Benefits and Limitations of Clustering


Topic Last Modified: 2005-05-20

In general, Exchange clustering provides high availability by allowing your mission-critical applications to keep running in the event of a failure. Although clustering adds additional complexity to your messaging environment, it provides a number of advantages over using stand-alone (non-clustered) servers.

The following is a general summary of clustering benefits and limitations.

Clustering benefits

Clustering provides:

  • Reduced single points of failure through Exchange Virtual Server (EVS) failover functionality.

  • Ability to perform maintenance and upgrades with limited downtime.

  • Ability to easily scale up your cluster to a maximum of seven active EVSs.

Clustering limitations

Clustering does not provide protection from:

  • Shared storage failures.

  • Network service failures.

  • Operational errors.

  • Site disasters (unless a geographically dispersed clustering solution has been implemented).

For information about the fault tolerant benefits of clustering, see "Implementing a Server Clustering Solution" in System-Level Fault Tolerant Measures.