What is computer cluster?
A computer cluster is a single logical unit made up of multiple computers connected by a LAN. The networked computers essentially function as a single, much more powerful machine. A computer cluster offers much faster processing speed, greater storage capacity, better data integrity, higher reliability, and greater availability of resources.
However, computer clusters are much more expensive to implement and maintain. This results in a much higher running overhead compared to a single computer.
Many companies use computer clusters to maximize processing time, increase database storage, and implement faster data storage and retrieval techniques.
There are many types of computer clusters including:
Load balancing cluster
High availability cluster (HA)
High performance cluster (HP)
The main advantages of using computer clusters are obvious when an organization requires a lot of processing. In this way, computer clusters provide:
Cost Efficiency: The cluster technique is cost effective for the amount of power and processing speed that is generated. It's more efficient and a lot cheaper compared to other solutions like mainframe computers.
Processing speed: Multiple high-speed computers work together to provide consistent processing and therefore faster overall processing.
Improved network infrastructure: Various LAN topologies are implemented to form a computer cluster. These networks create a highly efficient and effective infrastructure that prevents bottlenecks.
Flexibility: Unlike mainframe computers, computer clusters can be upgraded to improve existing specifications or add additional components to the system.
High availability of resources: If a single component in a computer cluster fails, the other machines continue to ensure uninterrupted processing. This redundancy is missing in mainframe systems.