Microsoft today released the first public beta of Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008, a server operating system and tools designed for the HPC market.
Microsoft also established the Parallel Computing Initiative, a program creating a set of common development tools across multicore desktops and clusters.
Windows HPC Server 2008, the successor to Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, is based on the Windows Server 2008 operating system. Key features are new high-speed networking, efficient and scalable cluster management tools, advanced failover capabilities, a service oriented architecture (SOA) job scheduler, and support for partners? clustered file systems. The beta is now available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/hpc; the final version will be generally available in the second half of 2008.
"By upgrading to Windows HPC Server 2008 on our 2,048-core production test cluster, we increased the LINPACK performance by 30 percent and were able to deploy and validate the cluster in less than two hours using out-of-the-box software. Expanding beyond traditional MPI-based HPC applications, Windows HPC Server 2008 enables support for high-throughput SOA applications with its advanced Web service routing capability and paves the way for bringing HPC capabilities to a broad range of enterprise applications," said Kyril Faenov, general manager of HPC at Microsoft.
Microsoft is also showcasing the ways cluster administrators, end users and developers can increase productivity with a common set of tools that span the desktop and cluster. Cluster administrators can save time with Microsoft System Center for application-level monitoring and rapid provisioning and SQL Server Reporting Services for capacity planning and auditing. End users can save time with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server for data collaboration and the Windows Workflow Foundation for automating processes across workgroups.
Mixed, dual-boot clusters can also improve cluster efficiency. Because dual-boot clusters flexibly serve both Linux and Windows users, they increase utilization rates by expanding their number of addressable users. Examples of customers deploying large mixed clusters include the University of Iowa, Cambridge University, 3M and Baker Hughes Inc. Technology partners that have announced mixed cluster support for Windows HPC Server 2008 include Altair Engineering Inc., Cluster Resources Inc. and Platform Computing. Clustered file system vendors that have announced support for Windows include Panasas, Quantum?s StorNext, HP PolyServe, and Sanbolic, and IBM has plans to support IBM GPFS on Windows.
More information on Windows HPC Server 2008 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/hpc.