Cluster technology has recently grown to take a significant share of the technical
computing market. Rather than building or buying powerful special-purpose
computers, members of the high-performance technical computing (HPTC)
community aim to exploit opportunities provided by combining multiple generalpurpose
computers. IDC estimates that scientists and engineers have increased their
purchases of clusters from about $350 million in 1999 to about $2.3 billion in 2003. In
addition, we believe that clusters will account for more than half of all technical
computer sales by 2008. We believe the rapid adoption of cluster technology is driven
by several interrelated factors:
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