Introduction: Application servers

Application servers provide the core functionality of the WAS product family. Application servers extend the ability of a web server to handle Web application requests, and much more. An application server enables a server to generate a dynamic, customized response to a client request.

Workload management optimizes the distribution of client processing tasks. Incoming work requests are distributed to the application servers that can most effectively process the requests. Workload management also provides failover when servers are not available, improving application availability.

Clusters are sets of application servers managed together and participate in workload management. The servers that are members of a cluster can be on different host machines, as opposed to the servers that are part of the same node and must be located on the same host machine.