A cluster computer is a network of computers that are attached to make smaller, less powerful operating systems and hard drives work together to create a powerful supercomputer environment. That’s a simple definition. Most people have no idea what a cluster computer is, and they use their imagination to define a super computer. If you’ve ever walked into that cluttered little room in the IT department and seen a cluster of computers all wired together, then you’ve seen a computer cluster. Now think about the internet. Conceptually and realistically, it is one huge cluster computer. Via a world wide web and internet addresses, we call all connect and create one big computing brain.
It’s probably more accurate to call the internet a cluster grid because much like the electric power grid, the computers are not in the same house. They are sharing an external infrastructure to achieve the same result. In the cluster computer arena, this result would be information. The internet certainly doesn’t help speed up your operating system or personal network the way a true cluster computer configuration does, but it does allow you to access information from someone else’s server very fast.
One of the most important components of a successful cluster grid or computer is that each machine has to be free of malicious software. If one machine is infected, then every machine in that cluster can be infected. The internet is the same way. Every time a virus is introduced, via a computer in the cluster, every other computer that accesses the information distributed by the infected machine is at risk. Needless to say, security is very important for your machine. Always keep your anti-virus up-to-date, and allow software updates whenever they are available. Sometimes those updates are trying to improve the overall cluster. If you use open source software, like Open Office, always allow the programmers access to your machine so that they can identify and correct any problems that you are experiencing. Your problem could be something that affects everyone on your grid.