Microsoft tackles high-performance computing

Microsoft has released the first public beta of Microsoft
Windows HPC Server 2008, a server operating system and tools
designed for high-performance computing.

The company also established the Parallel Computing Initiative,
a program creating a set of common development tools across
multicore desktops and clusters.

Windows HPC Server 2008, a successor to Windows Compute Cluster
Server 2003, is based on the Windows Server 2008 operating system.
Microsoft officials have renamed the server to reflect its
readiness to tackle the most challenging HPC workloads.

With Windows Compute Cluster Server, Microsoft addressed desktop
supercomputing and workgroup clusters, but users wanted the ability
to work with larger clusters, said Jeff Wierer, senior product
manager for Windows HPC Server 2008.

Users have seen how Microsoft has incorporated clustering with
the operating system. Now they 'want to know how we're
working with I/O to have high-speed networking on Windows,'
Wierer said.

As a result, Windows HPC Server 2008 provides new high-speed
networking, scalable cluster management tools, advanced failover
capabilities, a service-oriented-architecture job scheduler and
support for partners' clustered-file systems.

The beta is now available for download. The final version will
be generally available in the second half of 2008.

Meanwhile, the Parallel Computing Initiative is designed to
simplify and enable parallel computing for a broad set of
applications in multicore and cluster environments. The initiative
will complement other standards-based tools such as Message Passing
Interface and OpenMP and native parallel debugger support in Visual
Studio 2007.

New technologies include the Parallel Extensions to the .NET
Framework, which will enable developers to create and improve
parallel applications, Wierer said.

Over the next six months, Microsoft will ship customer
technology previews of Parallel Extensions.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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