Computer clusters are a way for companies to link many computers together, typically through a local area network, to generate the same processing power as a super computer, but with a lot cheaper price tag. With computers being such an integral part of business these days, paired with a poor economy and small IT budgets, computer clusters are a great way for businesses to get the processing power they need. There are several other benefits to using computer clusters.
As computer clusters have been developing and evolving, so has networking technology. And, as the technology has been getting better and better, the price has gone down. This makes the technology more affordable. Computer cluster technology involves using a single virtual local area network, which treats each computer as a node. Data is passed through the network, without any information bottlenecked between the computers or nodes.
Awesome Processing Power
The processing power of a high performance computer cluster is the same as a mainframe computer. With many computers in a cluster, the processing power may even exceed that of a mainframe.
Purchasing several good quality computers such as HP desktops at once, is less expensive than buying one supercomputer. The average PC today is a lot more powerful than the first mainframe computers. This means, companies can get the same or even greater processing power by using several desktop computers instead of a mainframe computer, and it is a lot cheaper.
Practically Fail Proof
When one computer in a cluster fails, those operations can simply go to another computer, which ensures there is no interruption in service. When a mainframe computer goes down, the entire system will stop working.
Many people feel that the best benefit of utilizing computer clusters is that they can be expanded easily by adding additional computers to the network. A mainframe computer has a fixed capacity and will only be able to handle so much power at a time.