Anyone up for having their own server farm?
Not too long ago, I had access to a number of win-blows seven, surplus desktop computers. As a learning/teaching exercise (mostly for my two teen-aged sons), I built this small 'Beowulf' server cluster. Now, I'm certainly no PhD computer scientist, nor have I played one on TV; but from my reading on the subject, the Beowulf cluster is reportedly one of the easier architectures to construct. And this is proof positive that you don't have to be an MIT grad to build one either! Since I'm a long time user of Debian Linux, that's the OS this implementation operates under.
Each server node is aware of the other three (ip addresses are hard coded), with access to a 'data' directory share. They are physically connected via an eight port network switch. On-line documentation is large, but not IMO well organized or intuitive to those without prior experience. So should you have a burning desire to replicate my work, I'm willing to share my minimal notes upon request.
Beyond personal amusement and educational purposes, I have no real practical use for even this small amount of parallel computing power. But it is a tool, I built it; and for the time being, is a nerd-centric source of bragging rights... Thanks for reading.