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Deciding between running standalone servers or a managed domain

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by , 04-27-2012 at 06:27 PM (982 Views)
Which use cases are appropriate for managed domain and which are appropriate for standalone servers? A managed domain is all about coordinated multi-server management -- with it JBoss AS 7 provides a central point through which users can manage multiple servers, with rich capabilities to keep those servers' configurations consistent and the ability to roll out configuration changes (including deployments) to the servers in a coordinated fashion.
It's important to understand that the choice between a managed domain and standalone servers is all about how your servers are managed, not what capabilities they have to service end user requests. This distinction is particularly important when it comes to high availability clusters. It's important to understand that HA functionality is orthogonal to running standalone servers or a managed domain. That is, a group of standalone servers can be configured to form an HA cluster. The domain and standalone modes determine how the servers are managed, not what capabilities they provide.
So, given all that:

  • A single server installation gains nothing from running in a managed domain, so running a standalone server is a better choice.
  • For multi-server production environments, the choice of running a managed domain versus standalone servers comes down to whether the user wants to use the centralized management capabilities a managed domain provides. Some enterprises have developed their own sophisticated multi-server management capabilities and are comfortable coordinating changes across a number of independent JBoss AS 7 instances. For these enterprises, a multi-server architecture comprised of individual standalone servers is a good option.
  • Running a standalone server is better suited for most development scenarios. Any individual server configuration that can be achieved in a managed domain can also be achieved in a standalone server, so even if the application being developed will eventually run in production on a managed domain installation, much (probably most) development can be done using a standalone server.
  • Running a managed domain mode can be helpful in some advanced development scenarios; i.e. those involving interaction between multiple JBoss AS 7 instances. Developers may find that setting up various servers as members of a domain is an efficient way to launch a multi-server cluster.

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