What is cluster computing? How can it help Federal ID?

How does a cluster computing architecture work?

One way to think about cluster computing is as a village where resources are shared.

„The strength of the village is the sum of all the parts of the village,” says Schulz. „The whole village is there to benefit. If something falls down, something breaks, someone gets sick, others come forward to help.

If an application needs more computing power or storage, the cluster architecture obtains those resources from other nodes. Instead of having unused dedicated storage space for each application, a cluster architecture allows agencies to purchase additional storage as needed and distribute data across cluster nodes.

Using the village analogy, Schulz says, the issue is „who integrates the village, who doesn’t overuse or nobody abuses, everyone contributes, everyone benefits.”

Explore: Security agencies are moving to the multicloud.

That’s where software like Ceph can make a significant difference and perform that integration function. The underlying protocol supports data redundancy and security for all use cases.

„Any user can come up with a use case and any type of application they want to save,” says Ojha. „As long as they have access to the clustered hardware we talked about, they can seamlessly use all the capabilities that RADOS has to offer.”

RADOS, or Trusted Automated Distributed Object Store, is a fundamental feature of Ceph.

„By handling all storage within RADOS, Ceph can easily distribute data across a cluster, even for volume and file storage types,” it notes. Chef Foundation.

Learn more: High-performance computer solutions work for agencies of all sizes.

Typically, when an agency runs out of computing performance or storage capacity, “you have to buy a new thing that’s bigger and faster, and then copy everything over,” says CLYSO’s Ceph executive board member and CTO Dan van der Ster. That approach is to scale vertically, metaphorically creating a tall building.

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With a cluster approach, scaling storage capacity happens horizontally.

“We are building more houses; We’re scaling in that direction,” van der Ster says. „We’re buying more service, adding them, reorganizing things, and you can take advantage of that. You can grow gradually.”

How does cluster computing ensure data security?

Cluster computing supports agencies’ data security through data replication, whereby multiple copies of data are written and distributed across multiple nodes. If one or more copies are lost or destroyed in a cyber attack, the agency’s ability to access and read the data is not lost.

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Ojha says that once an agency stores data using Ceph, there are enough replicas to recover from any type of failure.

Ceph supports synchronous or asynchronous replication between sites. Availability Zones are „isolated or segregated data centers located in specific areas where public cloud services are built and run.” Technical goal.

Ceph is known for its „self-healing” capabilities, which allow it to „react quickly to hardware, power, or connectivity failures. Ceph will actively redistribute data around your cluster when a problem arises, protecting against data loss before you even notice a problem exists,” according to the Ceph Foundation.

How can agencies use cluster computing for savings?

Many agencies already use cluster computing for storage for greater performance, scalability and availability, Schulz says. This allows agencies to avoid vendor lock-in for proprietary hardware.

Ceph enables agencies to manage commodity hardware and gain flexibility, but administration may require dedicated staff. For agencies with missions to accomplish, „you may find yourself in the storage provider business without really wanting to go there,” says Schulz.

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The advantage of Ceph is that IT leaders at agencies and other organizations can look at the source code and decide whether it’s the right solution for them before buying a petabyte of storage.

Ceph’s open-source nature gives agencies the ability to innovate and develop new use cases supported by the cluster architecture, Ojha says. This makes it easier for companies to build a community that supports Ceph and get started quickly without doing anything upfront, van der Ster says.

The solution is constantly evolving. When Ceph was first developed 15 years ago, it became the de facto storage for many private clouds, van der Ster says.

„Chef is now very relevant to today’s storage use cases,” he says. „Actually, it came from a high-performance computing environment, but an HPC is now very similar to the storage needs in AI. Because of its flexibility, it adapts to use cases over time.

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