The desire to get more computing power and better reliability by orchestrating a number of low cost commercial off the shelf computers has given rise to a variety of architectures and configurations.
The computer clustering approach usually (but not always) connects a number of readily available computing nodes (e.g. personal computers used as servers) via a fast local area network. The activities of the computing nodes are orchestrated by "clustering middleware", a software layer that sits atop the nodes and allows the users to treat the cluster as by and large one cohesive computing unit, e.g. via a single system image concept.
Computer clustering relies on a centralized management approach which makes the nodes available as orchestrated shared servers. It is distinct from other approaches such as peer to peer or grid computing which also use many nodes, but with a far more distributed nature.
A computer cluster may be a simple two-node system which just connects two personal computers, or may be a very fast supercomputer. A basic approach to building a cluster is that of a Beowulf cluster which may be built with a few personal computers to produce a cost-effective alternative to traditional high performance computing. Although a cluster may consist of just a few personal computers connected by a simple network, the cluster architecture may also be used to achieve very high levels of performance. Computer clusters may be configured for different purposes ranging from general purpose business needs such as web-service support, to computation-intensive scientific calculations. In either case, the cluster may use a high availability approach. Note that the attributes described below are not exclusive and a "computer cluster" may also use a high-availability approach, etc.
"Load balancing" clusters are configurations in which cluster-nodes share computational workload to provide better overall performance. For example, a web server cluster may assign different queries to different nodes, so the overall response time will be optimized. However, approaches to load-balancing may significantly differ among applications, e.g. a high-performance cluster used for scientific computations would balance load with different algorithms from a web-server cluster which may just use a simple round robin method by assigning each new request to a different node. Computer clusters are used for computation-intensive purposes, rather than handling IO-oriented operations such as web service or databases.For instance, a computer cluster might support computational simulation of vehicle crashes or weather. Very tightly coupled computer clusters are designed for work that may approach "supercomputing".
"High availability clusters" (also known as failover clusters, or HA clusters) improve the availability of the cluster approach. They operate by having redundant nodes, which are then used to provide service when system components fail. HA cluster implementations attempt to use redundancy of cluster components to eliminate single points of failure. There are commercial implementations of High-Availability clusters for many operating systems.
Design Assistance – Our sales engineers will work closely with you to understand your specific needs and desires while presenting the different options and their trade-offs, resulting in the optimal cost-effective high performance computing solution design for you.
Custom Built – Like most HPC makers Veloxstreams offers a standardized build and package selection that follows HPC best practices. However, unlike some other HPC Veloxstreams, we also offer you the opportunity to customize your cluster hardware and software, with options and capabilities tuned to your specific needs and your environment.
Turn-Key – Aspen normally ships clusters to our customers as complete turn-key solutions, including full remote testing by you before the cluster is shipped. Often, all a customer will need to do is unpack the racks, roll them into place, connect power and networking, and begin computing. Of course our involvement doesn’t end when the system is delivered.
Expertise – With many years of experience in the high-performance computing industry, Veloxstreams is uniquely qualified to provide unparalleled systems, infrastructure, and management support tailored to your unique needs. Veloxstreams can handle all aspects of your HPC needs, including facility design or upgrades, supplemental cooling , power management, remote access solutions, software optimization and many additional managed services .
Superior Service – Veloxstreams offers industry leading support options. Our Standard Service package is free of charge to every customer, and we offer additional support packages, such as our future proofing service or our fully managed Total Service package , along with many additional Add-on services too!. With our On-site services, Veloxstreams can come to you to fully integrate your new cluster into your existing infrastructure or perform other upgrades and changes you require. We also offer standard and custom Training packages for your administrators and your end users , or even informal customized one on one assistance.
HPC CLUSTER OPTIONS
Veloxstreams systems can customize a turn-key HPC cluster to your exact needs. Here are some of the more popular HPC clusters that we offer: x86/x86-64 Clusters
Commodity x86/x86-64 clusters provide the most flexibility, significant cost/performance benefits, the best balance between computational load and memory bandwidth, and do not require as large of a degree of code optimization as some other architectures. Most parallel applications available today are ported to commodity clusters and it’s very likely your application will run well on one.
GPU COMPUTING CLUSTER
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) Computing Clusters are x86/x86_64 systems that are configured with Graphics Processing Units. This type of cluster utilizes the massive floating point computational power of a modern GPU to perform general purpose computing instead of simply rendering graphics.
INTEL CLUSTER READY CLUSTERS
The Intel® Cluster Ready program makes it easier to capitalize on high-performance computing (HPC). Choose certified Intel Cluster Ready systems and registered applications, and be confident your cluster will work as it should, right away. Select a cluster powered by the new Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 series and experience breakthrough intelligent performance and dramatic improvements for data-intensive applications. Start solving new problems sooner and decrease total cost of ownership.
Visualization clusters are x86/x86_64 systems that are configured with Graphics Processing Units just as GPGPU clusters are. Instead of using the installed GPUs for floating point calculations for a specific model, each GPU is used to perform graphics processing. Some rendering and visualization applications tile visualization jobs, so each GPU renders a portion of the output, while others time or frame slice the problem in order to generate the final product.