I would like to understand the basics, setup of a cluster. I have a powerful machine in i7, 6 gb ddr3 Ram. I was thinking why not clone a same ubuntu vmware image as 4-5 ones, start them up together and work as a cluster. But my thoughts couldn't be converted as actions as I don' t know anything about clustering, how to make 1 system know the other, how to attach static IP, or what cluster software is free/easiest to maintain.

I am thinking of installing multi-partitioned database server in either DB2 or Oracle and use 1 other system in my home network as application server and want to play around.

Please link me to any articles/cluster software that are free/easy, and how to make 1 system know the other 1? meaning how to even mount 1 vmware image in another etc.