What can nature teach us about really big clusters?

InsideHPC points us to this story in Linux Magazine on how large colonies of organisms work in nature and what this can teach us about managing extremely large compute clusters:
“Insect colonies are in the truest sense of the word parallel computers. Think about it. How do you control one million ants. They work together surprisingly well without MPI and Gigabit Ethernet. Entomologists will tell you that ants communicate using chemicals, but much of what they do is preprogrammed and governed by what I would assume are simple rules. An individual ant is useless on its own and expendable, but very good at doing its particular job when working with others.” Full Story

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About Rich
FlexRex began his life as a cartoon character I created a Sun Microsystems. As the world's first "fictional blogger," he appeared in numerous parody films that made fun of the whole work-from-home thing. Somewhere along the line, the Sun IT department adopted FlexRex as their spokesman in a half-dozen security awareness films for employees. So when I left Sun recently, I started FlexRex Communications, a Marketing company in Portland, Oregon.

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