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clustering and load balancing

 
Ranch Hand
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difference between clustering and load balancing?
 
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Like a lot of buzzwords, they can be vague and ambiguous. But clustering often refers to putting a bunch of machines together to solve one big computational problem all together, while load-balancing always means using a bunch of machines to parcel out a stream of individual jobs, each handled by only one machine. So if you have a parallel chemistry code that runs on a group of machines communicating via MPI or similar, then that's a cluster; if you've got a web site served by ten machines and a router that distributes requests to those machines randomly, then that's load balancing.
 
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clustering often refers to putting a bunch of machines together to solve one big computational problem all together, while load-balancing always means using a bunch of machines to parcel out a stream of individual jobs, each handled by only one machine.


Clustering implies that multiple servers can work together, typically for scalability and/or availability purposes. That "working together" implies that they have some knowledge of each other, as opposed to a "farm" of servers that are independent and need no knowledge of each other.
A load balancer takes incoming load and distributes it across a number of servers, for example a farm or a cluster.
Peace,
Cameron Purdy
Tangosol, Inc.
http://www.tangosol.com/coherence.jsp
 
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