Darien's Dialog..

Not so everyday professional doodles... from an Application Platform Solution Specialist, currently based in Microsoft Brisbane

Supercomputers on Windows

Supercomputers on Windows

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This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking with Unisys at the launching of their new ES 7000 server at the JW Marriot. Once again, it's an amazing offering for those customers with workloads (high memory utilization etc..) suited to scaling up their applications on Windows. A few times throughout the day I heard the term, “Windows mainframe” tossed around as a point of reference for those from the *nix community. I like the term; I'm smiling to myself now thinking about it.

For my breif slot of 30 mins, I chose to focus on Windows as a HPC (High Performance Computing) platform, which was particualrly relevant for me, as, having just returned from Cornell University in New York State and touched the worlds largest Windows supercomputer (check out the list, the Cornell Theory Center cluster is currently 68), I thought it interesting to share with the audience how supercomputing on Windows is very doable and real right here, right now, today. At the end of my sessions, I gave the following URL, http://www.microsoft.com/hpc as the single, most imporant take away of my session, and there was suddenly vigorous taking of notes in the audience.

Afterwards, mixing with customer and partners alike, they were all amazed, well, more shell-shocked I think, that we have been able to do this on Windows for years, and that this was a reality for the platform. I suddenly had a bunch of very wide-eyed, excited parcipants with many, many questions along the lines of, “are you really sure you guys have been doing this - I never knew!”. Well, it's kinda our fault too; Windows supercomputing is exactly well publicized by us, unless you're already in the HPC circles, but I'm trying to change that, at least within Malaysia, and with events like todays, I can't help getting swept away with the excitement of customers when they discover that they can now tackle the BIG computing problems on Windows.

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  • Its also interesting to note Microsoft is one of the few vendors that GURANTEE availability on DataCenter edition.

    Now with IBM moving away from AIX towards Linux, they are now no longer taking accountability for such systems.

    Previously they would with AIX for obvious reasons but now they wont accept any.

    That would leave Microsoft with Data Center with such gurantees and the big iron boys.
  • Windows does not support computational clustering out of the box.
  • Currently, there are some third party components that we need to work with in order to make it happen, but there are certainly plans underway to make these types of applications on Windows integrated and seamless. Stay tuned to the http://www.microsoft.com/hpc space. ;-)
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