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Virtual machine cluster

Virtual machine cluster definition

A virtual machine cluster is a group of interconnected physical servers (hosts) that pool resources to provide a unified environment for managing and running multiple virtual machines. This setup enhances resource utilization, ensures high availability, and provides scalability and load balancing for virtualized applications.

See also: recovery time objective, cloud-based supercomputing

Usage of virtual machine clusters

  • Data centers. Modern data centers often use VM clusters to maximize hardware utilization, minimize downtime, and provide redundancy.
  • Cloud providers. Cloud service providers use VM clusters to offer cloud computing resources to their customers.
  • Enterprise IT. Large organizations deploy VM clusters in their on-premises infrastructure to run various applications, from databases to web services.
  • Disaster recovery. Businesses can recover quickly from outages or catastrophic events by replicating data and applications across clusters in different geographic locations.
  • Development and testing. Developers and testers use VM clusters to replicate production environments, enabling them to test applications in a sandboxed environment that mirrors the production setup.
  • High-performance computing (HPC). Some HPC environments utilize VM clusters to provide scalable computational resources, especially when tasks can be parallelized across multiple virtual machines.
  • Educational institutions. Universities and research facilities use VM clusters for research purposes, teaching, and to provide infrastructure for various departments.
  • Hosting providers. Many hosting companies use VM clusters to provide their clients with virtual private servers (VPS), ensuring better resource allocation and uptime.
  • Container orchestration. With the rise of container technologies like Docker and Kubernetes, VM clusters can be used as the underlying infrastructure upon which container orchestration systems run, combining the advantages of both virtualization and containerization.