Moving up to a high performance computing cluster offers a business, organization, educational institute, research facility, banking or financial institute or any government offices and agencies the opportunity to take full advantage of the computing potential throughout their network.
There are several different options and configurations possible with a high performance computing cluster which can be customized to the needs of the specific client. In this type of system, regardless of the specifics of the configuration, the computers are grouped together to act as a single unit, not as separate computers all carrying out unique and individual tasks. With each node of the system containing the same software and working on the same schedule the load of work is evenly distributed, resulting in extremely high efficiency even with large amounts of data and processing needs.
There are standard components with any high performance computing cluster. The individual nodes, or computers, will all utilize the same types of software and operating systems, and they will also have the same hardware. This ensures full compatibility within the system. There are also options to use different types of operating systems and different hardware, but this has to be configured specifical to the individual cluster.
In addition, the nodes are connected through a high speed or fast LAN (local area network). This allows transmission of data rapidly between the nodes through the use of different options in cabling. The type of cables used will be dependent on several factoring including the distance between nodes and the general setup of the high performance computing cluster.
One of the biggest advantages to a high performance computing cluster, aside from the increase in productivity and speed in processing, is the ability to continue to scale up the system as there is an increasing demand for data processing.
The systems will use specialized clustering hardware, also known as clustering middleware, that allows the control of all computers as one rather than as individual devices.
Through the effective linking of computers in a high performance computing cluster it is possible to create the equivalent of a supercomputer at a very low price and cost to maintain. It is also possible to have several clusters for one facility, particularly for education and research, allowing each cluster to process different data.