The vision is that a developer, or build box, can ask a virtual computer comprising of a grid of computers to run the tests. The grid computers are underused boxes and the grid threads only run in idle time so the distributed load is kinda free. So, UATs (User Acceptance Tests) that would normally take 10-15 minutes could run in only 1 minutes. A greate $ saver for a development team.
I got the basics running no problem, but each time I extended the grid to other computers in my home network I kept hitting Windows security issues. If I try to run the nunit-console on the grid I get FileIOPermission exceptions. If try running NUnit's more low level 'SimpleTestRunner' using a shared folder with the binaries I get a login failure.
I recon somebody with more Windows security knowledge could fix this but so far it has me stumped. I'm not giving up though, I've seen enough to see that this is a real goer.
A quote from the Alchemi documentation:
The idea of meta-computing - the use of a network of many independent computers as if they were one large parallel machine, or virtual supercomputer - is very compelling since it enables supercomputer-scale processing power to be had at a fraction of the cost of traditional supercomputers.Think of long builds, think of slow UATs, think of your manager's box when he is at meetings!