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Microsoft Extends HPC's Limits

Microsoft is looking to up the ante with its Windows Server HPC platform. The company released its third iteration yesterday and signaled it would like to see broader use of its high-performance computing platform.

"Think of this as one of the key shifts in our fleet for what we look at as this future of technical computing," said Bill Hilf, Microsoft's general manager for technical computing. Hilf made his remarks in his keynote address at the High Performance Computing Financial Markets conference in New York.

"It's a pretty wide initiative where we want to take the technical computing technologies and really make those available and accessible to a broader number of IT end users and developers," explained Bill Hamilton, Microsoft's director of technical computing.

In an interview right after his keynote address, Hilf said he believes HPC applications will drive usage of Windows Azure, thanks to Windows HPC Server's newfound support for Microsoft's cloud service.

"I believe the technical computing workload will be the killer Azure app because the nature of these workloads consume a ton of computer," he said. "We believe having an infrastructure with hundreds of thousands of servers is going to be very compelling."

Some notable facts about Windows HPC Server 2008 R2:

  • It will support 1,000 nodes, up from 256.
  • Excel users will be able to perform computations much faster.
  • Organizations can tap idle Windows 7 desktops in their clusters.

If you're among those that are testing it out, or intend to do so, share your thoughts with me at [email protected].

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on September 21, 2010


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