WebSphere Process Server (WPS) consists of 3 key functional components – User Applications, Messaging Infrastructure and CEI (Common Event Infrastructure) support Infrastructure. WebSphere Process Server can be deployed in various topologies depending on how heavily each of these infrastructure components are used. Popularly called as “bronze”, “silver” and “gold” topologies address these different usage requirements.
“Bronze” or Single Cluster topology is used when WPS is deployed with all the 3 infrastructure in a single cluster
“Silver” or Remote Messaging topology is used where user application and CEI share a single cluster and messaging infrastructure is deployed in it’s own cluster. This is the best option when CEI infrastructure is not used heavily
“Gold” or Remote Messaging and Remote Support topology is used when each of the 3 functional infrastructural pieces of WPS has it’s own cluster.
For a very informative article refer to the following developer Works article: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/websphere/library/techarticles/0803_chilanti/0803_chilanti.html
WPS InfoCenter document also provides additional information on these depoloyement topologies: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/dmndhelp/v6r2mx/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.websphere.wps.620.doc/doc/ctut_buildingclusteredtopologies.html