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I'm looking to build a microcomputer cluster at work for stress testing one of our applications, and while I have a little financial leeway, I would like to keep the cost low and the computing capability high. I'm also very new to the idea of parallel computing, and the little research I've done so far is rather overwhelming. Here is what I want to do:

  • have a cluster of n machines
  • send a command for these machines to run (preferably, they distribute the work amongst themselves, but if I have to send to each of them in sequence that's fine too), and have them report back to me when they're done
  • preferably with nodejs, but other scripting languages like python and ruby are fine too

I don't know how to get code to the devices, but I would expect to send something like this from my machine if they ran in parallel:

cluster.runTest(0, 1000)

where cluster.runTest looks like this:

runTest = function(start, num) { 
  for(var i=start; i<num; i++) { //split up which devices runs which commands, hopefully
    sendRequestToServer()
  }
}

However, if they can't delegate amongst themselves:

for(var i=0; i<10; i++) { //10 devices
  chips[i].runCommand(i*100, (i+1)*100) //run a certain chunk of commands
}

.. would be sufficient.

Pis are cheap, but they don't seem to have the kind of power I would need to run these commands in a reasonable time. On the other hand, I stumbled across the Parallella which seems to be sufficient, but costs a bit more. I've looked at others like wandboard, cubox, beaglebone, and many, many others.

I apologize if my ideas of how this work are incorrect, please feel free to let me know how this would actually work! I'm also not sure if opinion questions are allowed here, but I'm trying to keep it as objective as possible.

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