With systems such as Grid Engine, Condor and others, it is relatively easy these days for organizations to create robust distributed compute farms. See how the Grid::Request Perl module can make the authoring, submission and control of large distributed jobs easy and in a scheduler agnostic manner.
"I'm sorry I coined the term 'objects' for this topic ... the big idea is "messaging"' - Alan Kay
Stop thinking about objects and start thinking about the messages you're sending and how they can be handled and you will have simpler methods. In this talk we cover a couple of key patterns and see how they open the door to simpler, clearer, more extensible code.