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From "Eickvonder Bjoern" <>
Subject Where should I store my static content in a clustered environment
Date Wed, 23 Nov 2005 09:23:13 GMT

lets start with describing my current task where I would appreciate any
advice from you.
I have to construct a clustered system (with lots of webservers) that
has few dynamic pages but a lot of static ones, whereby all resources
have to be protected by security-constraints of a webapp (so letting
Apache deliver this content won't work). Moreover there should be the
possibility to upload/delete static components via a web form. My main
problem is now where should I store the static data (mainly html pages,
images, ...; but over 4 GB(!) large in total)?

As far as now I'm considering the following solutions:

1.) Storing the content within the webapp of each webserver. This would
include that the servers know each other as the upload/delete operations
must be propagated from one server to all the others. Moreover the
update of the dynamic parts would not be as easy any more as just
uploading a new war-file as this requires deleting the old webapp
directory (that contains the content is this case as well).

2.) Storing the content in a separate directory but still on each
webserver. This would still include that servers must know each other,
but updating the dynamic part would be easier. The downside is that I
would have to write a servlet that delivers all static content with all
the problems of mime-types, character encoding and so on which I would
have to handle myself.

3.) Storing the content in a database on a separate server. The
advantage would be that webservers only need to know their database
server and updating the webapps would be easy (just uploading new
war-files). The downside here is that I need a servlet too and I think
it's maybe not the fastest solution as all requests of all servers to
each single chuck of static content would require a connection to the
database server.

4.) As 3.) but storing data on a single separate server in the
filesystem. The advantages/disadvantages should be similar to 3.)
whereby I do not know which solution might be faster.

5.) As 3.)/4.) but additionally implementing a caching-mechanism on the
webservers. This means if a webserver gets a request for a specific page
for the first time he connects the database server to retrieve that
page, then stores it in its webapp directory and then let tomcat deliver
that page. On the second request it is just checked if that page is
already there and if so it is delivered directly. Of course I must
implement some mechanism such that the webservers get to know if their
cached data is outdated but so far this seems to me the best solution.

Anyone ever faced this kind of problem? Any kind of remark to my
possible solutions or any other possibilities you might know of are

Thanks you in advance for your help.



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