Monday, January 3, 2011

Cluster Concepts


As Linux is used more widely for mission-critical applications, support for high availability through application failover is becoming more important. Improving Linux high availability involves employing both hardware and software technologies, including:

1. Server redundancy, including application failover and server clustering

2. Storage redundancy, including RAID and I/O multipathing

3. Network redundancy

4. Power system redundancy

These features provide away to achieve scalable performance and high availability at low cost. In this article, we focus on the open source Red Hat Cluster Manager Application failover software package, describing its basic principles and operations. In addition, we outline how increasing levels of availability (at increasing cost) can be achieved with Linux using Cluster Manager and related redundancy techniques.

High Performance Computing (HPC) has become easier, and two reasons are the adoption of open source software concepts and the introduction and refinement of clustering technology. This first of two clusters discusses the types of cluster available, uses for those clusters, reason clusters have become popular for HPC, some fundamentals of HPC, and the role of Linux in HPC.

Linux clustering is popular in many industries these days. With the advent of clustering technology and the growing acceptance of open source software, super computers can now be created for a fraction of the cost of traditional high-performance machines.

This two-part article introduces the concepts of High Performance Computing (HPC) with Linux cluster technology and shows you how to set up cluster and write parallel programs. This part introduces the different types of clusters, use of clusters, some fundamentals of HPC, the role of Linux and the reason for growth of clustering technology. Part two covers parallel algorithm, how to write parallel programs, how to set up clusters and cluster benchmarking.

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