experiment. Will it work? We love watching Mythbusters.

Server Diagram
We will be using this simple webpage as a test.

Which may eventually morph into this page.

Examples of an HAV setup how to’s:
How web servers work.

We still will recount our experience.

======================== In progress ==============================