I’m thinking about how you’d run a big distributed Java system as a service across a whole lot of networked computers, spreading out onto new processors as required, and exchanging high message volumes. Sounds kind of like a “grid”, doesn’t it? Poking around for APIs first turns up DRMAA, but it seems to be oriented towards batch jobs that run for a while then stop and don’t talk to each other much. Daniel Templeton pointed me at the Rio Framework (from Jini-land), which looks like more or less exactly what you’d want. Actually, Daniel just gave me the name “Rio Framework”, which turns out also to be the name of an alternative-policy treaty, and then searching for “Java Rio” gives us Peter del Rio as well as various summits and JUGs in Brazil, so it was real work to find the software. This fragment is a conscious attempt to give it a little Google-juice; I’ll report back on whether it works.