IT or information technology departments are constantly looking for ways to make their computers produce the maximum processing power. Usually the departments are working under limited or restricted budgets. However, many companies are asking that these departments provide large amounts of this processing power to meet their needs in terms of applications, knowledge management, databases and more.
Business process such as database management rely heavily on IT resources for daily computing processes, but as was stated the budgets of these IT departments are usually not large enough to keep up with their company’s demand for more and greater computing power.
A great number of the major business enterprises today actually would require the processing and computing power of a supercomputer. However, very few of the companies have a super-sized budget for such computers.
Because of this need for processing power on one hand and the budge constraints on the other, many companies and their IT departments are turning to computer clusters. Computer clusters are networks of cheap, yet very high-powered desktop computers.
There are many different types of computer clusters such as high-availability clusters, load-balancing clusters and high-performance clusters. Each of these different types of clusters has different designs and configurations for different computing scenarios.
The benefits of computer clusters include:
–Higher processing power. These clusters can be more cost-effective than a mainframe, providing a higher return on investment.
–Network technology improvement. In addition to the reduction in cost, these clusters are driving the implementation of new and improved networking technology.
–Scalability is probably the biggest advantage to these computer clusters. These clusters can be expanded very quickly, while traditional mainframes cannot with out greater expense.
–Reliability. The entire computing system with in a department or company will go down if the mainframe computer fails. However, with clusters a node or single computer can fail and the system can continue by transferring services to another node.