Microsoft's HPC 2008 now live

Microsoft Corp. has announced that the High Performance
Clustering (HPC) Server 2008 has been released'both to
manufacturing and the general public.


The software is the next generation of Microsoft's Computer
Cluster Server 2003. With its release, Microsoft will be taking on
Unix and Linux's significant dominance in the supercomputing
market. And it appears to know the challenge it faces.


"Yes, there are a lot of skeptics. The HPC industry uses mostly
Linux or Unix servers. To even suggest Windows could be successful
in HPC is blasphemy," commented Ryan Waite, Microsoft's Windows HPC
Server product unit manager, in a blog post this morning announcing the release. Waite said the
group researched exactly what it needed to do to compete, talking
with Unix and Linux supercomputer administrators, and focused the
product around that feedback.


And while it has yet to be seen how successful Microsoft will be
at its run, the company appears to be taking the challenge
seriously. The company has partnered with Cray Inc. as an OEM for
HPC Server 2008 and announced
a new line of supercomputers starting at $25,000. And, according to
the company, the No. 23 fastest supercomputer in the world, at 68.5
teraflops, is running HPC Server 2008.


In a Q&A posted on Microsoft's Web site today, Vince
Mendillo, a director of marketing for Microsoft, said that the
company's doesn't just want to compete in the supercomputing
market, it also wants to bring supercomputing into the mainstream.
"Our goal is to make it a part of mainstream computing, make it
available to companies that could previously not afford it, to IT
pros who found HPC too daunting to consider and to users who have
problems that require supercomputing performance but have never had
access to it before," he commented.


According to Microsoft, a free trialdownload of the final version of HPC Server 2008 is
available.



About the Author

Becky Nagel is the executive editor of the 1105 Redmond Media Group's Web sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com, RedDevNews.com and VisualStudioMagazine.com, among others.

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