The term Micro Server has been bandied about recently as a means to provide a certain class of server functionality. As embedded systems continue their inexorable drive towards better performance, and standard hardware/software architectures become ubiquitous, the notion of using low-cost, low-power, small-footprint devices as servers becomes quite realistic. Just as data center managers have utilized multitudes of affordable rack mount servers to provide scalability, why not duplicate that effort with these off-the-shelf devices?
The video that follows takes the Micro Server to its next logical evolution: The Micro Cluster. Built from commodity hardware (and by commodity I mean The Home Depot), the cluster board has a rack mount form factor that can house 12 Plug Computers. As the Java SE HotSpot Virtual Machine is available for the Plug Computer (ArmV5/Linux), we'll utilize Apache Tomcat to demonstrate a Tomcat Micro Cluster. Over time, as the individual compute nodes increase in performance and capacity, this should become even more compelling.