ToolBarn is well balanced
Well, to make our servers even more balanced, we're going to move to load balancing our database servers and our Mini(s). Yes... load balancing replicated database servers isn't unusual. That's actually a lot of the reason that the load balancers have a second network interface. But mini-balancing?
Since Google has been generous enough to offer us some cash off of a second mini, we're going to go ahead and look at buying a second one to put behind the load balancers as well. Load balancing a couple of minis will do several nice things for us.
1) If a mini fails or needs rebooted, we will still have a functional site search.
2) We can use one primarily for searching ToolBarn and one primarily for searching ToolPartsDirect, making for more functionality for our users (we're currently only offering mini search on ToolBarn). That should be a good thing.
3) The newer ones are smaller, so it won't even take all that much space in our increasingly crowded cabinet.
4) By load balancing, we'll be able to handle more qps (queries per second) through inexpensive hardware. Hey... we're sounding more and more like Google every day!
I'm not sure how many people are load balancing minis, but I'm fairly excited about this possibility. The current one is handling things pretty well, but more servers is always MORE FUN - and planning now for future increases in capacity can pay off pretty big. Reactionary planning doesn't keep things running well. Preventative planning is what I get paid for.