The K2 server can be configured to run across a cluster of computers thus providing higher performance and a higher degree of reliability. The clustering is accomplished by using a federated Trading Service, Fault Tolerance and Management System. The federation of these modules is organised in a non-hierarchical way i.e. all the federated parts are equally constituted. This architecture ensures that there is no single point of failure and no overhead in maintaining the hierarchy.

A client accesses the cluster through the federated Trading Service. The federated Trading Service runs in as many instances as there are nodes, but every of those instances contains the complete offer information of all the nodes of the cluster. The client can go to any of these Traders to request a service. The Trader will respond with an offer that is chosen out of the complete cluster. This architecture not only improves the performance in terms of how many services requests can be served in a certain amount of time but also the number of clients that can be served truly simultaneously as there are multiple initial entry points into the system.

The communication that is used to build up the cluster is based on a Reliable IP Multicast Protocol that works within a LAN segment. The IP multicast makes the inter-federation communication in the order of magnitude more efficient than a replicated point to point communication. Moreover this technology ensures that there are no scaling up limitations for the cluster because of the inter-federation communication. The costs for the communication ranging from 2 to 256 nodes within a LAN segment are equally expensive.


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