I have some information here that might be helpful for you or your development staff in regard to getting up to speed on HPC and Azure.  I also have some information at the bottom of this email regarding how you can get access to Azure accounts.  There are of course a multitude of links you can find all over the internet regarding these topics,  but these will give you a general idea of the scope of what you can do with HPC and Azure and how it works:

1. The first thing you’ll need to do is understand the installation of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2:

Getting Started Guide for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

Designer and Deployment Guide for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

2. You can watch these videos to learn more about the capabilities of HPC Server and Windows 7 Clients

MSDN Webcast: Taking Scientific Computing Mainstream with Windows Client & Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

MSDN Webcast: Migrating Your HPC Applications to the Windows Platform

Overview of Microsoft Technical Computing and HPC Server 2008 R2

Channel9 - The HPC Show (many more videos here)

3. If you are going to be working with Azure and its latest SDK, you will need to install Visual Studio 2010.  Please note that to view the Azure portal, that is just a website and doesn’t require Visual Studio.  However, to develop a Cloud application and deploy it, you do need Visual Studio.  Once you have Visual Studio installed:

Install the Azure SDK and Tools

4. Watch these Azure Videos

MSDN Webcast: Discover the Windows Azure Services Platform

MSDN Webcast: Windows Azure Boot Camp: Cloud Computing Scenarios

MSDN Webcast: Windows Azure Boot Camp: Worker Roles

MSDN Webcast: Diagnostics and Service Management

5. For lots of other links to whitepapers, articles, tools etc (this is the overwhelming part)


Getting access to Azure

Free Pass Options


For more info on the access check see the following blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2011/04/12/windows-azure-announcements-at-mix11.aspx

Azure resource for Academia http://www.azurepilot.com/

Azure Trial Offers


Looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions