Chapter 11. Clustering

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2009-09-01 1

GNUFDL

Remo Suppi Boldrito

preface. preface

A computer cluster refers to a group of computers working closely together with a common aim. These computers consist of hardware, communication networks and software for working together as though they were all part of one single system. There are various reasons for which it would be desirable to set up these clusters, but one of the main ones is so as to be able to process information more efficiently and quicker, as though it were a single system. Generally, a cluster works on a local area network (LAN) and provides efficient communication, although the machines will be located close to each other physically. A bigger version of the concept is the grid, where the aim is the same, but it involves groups of computers connected to each other through a wide area network (WAN). Some programmers think of the grid as a cluster of clusters in a 'global' sense. Although the increasingly advanced technology and decreasing costs make it easier to set up these types of systems, the complexity and efforts required to use dozens or hundreds (or, in some cases, thousands) of computers are very great. However, the advantages in computing time mean that, despite this situation, these types of high performance computing (HPC) solutions are considered very attractive and are constantly developing. In this unit, we will show some of the most widely spread and used approaches. [Rad, Dieb, Prob, Prod, Proe, Gloa]

Example 11-1. Note

A cluster is a group of computers working closely together, often connected on a LAN.

Grids are groups of computers connected with wide area networks (WAN).

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