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What is HPC cluster

What is an HPC cluster

An HPC cluster is a collection of many separate servers (computers), called nodes, which are connected via a fast interconnect network.

There may be different types of nodes for different types of tasks.

Each of the HPC clusters listed on this site has:

  • The login nodes or head nodes : where users log in to submit jobs or to run directly compilations and applications requiring limited resources.
  • The controller node receives user jobs from head nodes and distribute jobs on compute nodes
  • The compute nodes : where program must be executed
  • The storage nodes


All cluster nodes have the same components as a laptop or desktop: CPU cores, memory and disk space. The difference between personal computer and a cluster node relies on the quantity, quality and power of the components.