JBoss.org Community Documentation

16.1. Introduction

Clustering allows us to run an application on several parallel servers (a.k.a cluster nodes) while providing a single view to application clients. Load is distributed across different servers, and even if one or more of the servers fails, the application is still accessible via the surviving cluster nodes. Clustering is crucial for scalable enterprise applications, as you can improve performance by simply adding more nodes to the cluster. Clustering is crucial for highly available enterprise applications, as it is the clustering infrastructure that supports the redundancy needed for high availability.

The JBoss Application Server (AS) comes with clustering support out of the box. The simplest way to start a JBoss server cluster is to start several JBoss instances on the same local network, using the run -c all command for each instance. Those server instances, all started in the all configuration, detect each other and automatically form a cluster.

In the first section of this chapter, we discuss basic concepts behind JBoss's clustering services. It is important that you understand these concepts before reading the rest of the chapter. Clustering configurations for specific types of applications are covered after this section.