Whiteboard Wednesday Episode 21 : What is a cluster?
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What is a cluster? It is several machines acting as one big machine. So just by means of example, let’s say that you had some app in your business and that was delivering a critical service to your customers. You could have one piece of hardware underneath this app but what you can do with the cluster is you can say I’m going to create a machine that’s made up of three machines, I’m going to cluster them, so they act as one machine delivering this service to customers.
The benefit of this is like a plane with several engines, I’m sure you’ve heard the term that you can remove one engine and the plane can still land safely. The same is true with clustering, I could take out one and I could have a critical failure with that third machine, but the cluster will look after the app and the service is delivered to your customer. So, it’s about availability and resilience in computing.
Now, why do we need to know about these three devices in the cluster from an asset management point of view, because if you’re doing a sweep of your network or if you’re doing inventory and discovery what’s on your network, if you’re not familiar that you’re using clusters, these might just appear as three machines with databases and applications on it, which would be radically different for how a cluster is priced. You need to be aware of the nodes, as they are called, within a cluster.