The recent advances in high-speed networks and improved microprocessor performance
are making clusters or networks of workstations an appealing vehicle for cost
effective parallel computing. Clusters built using commodity hardware and software
components are playing a major role in redefining the concept of supercomputing.
A cluster is a type of parallel or distributed processing system, which consists
of a collection of interconnected stand-alone computers cooperatively working
together as a single, integrated computing resource.
This cluster of computers shares common network characteristics like the same
namespace and it is available to other computers on the network as a single resource.
These computers are linked together using high-speed network interfaces between
themselves and the actual binding together of the all the individual computers
in the cluster is performed by the operating system and the software used.
It's a kind of high-performance massively parallel computer
built primarily out of commodity hardware components, running a free-software
operating system like Linux or Free BSD, interconnected by a private high-speed
High cost of 'traditional' High
Clustering using Commercial Off The Shelf
(COTS) is way cheaper than buying specialized machines for computing. Cluster
computing has emerged as a result of the convergence of several trends, including
the availability of inexpensive high performance microprocessors and high-speed
networks, and the development of standard software tools for high performance
need for High Performance Computing
power becomes available, applications which require enormous amount of processing,
like weather modeling are becoming more common place requiring the high performance
computing provided by Clusters.
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