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What is a cluster?

Whiteboard Wednesday Episode 21 : What is a cluster?

Whiteboard Wednesday is me, a whiteboard and learning about all things IT Asset Management (ITAM), every Wednesday!

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What is a cluster? It is several machines acting as one big machine. So just by means of example, let’s say that you had some app in your business and that was delivering a critical service to your customers. You could have one piece of hardware underneath this app but what you can do with the cluster is you can say I’m going to create a machine that’s made up of three machines, I’m going to cluster them, so they act as one machine delivering this service to customers.  

How clustering works?

The benefit of this is like a plane with several engines, I’m sure you’ve heard the term that you can remove one engine and the plane can still land safely. The same is true with clustering, I could take out one and I could have a critical failure with that third machine, but the cluster will look after the app and the service is delivered to your customer. So, it’s about availability and resilience in computing.  

Cluster pricing

Now, why do we need to know about these three devices in the cluster from an asset management point of view, because if you’re doing a sweep of your network or if you’re doing inventory and discovery what’s on your network, if you’re not familiar that you’re using clusters, these might just appear as three machines with databases and applications on it, which would be radically different for how a cluster is priced. You need to be aware of the nodes, as they are called, within a cluster. 

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

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