What are practical differences between the Mosquitto vs Mosca (now Aedes) MQTT brokers?

I did a previous project with Mosca, I think. My class ended up having to also use cloudmqtt.com:

Now, no longer a formal student, I need an MQTT broker. The deliverable involves an ESP32 connected to more basic microcontrollers like Arduino Nanos. The user will need be able to add more, say, Nano controlled devices. I think this is called horizontal scaling.

Is the new maintained library Aedes, previously Mosca, capable of this? It's really hard to find examples of Aedes that I understand. Should Mosquitto be used instead?

I'm not sure if I'm understanding the post below, but should I really be looking for a broker with clustering?
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/40229375/mosquitto-vs-mosca-horizontal-scalability-and-resilience If the broker should involve clustering, would HiveMQ be a decent choice?

And if those specific questions are too specific, for lifelong learning, what are some practical differences between Mosquitto and Aedes?

Can you clarify please where node-RED fits into your project.

A similar application to this: User programmed commands
Just instead of controlling a sequence of directions, it's going to be a sequence of something similar.

How many clients are you intending to have connected to the broker? Unless you're getting into 1000s then there's little point worrying about clustering or horizontal scaling.

A single mosquitto instance is very capable and more than enough for most individual uses.

Definitely not over 1000. I also miss-applied the idea of horizontal scaling anyway; but thanks for clearing that up! (I thought it was applying new devices, not new clients.)

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