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Definition: The word "cluster" is used broadly in computer networking to refer to a number of different implementations of shared computing resources. Typically, a cluster integrates the resources of two or more computing devices (that could otherwise function separately) together for some common purpose.

 Related Terms

A Web server farm (a collection of networked Web servers, each with access to content on the same site) function as a cluster conceptually. However, purists may debate the classification of a server farm as a cluster, depending on the details of the hardware and software configuration. It is important to recognize that network clustering involves a long past history of research and development with many offshoots and variations.

Also Known As: Farm, Network of Workstations (NOW), distributed system, parallel system

Related Resources:

Topics in Clustering: Architectures
Network clusters come in three basic flavors -- shared-disk, shared-nothing, and mirrored-disk. This article compares and contrasts these options.

Clustering Directory
These online resoures cover the topic of network clustering -- particularly its goals and advantages over alternative technologies.

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