The Sun Cluster system extends the Solaris Operating System into a cluster operating system. A cluster, or plex, is a collection of loosely coupled computing nodes that provides a single client view of network services or applications, including databases, web services, and file services.
Each cluster node is a standalone server that runs its own processes. These processes communicate with one another to form what looks like (to a network client) a single system that cooperatively provides applications, system resources, and data to users.
A cluster offers several advantages over traditional single-server systems. These advantages include support for failover and scalable services, capacity for modular growth, and low entry price compared to traditional hardware fault-tolerant systems.
The goals of the Sun Cluster system are:
Reduce or eliminate system downtime because of software or hardware failure
Ensure availability of data and applications to end users, regardless of the kind of failure that would normally take down a single-server system
Increase application throughput by enabling services to scale to additional processors by adding nodes to the cluster
Provide enhanced availability of the system by enabling you to perform maintenance without shutting down the entire cluster
For more information about fault tolerance and high availability, see Making Applications Highly Available With Sun Cluster in Sun Cluster Overview for Solaris OS.
Refer to High Availability FAQs for questions and answers on high availability.