Using Multiple Servers

Most WebFaction accounts use a single server, where all of the account’s applications, databases, and files are stored and served from one web server. Under some situations, however, it may be beneficial to operate from two or more servers. This special topics guide describes when you might need an additional server, how to add one to your account, and how to put the additional server to work.

Choosing to Add a Server

There are two common reasons to add a server to your account: load balancing and consuming more memory than one web server can provide.

If your account is host to a high-load website, you may choose to add an additional server to your account. Rather than seeing your site slow down due to the bottleneck of a single web server, you can opt to spread the load across more than one machine. With an additional machine, you can use round-robin DNS load balancing: each incoming request is directed to one of your account’s web servers in turn. While it is not automatic failover or load-aware load balancing, this approach is simpler than many alternatives and often alleviates problems with high load websites.

On the other hand, if you account is host to many applications, you may find that you need more memory than a single server can provide. You can add an additional web server to your account to run more applications.

Adding an Additional Server

If you’ve decided you need an additional web server, you can request an additional plan on a different server through the control panel. You can add additional machines as needed under a single account; you do not need to start a new account to make use of more than one server.

To request an additional web server:

  1. Log in the to the WebFaction control panel.
  2. Click Account ‣ Add or remove plan. The Upgrade, Downgrade or change your services form appears.
  3. In the field, enter your request. For example, enter Please add a shared hosting plan on a different web server to this account.
  4. Submit your request. Click Request service change.

Our support team will respond to your upgrade request shortly. To see the additional service on your account once your upgrade request has been processed:

  1. Log in the to the WebFaction control panel.
  2. Click Account ‣ Services. The list of services associated with your account appears.

Once added, your additional plan appears in the list.

Configuring an Additional Server

Once you have an additional server provisioned to your account, you can immediately configure it for your use. The control panel displays the servers available to your account when creating applications, websites, and database; you will also have SSH access to the additional server.

Using an Additional Server for Load Balancing

To load balance a website across two or more servers, you must replicate the application(s) and website(s) records on the additional web server with the control panel:

  1. Create duplicates of the application(s) to migrate on the additional web server.

  2. Copy database records to the additional server.

    Note

    Database replication and synchronization is not provided.

  3. Create duplicates of the website records on the additional server.

Using an Additional Server to Host Additional Applications

To use your additional server to host additional applications:

  1. Create an application on the additional web server.
  2. Create a website record on the additional web server.