January 22, 2017

Cold Fusion 4.5 for Linux: A Review - page 3

Addressing the Enterprise

  • November 14, 1999
  • By Kevin Reichard
Those who haven't followed the application-server market should know that, like Linux, Cold Fusion has been seeking respect in the enterprise world. With availability only on Windows NT, a commitment to a proprietary development language, and the lack of some sorely needed reliability features, Cold Fusion has seen a wide acceptance only in the midsized departmental level, where a small workgroup could easily set up and manage a single Cold Fusion server. That's why the popularity of Cold Fusion is somewhat misleading: without penetration into larger enterprises, Cold Fusion could potentially be ghettoized and eventually lose market share.

The process of tailoring Cold Fusion into a multitiered application server began before the release of 4.5. However, with the introduction of some new scalability and reliability features and the support for Linux (which is a much more stable server platform than Windows NT), Cold Fusion is ready for the enterprise. (By and large, the features listed here are available only in the Enterprise Edition.)

First off, Cold Fusion supports clustering on the Linux platform, something that Linux itself doesn�t do a particularly good job of. Cold Fusion 4.5 enables load balancing and failover with two components: ClusterCATS Server and ClusterCATS Explorer. Those from outside the enterprise or mission-critical-application worlds may not realize how significant these features are, particularly in a Linux environment. Load balancing is pretty much what the name implies: within a cluster of servers, the ClusterCATS server ensures that the workloads of the servers remain appoximately even, so that one server isn't totally overwhelmed while the others are underused. The load balancing in Cold Fusion isn�t among the most advanced, as it relies mainly on some rough calculations of server levels. Similarly, failover means that if a server or an application hangs or fails, then the sessions are switched to another server in the cluster while ClusterCATS attempts to recover the failed application server. (This can be done on Linux servers outside of a cluster as well.)

For the enterprise, the Cold Fusion load balancing can be enhanced on a network using Cisco Local Director software. Local Director provides advanced load clustering based on load metrics and application-server availability, so there's a much more sophisticated analysis of usage levels and a better response to any problems.

Cold Fusion 4.5 also enhances performance with a number of small steps which, when combined, should yield some verifiable results. For instance, client-side page caching improves site performance by keeping frequently accessed pages in RAM. Cold Fusion also reduces white space in pages, making them smaller and faster. Debugging system performance can be done via scriptable performance metrics during runtime, while also accessing debugging information on the performance of each individual page included in an application page.

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