What is a cluster? Why is it useful for companies?

Learning about clusters can help provide useful perspectives for the development of efficient strategies in your company, because this technique allows the integration of different machines, which will work together to achieve a common goal.

This technology can increase the efficiency of several processes, improve productivity, automate tasks, among other functions across an organization. Therefore, learning about technological tools and techniques to optimize these tools can transform the management of a business.

In this article, you’ll see what a cluster is and how it can help your company!

What is a cluster?

Cluster means a group or collection of items. In technology, it refers to a group of connected computers that perform or improve one or more tasks. This technique seeks to increase the performance of systems, conducting different activities simultaneously.

In this context, every machine in a network is called a node. A cluster can have several nodes, but the exact number of nodes and type of connection depends on the goals set by a company.

In a cluster, all computers act as one. This way, it is possible to build a single network and manage it with more powerful processing and performance.

When were clusters created?

Clusters were first used in 1960 at the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). The idea came from the need to increase the processing efficiency of machines in the organization.

Over the years, this strategy has improved with the support of technological resources. Today a cluster is used with several new technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and hyperconnectivity.

Functions of a cluster

The main function of a cluster, as seen above, is to improve the performance of a system that has several computers operating simultaneously. However, this is not the only advantage of this technique.

In addition to offering a better processing efficiency, clusters tend to offer a lower cost than more powerful equipment with advanced hardware, like supercomputers. Usually, common computers can be used to successfully create a network. This way, the same tasks can be performed and goals can be achieved without large investments.


One main advantage of clusters is their broad applications. In IT, they are often used to increase database processing or accelerate the development of dense systems, such as games. In design, for example, clusters can improve the performance of image rendering software solutions.

In the corporate environment, clusters can be used in different sectors, such as health care, agribusiness, robotics, and service center. The implementation of this strategy depends on the company’s goals, but it will certainly add value to a brand due to its robust support to innovation, digitalization, and market competition.

Physical versus virtual cluster

Clusters can be part of physical networks (through hardware integration) or virtual networks (by virtually linking software solutions).

A physical cluster requires a large physical area in order to connect different machines through cables and other accessories, ensuring equipment integration, although it involves high costs with site and peripheral equipment.

A virtual cluster doesn’t have physical requirements. It uses an online network, making the process more dynamic and equally efficient. One disadvantage is that integration failures may take a longer time to resolve in some cases.

Categories of cluster

In addition to physical and virtual clusters, they have different categories, whose main characteristics are discussed below.

Failover or High Availability Computing Cluster

It ensures continuous network activity. In this system, one machine supports the other, even in case of failures, in order to keep the network in operation.

Load Balancing

This tool spreads workloads evenly across nodes and can remodel itself if any failure happens in the structure. That is, in case of power outage or machine shutdown, the other connected computers are arranged to take over the tasks of the inoperative node.

High-Performance Computing Cluster

A high-performance computing cluster performs tasks that demand high performance. Then, it is part of an optimized network to achieve maximum performance in terms of speed and storage capacity.

Parallel processing

A parallel processing cluster divides a complex task into several simple activities. This way, each node fulfills one demand, acting in coordination with the network.

As seen above, learning about clusters can help a company set integration and process optimization strategies. In addition, cluster applications are varied and can bring benefits to different areas of activity. Therefore, it’s a resource for managers who seek innovative and promising tools.

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