Microsoft: Big data, meet big compute

Microsoft's high-performance computing team is now the 'Big Compute' team. Expect more Windows Azure deliverables from them in the future.

There hasn't been much news from Microsoft's High Performance Computing (HPC) team since December 2012, when the company delivered HPC Pack 2012 .


But on July 29, via a post to the "Windows HPC Team Blog," the HPC team noted that it's now going by the name "Big Compute." The Big Compute team will be part of the new Enterprise and Cloud engineering group in the re-org'd Microsoft, going forward. The team will continue to work closely with Microsoft Research and academic/labs partners outside the company, the post added.

"Big Compute applications typically require large amounts of compute power for hours or days at a time. Some of our customers describe what they are doing as HPC, but others call it risk analysis, rendering, transcoding, or digital design and manufacturing," explained post author Alex Sutton, Group Program Manager of Big Compute.

Sutton said the Big Compute team will continue to work on the HPC Pack for Windows Server clusters, as well as "new Big Compute scenarios in the cloud" with Windows Azure. There will continue to be new features and new releases from the team "on a regular basis," he said.

Microsoft's HPC software allows users to run HPC applications on HPC clusters that include on-premises compute nodes, part-time servers and resources running on Windows Azure. Last year, as part of its move to simplify and reduce the number of Windows Server SKUs, Microsoft discontinued its Windows Server HPC family, and opted to provide the HPC functionality as a supplementary "pack" for Windows Server.

"Windows Azure is evolving to provide a range of capabilities for Big Compute and Big Data," Sutton said.

The HPC/Big Compute/supercomputing space remains a battleground for Windows and Linux. And right now, Microsoft looks to be the underdog in this fight