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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Cluster Computing
3.
Types of Cluster Computing
4.
Key Points related to Cluster Computing
5.
FAQs
6.
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Cluster Computing

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Introduction

Let’s say you are working with a company in a position where you need to deal with a huge amount of data, but your system can’t support manipulating it. This is because your system configuration is not enough to make it. Thus you need to get a system with the highest configuration. In the time of evolving technology, it is much needed to improve our time and efficiency, etc., to improve things. Thus the concept of Cluster Computing was introduced, where two or more computers are connected to a network called ‘Node’ acts as a Virtual System with the combined efficiency of all connected computers. This concept is called Cluster Computing.

Cluster Computing

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Cluster Computing, the name itself suggests that a cluster of computers are used to compute things, right? Here two or more computers are connected to create a virtual network that uses all the performance of the connected computers. The connection will be done by using LAN. Here we used the word -> “Virtual system/ Virtual network”. This says that the virtual system acts like a single computer for performing the tasks.

Thus cluster computing will increase the scalability, availability, and performance in executing the tasks.
In the above diagram, we can see that the root node acts as a virtual system, and the other slave nodes are the systems that are connected to a network.

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Types of Cluster Computing

There are mainly four types of Cluster Computing. They are 

  1. Load Balancing Clusters.
  2. High Availability (HA) and Failover Clusters.
  3. HA & Load Balancing Clusters.
  4. Distributed & Parallel Processing Clusters.

1. Load Balancing Clusters:
                    This cluster computing method will help balance the tasks/load on each system connected to the network. The key feature we get through using this technique is “scalability”.

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This technique says that all the nodes in a cluster need to divide the available task in an equal share so that no single node gets too much of a burden. 
This type is generally seen in web-hosting environments. If one system or node fails to perform the task, then other systems will share the tasks equally.

2. High Availability(HA) and Failover Clusters:

Generally, cluster computing is designed to execute the tasks by using the combined computation power. What if any system fails to execute the task? Then the task that is declined by the failed node will be assigned to the highly available cluster/node, i.e., to the node which is free. 

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This will increase the process efficiency. Through this technique, systems/nodes can go with extended functionality and provides consistent computing services like business activities, complicated databases, customer services like e-websites, and network file distribution. 

3. HA and Load Balancing:

HA and Load Balancing is the combination of both HA and Load Balancing techniques, and here this combination will provide results with all the features that are available in both techniques. Scalability and Availability can be seen in this technique/type.

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The most common use-cases of this cluster computing technique are FTP servers, mail services, etc.

4. Distributed & Parallel Processing Clusters:

Here for a given task, the task will be divided and shared to all the nodes. Each node will perform the task parallelly. Thus this type of cluster computing will result in the features like “ Availability “, “ Performance “.

 

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This type of technique is generally used in stock market analysis, financial related tasks, etc, as these tasks will require a huge amount of processing power.

Key Points related to Cluster Computing

  • The computers that are to be connected to a network must have a similar kind of Operating System and Hardware.
  • Here, once the network is established, the network is only used for a specific task, but not a single node should be used for a different task.
  • The central cluster/root node maintains the scheduling of the tasks among the cluster.
  • It should always follow single-system functionality.

Read more, Spring Boot Architecture

FAQs

  1. What is cluster computing?
    Cluster Computing is the process of creating a virtual network with a tight/loose connection of computers used for performing a specific task. This process is implemented in several organizations to execute high-performance computing tasks.
  2. What is clustering, and why is it important?
    Clustering is the concept of combining/grouping a similar kinds of things into a single entity so that the cluster will have all the abilities that the connected/grouped nodes have. Thus, the concept of clustering is used in Computing to increase the system's scalability, availability, and performance.
  3. What are the advantages of Cluster Computing?
    Cluster Computing advantages are lined up as follows:
    Cost-Effectiveness, 
    Processing Speed, 
    Increased Resource Availability, and
    Efficient Flexibility.
  4. How can Scheduling of tasks be done?
    The tasks are scheduled by the central cluster or root node in cluster computing. It uses several algorithms such as round-robin, etc., for that.

Key Takeaways

Thanks for coming to this end. In this article, we have gone through the basics of cluster computing, how it is used, why it is used, the types of it, etc. In the upcoming articles, we will go through the in-depth content of cluster computing. Until then, keep exploring.

Recommended Reading:

Process Control Block in OS

To study more about computer networks, refer to disadvantages of computer network.

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