Sandia researcher David Fritz standing in front of a cluster of Android virtual machines, holding two Galaxy Nexus phones.

Anyone who builds an Android app knows that testing on real devices is important. But what if instead of testing on one device at a time, you could test 300,000?

Enter MegaDroid. A project of the US government’s Sandia National Laboratories in California, the aptly named MegaDroid has linked 300,000 Android virtual machines together in a testbed for studying all kinds of network disruptions. Researchers could use MegaDroid for anything they can dream of, but the lab says it envisions projects that seek to “understand and limit the damage from network disruptions due to glitches in software or protocols, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other causes.”

MegaDroid, unveiled on Tuesday, is the third in a series of such projects. The first was MegaTux, which booted 1 million Linux kernels as virtual machines in 2009, and MegaWin, which did the same with 100,000 Windows XP and Windows 7 instances. Fritz and team would like to extend the Mega- projects to iOS, but that would require some cooperation on Apple’s part.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab