One Raspberry Pi can make a nice web server, but what happens if you put more than 1,000 of them together? At Oracle's OpenWorld convention on Monday, the company showed off a Raspberry Pi Supercomputer that combines 1,060 Raspberry Pis into one powerful cluster.
According to ServeTheHome, which first reported the story, the supercomputer features scores of racks with 21 Raspberry Pi 3 B+ boards each. To make everything run well together, the system runs on Oracle Autonomous Linux.
ServeTheHome asked Oracle why it chose to create a cluster of Raspberry Pis instead of using a virtualized Arm server and one company rep said simply that "...a big cluster is cool."
Oracle engineers connected the Raspberry Pis to a series of switches (Ubiquiti UniFi Switch 48s) and uplinked them with SFP+ 10GbE transceivers. The Raspberry Pis receive their power from a series of USB power supplies.
Every unit connects to a single rebranded Supermicro 1U Xeon server, which functions as a central storage server for the whole supercomputer. The Oracle team also created custom, 3D printed brackets to help support all the Pis and connecting components.
Raspberry Pi clusters aren't practical when it comes to performance, but the novelty of supercomputer projects often make the learning experience worthwhile. We don't expect this product to go commercial, but it is a really neat example of just how much you can do with a $35 computer.