What is Commodity Computing?
Commodity computing refers to the use of less expensive hardware assets to get more computing power. Instead of buying sophisticated supercomputers, companies that use commodity computing are pooling the processing power of a number of more conventional and cheaper computers, such as workstations, that the company already owns. This can help a company acquire more computing power at a significantly lower cost.
In many cases, the units for commodity computing are simple personal computers. These computers can run Microsoft Windows and often use Windows for a local network operating system. However, they can also run Linux and other open source operating systems. One of the advantages of commodity computing is that these collective systems can be compact and that companies can essentially reuse existing resources.
Over time, ideas about system maintenance have evolved around commodity computing setups. One of them is the mean time between failures (MTBF), which is the likelihood of a single element of the commodity computing facility failing over a period of time. If you want to combine the performance of many individual computers, you have to consider both the MTBF and the practical arrangement of these resources in a common hardware system.