Cluster: learn about the main characteristics of this system

The technological advances of recent decades are simply impressive. We went from the time when gigantic machines were needed to process very little data, to small computers, which contain the entire world, capable of processing a large number of information and which can be carried in your pocket, as is the case with cell phones.

Still, processing certain tasks, especially when we are talking about high technology, can be quite complicated. It was with this in mind that the International Business Machines Corporation, or simply IBM , developed the initial idea of ​​what we call a cluster in the 1960s.

The objective at that time was to interconnect large mainframes , which are basically gigantic computers designed to process an enormous volume of information.

Currently, with the main advances of recent times , clusters have evolved and are used in different ways for different objectives. Let’s understand what a cluster actually is, what the types are, how they work and some examples. Check out!

What is a Cluster?

A Cluster is not software, nor any specific computer or even an operating system. It is nothing more than a concept that has its origins in the English language and that means to cluster or group.

But what does this mean in the world of computing? The idea is used to refer to the union of two or more computers with the aim of transforming them into one, making them work on processing a more complex task in a unified and simultaneous way.

This union aims to improve processing efficiency when executing a given action. Each computer in this cluster is called a “node” or “node” and there is no limit to the number of nodes in a cluster.

The software that controls the cluster manages all computers integrated into the network. For this to be efficient, all machines must have the same operating system, but they do not need to be exactly the same.

What are the main types of Cluster?

Currently, different types of clusters are available. Each one has its specific function and is used for a specific demand. Check out the main ones:

High performance cluster

This type of pooling is used for processing a large number of gigaflops, which basically refers to the number of floating operations per second.

Activities that require the analysis of a huge amount of data use this type so that this can be done in an adequate time.

High Availability Cluster

It guarantees constant operation of a network, keeping it always online. The intention is to maintain the service uninterruptedly and, even if a node has problems, another node will replace the defective one.

Obviously at some point the service may decline due to various factors, but currently efficiencies of this type are around 99.9%. File servers use this type.

Cluster for load balancing

Also called load balancing , processing tasks are divided evenly. If a node presents any type of problem, it will be removed from the network and the task processing will be distributed equally to all remaining nodes.

Precise and constant monitoring is required here. After all, it is necessary to detect overloaded nodes or those that are being required less than the others to keep everything as harmonious as possible.

Parallel Processing Cluster

This type of Cluster breaks down a very complex task into smaller, simpler tasks, distributing them to nodes that are interconnected in the network.

Physical and virtual cluster

The names are very suggestive. Physical clusters are those carried out by machines in person. Virtual ones can be done through an online network.

Virtual ones are much more dynamic, as there is no need to physically remove the equipment. But it can also be much more complicated to maintain, as it is necessary to keep the network constantly online.

What are the advantages of a Cluster

The big advantage is that you don’t need a super powerful computer. The groupings are made precisely to facilitate processing, thus the cost is very reduced.

As there is no need to maintain a high hardware standard , maintenance becomes much easier. This is also due to the greater simplicity of the machines.

Another good advantage is that as the computers do not necessarily need to be the same, therefore, there are no major limitations when creating a grouping.

Another important point is the flexibility that this system allows, as it is possible to exchange, insert or remove nodes at any time.


After all this information, we hope you have a good understanding of what a cluster actually is and how it works. Purchasing this system can have a positive impact on your company’s numbers.

It is worth mentioning that there is no best cluster type, there is the most suitable one for each need. Each one has its own functionalities. They can and should be used in combination so that a given demand is met more efficiently.

To manage the entire cluster, you will need a cluster management tool. There are several available on the market, each with its own specificities. Always choose the one that best suits your company’s needs and make the most of the great processing technological advances that clusters are.

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