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I am trying to learn distributed systems development, and thus planning to perform experiments using Raspberry PI.

I have no prior knowledge of Raspberry PI in this context. I want to know would it be worth the efforts and money?

And if yes, then what aspects should I first try to explore. I am planning to use Akka technologies, stream platform like Kafka, some monitoring tool like prometheus, CQRS, event sourcing and also some load balancing software.

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    "what aspects should I first try to explore" -> Check whether the technology you want to use is viable on the Pi. Proprietary software is usually not, because it must be compiled specifically for it, only the owners of the source code can do that, and generally they will not want to bother supporting a platform that is unlikely to benefit them much. In this case Kafka and the Akka toolkit should be fine in theory -- it may depend much on whether existing builds of it work. Although cross-platform, Java is not a 100% assurance of that.
    – goldilocks
    May 28, 2020 at 12:13

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If you just want to learn about distributed systems, you're probably better off with Virtualbox (or the likes) and Vagrant then using a physical Pi, imho. You might even use qemu to emulate a Pi (even though this is slow).

However, if your current hardware is too limited to run a set of virtual machines, getting a few Pi's may prove to be a cost effective solution, especially if you buy Zeros.

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