Parallel Computing

I am a graduate student.  My thesis topic will involve a simulation that is run on multiple computers in order to cut down on processing time.  The processing time involves running multiple iterations of a stochastic process on multiple computers.... i.e. run a 100 replications on 100+ pc's.

I have a java based web server called "sim manager" (for background see --  http://www.informs-cs.org/wsc00papers/249.PDF) that was created by a predecessor.  

One of my first jobs is to find/create another web server or update/replace the current one.

I know visual basic, but not java.  I plan on taking a java class in spring '04.  I need something to start working with by january '04.

What language base do you suggest?  
Is java the best, or should I look into something I am more familiar with like VB?

Thanks,

Brian Casebier
jbcase01Asked:
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fz2hqsCommented:
I suppose there is a good reason why you have to change the web server in someway?

Without knowing your motives as to why the update is required I can only suggest that you update the current instance, therefore sticking to Java. Depnding on how the thing is written there is a good chance that if you went a VB route then you ma have to recode teh whole application

Ideally if you could substitute an Apache, IIS etc instance in then that would be best, writing a new one seems a bit exessive as you will spend most of you time doing that rather than proper work on your thesis.

Probably not the answer you want - sorry
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robsmartCommented:
You may want to take a look at the Globus toolkit that implements the Open Grid Services Infrastructure. More information
can be found at http://globus.org/

However as the previous poster mentioned, installing any new system (especially a GRID system) may take up a large chunk of the time that you have available to write your thesis. Java is a good language base to use as it will allow you to deploy applications on different operating systems. This may come in handy if your choice of platform for any kind of GRID is limited.

If the current system is working and it is not vital to your thesis to change it, then I'd stick with what you have..
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jbcase01Author Commented:
What I am looking for is more on the lines of current technology.  If I have a java based "server" to send out individual replications to pc's in the "alliance" (no distributed computing), has there been any signifigant changes to the current build of java since say 2000?

I really don't want to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, but rather make sure that the one I have is the best one for the job.

However, if I was to reinvent the wheel (let's say by writing something new) what is the industry choice in doing so?

Once again, any advice is appreciated.

-B.
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