All online businesses need to account for growth. As a business receives more visitors to its site, the underlying infrastructure needs to scale to provide the same level of performance that the visitors are accustomed to. Horizontal scaling, the addition of more servers rather than increasing the power of the existing servers, is an easy way to build our web servers’ ability to handle a more significant amount of traffic and protect us against hardware failure. Ensuring that the additional web servers have the same files and data is a potentially time-consuming and challenging task. Automating that task using free, open-source software, such as lsyncd, is a way to ensure that we have a safe, secure, and repeatable method of copying files from one server to another.
If you are a Windows administrator who has recently been tasked with administering a Linux-based Ubuntu server, you may find that utilizing Microsoft Powershell may help ease the transition into Linux, and allow you to be more productive. If you are a Linux administrator who is interested in exploring the options that Powershell provides, then this tutorial is for you as well.
Ansible is an IT automation tool intended to facilitate the management of remote servers. Ansible requires Python (version 2.7 or 3.5 and higher) to run. Ansible is run from a centralized control node and can manage any server accessible over SSH. Remote servers that are managed by Ansible are called managed nodes.
By default, Ansible communicates with managed nodes using OpenSSH. SSH is not the only communication mechanism Ansible supports. You can run tasks on the control server locally, in a docker container or even a Windows server. The control node will require Linux to run.
Load balancing and replicating multiple servers has a great array of benefits, though orchestrating and keeping them in sync can be very tricky. Here, we will walk through some of the load balancing options available, as well as setting up a very basic one-way replication sync between two or more servers behind a load balancer.