Clusters For Dummies

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What is a cluster? Why do I need one? What are the important components? What questions should I ask?  These are just a few of the questions that are answered with clear and concise explanations for both the novice and experienced, in the book, Clusters FOR DUMMIES, which is now available. This guide follows the tremendously successful and well known FOR DUMMIES ® series of books.

This book is organized into a few, easy to read chapters. The short list of chapters are organized as:

  • What is a Cluster?
  • Building, Deploying and Managing a Cluster
  • The Cluster Experience
  • Ten (Or So) Things to Consider When Purchasing a Cluster

Clusters for DummiesWhat is a Cluster ? There are a number of reasons why a cluster will speed up technical computing. By combining nodes to solve a problem, better use of existing investments will be achieved. More control of workloads will also be realized through the use of job scheduling software. The Clusters FOR DUMMIES ebook explains, with examples, the many uses and why a cluster is a valuable addition to a high performance computing infrastructure.

Building, Deploying, and Managing a Cluster summarizes what are some of the important considerations when purchasing or using a cluster. The first is the determination of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and GPUs, racking considerations, interconnect (GigE or InfiniBand), network topology, and switches. In addition, the Operating System (OS), Cluster Management software and resource  management software such as IBM Platform Cluster Manager and IBM Platform HPC need to be investigated, chosen and implemented. A very important consideration when investigating a cluster purchase is what software can take advantage of such and architecture. Clusters FOR DUMMIES explains what to look for.

Examples of the use of clusters can best demonstrate the value in using a cluster for various applications. Clusters FOR DUMMIES includes case studies for:

  • HPC Wales
  • Virginia Technical Transportation Institute
  • Swift Engineering
  • University of East Anglia
  • National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC), Taiwan

The final chapter deals with a number of items to consider when considering a cluster purchase. Highlighting this are considerations about how big is the problem to be solved, virtualization or not, scaling the cluster in the future and doing more with less.

Clusters FOR DUMMIES is an excellent read for both experienced and novice administrators, users, purchasing departments, and developers who are considering purchasing or specifying a cluster.  Download it now !!


  1. sharan kalwani says

    When one tries to open the download, Adobe complains that the file is damaged and cannot be read