Once again, I had the opportunity to speak with the good folks of Digipede. As usual, I was impressed with their pragmatic approach and the fact that they're trying very hard to make grid computing/high performance computing concepts available to everyone by utilizing Microsoft's .NET architecture as a platform. This means that developers who have expertise in financial services, health care or any other market segment needing to accelerate computational work are being offered the tools to easily do just that. So, a developer no longer has to be a rocket scientist, physicist, academician or other technologist with super human skills to deploy grid computing technology. This time, the conversation was about Digipede Network Version 2.0.
Here's how Digipede describes Digipede Network Version 2.0
Digipede is pleased to announce the release of the Digipede Network 2.0. We've worked hard to enhance the industry's leading .NET-based grid computing platform, and we've got a lot of great features for users, developers, and administrators alike.
A more powerful API gives you more control over your distributed jobs and the multi-processor, multi-core machines they run on. Improvements to Digipede Control allow administrators to easily manage far larger numbers of compute resources on a grid. Better integration with Microsoft's products like Visual Studio and Active Directory means that the Digipede Network fits even more seamlessly into your Windows-based enterprise.
- Windows Authentication: The Digipede Network now integrates with your existing security to verify the users on the system — No more Digipede user names and passwords.
- E-mail notification: Users and administrators can now receive e-mail notifications on jobs and tasks.
- Increased performance: You may notice increased performances in some workloads — especially short tasks with significant amounts of data.
Digipede Framework SDK Features
- Visual Studio 2005 Debugging Package: The Digipede Framework SDK includes a Visual Studio package that allows developers to debug their distributed processes directly in Visual Studio.
- Finer control of distributed processes: You have more control than ever of how your distributed processes run (in one or multiple processes, per machine or per core), and better control over each thread (allowing you to modify ThreadContext).
- App.config file support: If your distributed process requires an app.config file, the Digipede Network can now distribute that file as part of your .NET application.
Digipede Control Features
- Drop down menus: Digipede Control's main menu bar now puts more options within a single click, including easier ways for users to find out what's happening on the system right now.
- Action buttons: Many pages now feature "action buttons" that allow single-click control over jobs and compute resources.
- More server configuration: Administrators have more configuration options than ever for administering their network.
- Personalized Menus: Users now have a "My" menu, with links for their jobs, their pools, and their settings — including the ability to customize their view in My Settings.
Snapshot analysisDigipede plays in the virtual processing software space. This is a highly competitive market made up of the following segments: Grid computing/high performance computing, workload managers, clustering managers, operating system virtualization/partitioning and virtual machine managers (includes hypervisors). Digipede offers a grid computing product and, unlike others in this category, are focused solely on Windows-based applications rather than those running on either UNIX or Linux.
The company has done its best to make its product a "once and done" tool. It's possible to download the product, install it and get to work in less than a day. The tool does its best to make the lives of developers and administrators easy while offering a reasonable increase in execution performance.
If an organization has a need for high computational performance, is running Windows and has a budget of $250 for a developer's tool kit (SDK, Digipede engine plus licenses to execute on 2 separate systems), they can be on their way. A Team Edition and unlimited Enterprise Edition are also available for extremely modest prices.
It would be wise of an IT decision-maker to take a look.
I've just been advised that I have the wrong pricing for the developer's kit. It's free! At that pricing, I'm pretty sure that I could afford it myself. It also appears that I reviewed an old slide deck when writing this post. So, I guess that means that I'll have to find the correct slide deck and do this again on another day. It's still my view that Digipede's product is surprisingly inexpensive and powerful.