Is there a known solution for splitting build process cross the network machines?
We are an average software development company. We own around 50 development workstations (Quad Core 2.66Ghz, 4 GB ram, 200 GB raid). No need to tell that at any single moment not every machine is loaded to the max.
There are 5 to 15 projects running simultaneously at any single moment. Obviously all of them are continuously build on server, than deployed to proper environment. Single project build is taking from 3 to 15 minutes.
The problem: Whenever we build 5 projects in a row the last project is going to be ready after around 25 - 50 minutes. Building in parallel does not solve the problem (build is only a part of the game, than you need to deploy, run tests etc.)
YES the correct solution is to add another build server, but "That involves buying new Expensive hardware, and we already spent a lot!". Yea, right(damn them)!
Anyway. What about splitting build among developers workstation? Lets say whenever we need to build project "A" we check 5 workstations and start build on all that are not overloaded. The build can be canceled by a developer if he really needs all the power of his machine as long as there is at least 1 machine that is still building. After build is finished deployment can be performed to a proper environment (hosted on some server, not on workstation :) ). The bigger the company the more this makes sense to me.
Anyone tried something like this? Are there any good practices? Any helpful software?
(90% of the projects are .net C#, platform - Windows)