So, not to completely nerd out on you, but this is neat:
Hard problem: This whole “cloud computing” thing requires that you be able to communicate in two directions with lots of machines at once: tell them what to do, yes, but also check to see what they’re up to, and if they’re still running at all.
Fun solution: Why not just treat them all like chat clients and use Jabber?
That’s an oversimplification, but I just love the idea of essentially managing a complex computing cluster via glorified IM. Here are the details from Ezra Zygmuntowic.