For many applications, it’s better to “scale out” by combining lots of computers into a cluster than to “scale up” by packing more and more resources into a single box. This is called distributed computing, and it creates some fascinating engineering challenges. Some background (like the CAP theorum) will be discussed .This session will also demonstrate distributed computing using a self-contained, fully-functioning computing cluster literally packaged in a briefcase. You’ll see how the nodes communicate, how the cluster behaves when chaos strikes and nodes fail, and how this architecture impacts software design. The “briefcase cluster” is running Couchbase, which will be used for demonstrations, but these principles apply to a variety of distributed computing systems.