Cluster Computer (Here’s everything you need to know)

What do you mean by cluster computer?

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History of Computer Cluster:

Let’s take start from the history of the computer cluster, actually, there is not any specific time or date of the invention of computer clusters.
But it is said that during 1960’s, first cluster developed by a customer when he could not fit all his work in a single computer and felt that he needs a backup local area network (LAN) that helps computers in the clustering process.
So, the first Cluster was not developed by any scientist but a local customer who was not satisfied with his computer.

Formally computer cluster was invented in 1967 by Gene Amdahl of IBM.
Following is the list of different computers clusters
1. Burroughs Bs700 in the middle of 1960s was first production system designed as a cluster.
2. A commercial clustering in 1977 named as “Data point corporations.”
3. VAX cluster in the 1980s, the special feature of this clustering system was that it could support parallel computing method and it could also share file systems and some devices efficiently.

4. And finally, Tandem Himalayan was invented in 1994 which is also a commercial cluster

Definition of cluster computer:

Cluster computers are those computers in which two or more than two computers are joined or connected together to act as a single computer (operating system) are known as cluster computer. It can be as simple as two personal computers connected or high performance, fast, supercomputers.

Cluster computers are usually linked with each other through local area network(LAN). They are operated through a single operating system.

A computer network linked through LAN by the combining two or more computer networks to works in a single logical unit is known as Cluster computer.

The grouping of multiple computers to single computer to perform as one operating system is called cluster computer. Every single computer in clustering acts as a single.

By doing clustering computing the performance of the processing of computers or doing a specific task can be greatly improved. All the computers can process a specific task (divide on each computer) and it is controlled by software.

These clustering computers are mostly used by higher organizations and companies where they required high processing speed, for storing data with high speed and also used for data retrieval.

Purposes of clustering Computers: –

When a specific task is to be performed with high speed as quickly as possible.
Mostly in internet services providers (ISPS), e-commerce and other areas required clustering computers for the fast processing of task or data.
In short, this process is done for:

 Fast processing speed.
 Large storage capacity
 More reliability
 Better data integrity
 Better use of resources.

Types of computer cluster:

Different firms and organizations use different types of computer clusters to take benefits from it.
Following are some of the types of a computer cluster.

1. Load balancing clusters:

This type of clusters is used when we want to send request or data or resources between different nodes of clusters that are running the same program or have the same information or content.

This type of cluster can be combined with the technologies of (HAC) application and the performance of resources that are mostly used or developed for the web, mailing services.

Every node or the computer in this type of cluster can handle or accept requests for same resource or the application.
The load balancing cluster use different algorithms to respond to the requests coming to it like balancing between servers is done by some algorithm means when some clients make a request the whole process of choosing the server for client occurs transparently to the user if there is no loads balancing.

It improves the distribution of workloads across the cluster network. It consists of large number of nodes that share the load.
This cluster computers can be used for many purposes and can be configured as you want them to perform.
It can be used for general purpose business needs like web services support for specific purposes or to compute-intensive scientific calculations. For both, you have to use high availability clusters.

2.High availability cluster:
It requires at least two nodes. Group of hosts act as a single system and provide continuous uptime.
High availability clusters computers are used when you want the uninterrupted availability of data (means accessing of data) like web services and networks so that that data can be accessed or transferred correctly to the end user community.

In this type of cluster computer if a node or a computer fails the whole service of the system, then it can be restored to the normal processing without affecting the availability of data and accessing to the community.
It helps in avoiding every single point of failure.
But the missing strategy will slightly affect the performance of the system because of the missing computer.
High availability clusters are mostly used or implemented in Lacteal critical applications or database, emails, files, printing purposes, internet or web applications servers.

3.High-performance cluster
It was started in 1994 and assembled by Donald. It is an open source data-intensive computing system used in data collection, weather modeling etc.
It is also called DAS.
 Networking components
 Memory
 Processor
 Motherboards buses and other subsystems

Challenges of clustering:
Following issues in a cluster are to be monitored
1.cluster networking:
It means that the hardware and machines which is going to be mixed up for cluster should be of same nature else the cluster would be problematic.
Their timing, speed, software, hardware and other important components should be same.
2.cluster software
It means that every cluster system requires its own software. Different/ separate Softwares are used for separate clusters.
The timing of cluster means that machines and hardware should be same and reflect each other.
The machines should work in same time frame period with each other.
Every machine and hardware has its own type of speed requirements. In cluster different machines and hardware are connected with each other thus it is necessary to make the speed common in all clustering process.
Cluster classification:
Cluster can be classified into two types
1)open cluster:
In open cluster all the nodes are open, means that they are not hidden and can be seen very easily
They are very flexible to change.
2)close cluster:
It is almost opposite to the open cluster all nodes are hidden behind the gateway node.
They are hidden for high security.
Cluster management:
The following management must be done
1.Task scheduling
When a multi-user cluster wants to have access to its large amount of data, then task scheduling becomes a difficult task.
2)Node failure Management
In case of failure of a node in a cluster, strategies are used as a backup for it.
Message passing and communication:
We use two different types approaches for messaging and communication between the cluster nodes which are
• MPI ( message passing interface)
• PVM ( parallel virtual machine)
Advantages of clustering:
1)cost efficiency
It is cheaper and more reliable as compared to other networking processes. It means that this whole process saves time and money during its use. That’s why it is less expensive.
2)processing speed:
Combination of the high-speed computer provides more high speed to the users.
In this modern era of computer, the users love to have a smooth and constant speed that they should work with ease. This process of computer clustering makes the work easy for users by its processing speed.
This type of cluster is flexible means that changes may be made in it.
The change can be in its physical position, its type or in its hardware for its betterment.
Users mostly like to have flexibility in their work.
4)No risk of data loss:
By the failure of a single computer, there aren’t chances of loss of data .if one computer is failed in its work the remaining others still keep on processing.
So that’s why it is said that there is no risk, or this process is less risky as compared to other processes.
5)Highly standardized:
It means that after the combinations of computers system (computer cluster) they have become highly standardized.
Disadvantages of cluster computer:
This process of computer clustering is much more costly and hard to maintain.
Costly in the sense that sometimes two or more than two computers are connected with each other which required a large amount of money.
The cluster system is also difficult to maintain because this process involves many computers and a single mistake/fault in one computer can make problems in the whole network.
The whole programming is quite difficult.

Concluding it in short :
 Cluster computers are used in high profile work area.
 They are time saving and cheap.
 They are faster than the other systems providing better use of resources.
 New trends and advancement in technologies can make the computer clusters easier to use.
 Universities colleges can make their own clusters.

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