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What are Clusters?

Clusters are a group of computers that work together on a common task which are made up of many computers that communicate over a network connection and work together on a project which might be too large for a single computer to solve in a reasonable amount of time.

Because of the increase of processing power availible with commodity processors, groups of AMD or Intel processors can have the same combined power as specialty high-performance processors.

Though there are many types of clusters, generally the computational cluster is the most common. Computational clusters are typically used to do calculations on a large amount of data.

Other types of clusters include database or failover clusters (High Availability Systems), server or render farms and legacy mainframe clusters.


Cluster systems are being used as high performance computational systems where supercomputers or mainframes have been used in the past.

Cluster systems have made significant contributions in the following industries:

  • Scientific Research and Defense
  • Energy and Seismic Processing
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Chemistry
  • Visual Effects / Entertainment
  • Internet / ISP / ASP

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