Donald K. Burleson
Oracle RAC Tips
Factors Supporting the Wide Usage of Clusters
Some of the factors for why clusters have become an important constituent
in present day information technology are:
- Inexpensive, mass-market microprocessors and workstations have combined
to form super computing facilities. Even the power of individual
workstations is dramatically increasing with better processors.
- Workstations and PCs are easy to assemble, integrate, and manage. They
are cheap and readily available. They easily join the existing networks.
- The 1990s saw a sudden spurt in standard high-speed communication
technology. The Introduction of such standardized communication facilities
such as Fiber Channel, ATM, SCI, and switched Gigabit Ethernet have raised
bandwidth from 10 Mb/sec to hundreds of Mb/sec. Decreased latency and
increased bandwidth have removed the communication bottlenecks between the
- Standardization of software tools like TCP/IP helped indirectly to
create cluster software. Cluster software began to exploit the new network
technologies and protocols as they were implemented.
- The rise in mass market, high availability E-business and
internet-based computing has become the way to go. High availability and
scalability of computer systems is one of the main requirements for the
modern business. Clusters are well positioned to answer these needs and
- Clusters can be grown easily. If the workload increases, it is simple
to add a node.
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