LinuxPlanet: Tolerating Fault in an Intolerant World
Dec 23, 2002, 19:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)
"High-availability computing is something else that clusters can
be used for. If you have a need for a lot of transaction-handling
that need 24/365 uptime, clusters are good because if one processor
fails, then the load will automatically be handled by the other
nodes until the faulty processor can be repaired.
"This sounds very good, and it is. But there are some challanges
to making this all work smoothly. For instance, not all software
can run on a cluster. It's not something that you just bring up on
the screen, type 'go,' and expect to take full advantage of the
parallelism that makes a cluster really shine. There is a
significant amount of work that needs to be done to re-tool an
application to run in a cluster.
"For high-performance work, this sort of thing is a necessary
evil. After all, you were likely going to have to port the
application to a new platform anyway, and porting to a clustered
Linux farm is still a lot easier than porting to a proprietary
"But to have to do this sort of work for a high-availability
cluster is a notion that one major computer manufacturer is
challanging. In fact, this company is turning the whole notion of
using clusters for high availabilty computing on its ear..."