Commodity computing (or Commodity cluster computing) is to use large numbers of already available computing components for parallel computing to get the greatest amount of useful computation at low cost. It is computing done in commodity computers as opposed to high-cost supermicrocomputers or boutique computers. Commodity computers are computer systems manufactured by multiple vendors, incorporating components based on open standards. Such systems are said to be based on commodity components, since the standardization process promotes lower costs and less differentiation among vendors' products. A governing principle of commodity computing is that it is preferable to have more low-performance, low-cost hardware working in parallel (scalar computing) (e.g. AMD x86 CISC) than to have less high-performance, high-cost hardware (e.g. IBM POWER7 RISC). At some point, the number of discrete systems in a cluster will be greater than the mean time between failures (MTBF) for any hardware platform, no matter how reliable, so fault tolerance must be built into the controlling software. Purchases should be optimized on cost-per-unit-of-performance, not just absolute performance-per-CPU at any cost.
Famous quotes containing the word commodity:
“If mass communications blend together harmoniously, and often unnoticeably, art, politics, religion, and philosophy with commercials, they bring these realms of culture to their common denominatorthe commodity form. The music of the soul is also the music of salesmanship. Exchange value, not truth value, counts.”
—Herbert Marcuse (18981979)