Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

Summary: Microsoft has announced immediate availability of Windows High Performance Computing (HPC) Server 2008 R2, its top-of-the line Windows Server operating system, as of September 20.

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Microsoft has announced immediate availability of  Windows High Performance Computing (HPC) Server 2008 R2, its top-of-the line Windows Server operating system, as of September 20.

Microsoft already is working on an update to the just-released HPC 2008 R2 platform that will "allow customers to provision and manage HPC nodes in Windows Azure from within on-premises server clusters," and is planning to demonstrate this capability at the High Performance Computing Financial Markets Conference in New York today.

Company officials are not providing further details about how or when they will make this HPC update available. But they are saying it will help those who want to burst HPC workloads from their on-premises datacenters to the cloud for extra processing power. (I'm thinking we might hear more specifics on this at the Microsoft cloud-focused Professional Developers Conference 2010 in late October....)

Microsoft introduced a Beta 1 of the third release of HPC Server, HPC Server 2008 R2, in the fall of 2009. Beta 2 hit in April. Release to manufacturing occurred this past summer.

New to the latest HPC release is improved scalability, tight integration with Windows 7, better Excel integration (via HPC Services for Excel 2010), and better support for cross-platform integration for customers running both HPC Server and Linux, Microsoft execs have said. Despite the Linux-interop message, Microsoft's foremost competitor in the HPC/supercomputing space remains Linux.

Microsoft's HPC platform is one of the main products of Microsoft's Technical Computing Group, formed in March of this year.

Topics: Windows, Cloud, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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40 comments
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  • Microsoft? High Performance? LAUGHABLE.

    Windows is not, has never been, and will never be High Performance.
    itguy08
    • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

      @itguy08 True that most of the high performance computing is done on linux. Not true that Microsoft does not have a well established, and growing, presence in this market. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_HPC_Server_2008
      1DaveN
      • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

        @DaveN_MVP True, but I suspect the reason for the growing presence is merely an extension of Microsoft product lockdown. Integration with Excel, for example, I could see as being the major selling point. I notice that of the 5 supercomputers in the top 500 that run Windows HPC Server, 2 of them only run it part-time. The NCSA one notably runs it as a secondary OS. Doesn't that imply that it's slower than the Redhat it lists as the primary OS? I mean, if they've paid for it, why not run it full time?

        http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu/UserInfo/Resources/Hardware/Intel64Cluster/TechSummary/
        Li1t
      • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

        @Li1t I'm not sure - it's possible that there are issues around performance, cost, or both, or that MS is just new to this area. I know that it's unusually complex to write software to run on any of these clusters, so I'd guess that factors like the expertise of those writing the software, compatibility with existing apps, and similar might be involved.

        Regardless, I freely admit that I lust after a Cray CX-1, which I think will pretty much negate any issues around the performance of my desktop PC : -)

        http://www.cray.com/Products/CX/Systems/CX1-iWS.aspx
        1DaveN
      • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

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      • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

        Microsoft has announced instant availability of Windows Significant Overall performance Computing (HPC) Server 2008 R2, its top-of-the line Windows Server running technique, as of September twenty.Microsoft already is working on an update to the just-released HPC 2008 R2 platform that may ?allow customers to provision and manage HPC nodes in Windows Azure from within on-premises server clusters<a href="http://dolarparalelo.tk">precio del dolar paralelo en venezuela hoy</a>
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      • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

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    • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

      @itguy08 ... millions of IT shops around the world find your analysis and opinion just as laughable.
      GoodThings2Life
      • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

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        mrlinux
      • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

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    • Laugh on

      @itguy08

      First they ignore you, <b>then they laugh at you</b>, then they fight you, then you win. --Mahatma Gandhi
      honeymonster
      • Sometimes they just ignore you;-) (nt)

        nt
        Richard Flude
    • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

      Is it a nervous laugh:)
      nktran19@...
      • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

        @nktran19@... Why would anyone laugh nervously? Have you ever used a Windows Server? I have, the stability was terrible compared to the Linux and Solaris servers I've used. Why should I believe that this server, built on the same kernel as Windows, has anywhere near the performance or stability of the other options? If I'm spending $133M on a supercomputer, am I willing to spend even more money to have it run less efficiently?
        Li1t
      • @Li1t re: performance

        @Li1t... The NCSA would disagree with you about performance:

        "Our experience with Windows HPC Server 2008 has been impressive," said Robert Pennington, deputy director of the NCSA. "Deploying it was much easier
        than we expected, and the performance results have surpassed our expectations. When we deployed Windows on our cluster, which has more than 1,000 nodes, we
        went from bare metal to running the LINPACK benchmark programs in just four hours. The performance of Windows HPC Server 2008 has yielded efficiencies that are among the highest we've seen for this class of machine."

        Remember, the NT line of Windows shares more in common with VMS than it does any other OS. Throw some crap hardware or crap drivers at it, and yeah, it will run like crap. Statistics show that the NT core is more stable than the majority of the hardware running it.
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    • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

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    • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

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  • Why would you need a GUI on a super computer?

    I may be wrong but a super computer shouldn't need much more than a command line OS. That big bucks machine need to be lean and mean so them terebites can run and scream. All GUI's should be on the work stations, and not care which GUI you use. Windows, Mac, Linux base, shouldn't matter. But maybe I'm wrong, and to get windows to run right may take that kind of resource!
    bobmatch@...
  • RE: Microsoft finalizes its latest supercomputing operating system release

    Please, tell me about the super computer needed to run my spreadsheet? Does it have a flight simulator easter egg? Who doing HPC wants their desktop crippled with any version of Windows, let alone Windows 7? Is there anyone with a nice free software desktop that would consider a Microsoft cluster for their real work? What a farce.
    ITsupportGuy