Performance of N+1 Redundancy

How can you determine the performance impact on SLAs after an N+1 redundant hosting configuration fails over? This question came up during Dr. Neil Gunther’s Guerrilla Capacity Planning class. It can be addressed by referring to a multi-server queueing model.

N+1 = 4 Redundancy

We start by considering a small-N configuration of 4 hosts where the load is distributed equally to each of the hosts. The load distribution is assumed to be performed by some kind of load balancer. The idea of N+1 redundancy is that the load balancer ensures all 4 hosts are utilized. The common misconception is that none of the hosts should consume more than 75% of their available capacity. In other words, the total capacity is assumed to be 4×3/4=3 or 300% of the configuration, rather than 400%. When a host fails, its lost capacity is compensated by redistributing the load across the remaining 3 hosts.

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