Microsoft Advances into High-End Clustering

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-05-08
Microsoft's foray into the high-end clustering software market took a step forward May 8 with the availability of the release candidate for its Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 product, a 64-bit operating system for industry-standard x64 processors.

And, at the other end of the software spectrum, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant also announced the release candidate for Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 on May 8.

The Windows Compute Cluster Server product will mark a milestone for Microsoft when released later this summer as it is a late-comer to a market largely dominated by open-source Linux software.

But Microsoft officials say they are committed for the long term to HPC (high-performance computing), as well as to a broader technical and scientific computing area.

Microsoft released the first, limited Windows Compute Cluster beta at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles in September 2005, with company chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates announcing the second beta at the Supercomputing show in Seattle in November 2005.

To read more about Microsoft's Windows Compute Cluster Server, click here.

Kyril Faenov, Microsoft's director for HPC (high-performance computing), told eWEEK previously that there are three main pillars for Microsoft: business computing; consumer computing; and, now, technical and scientific computing, an area in which there is room for many software advances.

Microsoft will release a single 64-bit-only version of CCS 2003, which will also run on all the hardware platforms supported by Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, on which it is based.

All the major OEMs, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and NEC Solutions America, as well as the major interconnect vendors, have announced support for the product, Faenov said.

"We are going to work with our hardware partners to tailor the systems to particular market scenarios and then to do benchmarks and evidence generation for key applications," he said.

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