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 PostPost subject: Windows HPC Server 2008 RTM's        Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:49 pm 
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Source: http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/ ... rtm-s.aspx

We’re DONE with HPC Server 2008! We shipped our first beta last November, then a series of CTPs, then a second Beta in May, then a couple release candidates, and now we are FINISHED. 600MB of technical specifications, 500K lines of code, 250 customer based design changes, and 3000 beta downloads.



2 years and 3 months ago we shipped Compute Cluster Server 2003 (yes, a strange name for a product that shipped in 2006). Now we’re shipping Windows HPC Server 2008. First, we have a better name. The Clunk-Clunk of Compute Cluster’s cacophony was confusing. The “HPC” means we’re ready for the most demanding HPC workloads. For example, on the last Top 500 list we were number TWENTY-THREE, jumping 93 positions from our previous listing of #116.



Yes, there are a lot of skeptics. The HPC industry uses mostly Linux or UNIX servers. To even suggest Windows could be successful in HPC is blasphemy. To build our second release we went to customers, especially customers who didn’t use Windows. We conducted over 100 customer visits. We did internships, where we would work on site with HPC admins and developers. We created a customer advisory board with leading HPC experts from computational finance, engineering, government, academia and the life sciences and they were brutally honest with their feedback. We assisted several ISVs with their ports to Windows and conducted five separate week-long performance deep-dives with ISVs where we not only helped port, analyze, and tune their codes but we helped with improving concurrency in general. In the process we ate a lot of humble pie while learning how people really use their HPC servers: job schedulers, deployment tools, cluster administration tools, compilers, debuggers, and MPI stacks.



What did we learn from all these meetings? First, the traditional HPC die-hards loved beating up on a Microsoft person for a while. After a while, when they learned that we were earnest, they opened up a little. We learned Windows must perform as well as Linux. There isn’t a single feature we could build that would convince people to switch to Windows if we didn’t have the perf. Second, once we meet Linux on perf then people want solutions that let them focus on their day job instead of learning to be an HPC administrator. Many users just want to use their application, like Matlab, Mathematica, Fluent, BLAST, Excel (yep), or favorite open source app and ignore the fact that there is a supercomputer behind their application making things faster. What a bummer we spent so much time making the job submission UI so pretty. Heh.



With HPC Server 2008 we achieved our performance goals and our customers and partners are responding. One ISV’s CEO got up at his user group meeting and announced that in 5 years most of his users would switch to Windows. All jokes about the Finance Industry aside, one of our beta customers is running their financial models on our beta software. At the International Supercomputing Conference Mellanox was doing live demos of HPC Server 2008 achieving 2µsec latency and 2GB/sec (gigaBYTE not gigabit) throughput on their new ConnectX Infiniband cards. At this speed, the entire contents of the US Library of Congress – some 29 million books and 101 million other sound recordings, videos, etc. - can be transmitted in 2.5 hours!



Finally, Cray became our newest OEM partner. Cray! The Supercomputer Company! Even the skeptics are taking notice of this announcement. All of our customer focus and performance work means we can create affordable, easy-to-use supercomputing solutions. This in turn means HPC can go further into the mainstream. Cray is a big believer in this model and the Cray CX1 fits under your desk. Woah! Now, instead of waiting for hours to run your job on the big supercomputer you can run your models on the supercomputer in your office, saving the big jobs for the big cluster and running your regular jobs immediately. Oh, and the hardware is beautiful. Check it out.



What’s next? We’re working hand in hand with our customer advisory board and TAP customers to design the next release of HPC Server. We’ll have more to report next year as we continue to focus on performance while making HPC part of mainstream computing.



Off to find champagne!

Ryan Waite

Product Unit Manager, Windows HPC Server


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:09 pm 
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Whats the price tag?

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:49 pm 
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I suspect it's a case of "if you have to ask, you can't afford it"... ;)

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:14 am 
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more like "you don't need it"


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:26 am 
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What exactly is this?

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:42 am 
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It's a fact: Windows HPC Server 2008 (HPCS) combines the power of the Windows Server platform with rich, out-of-the-box functionality to help improve the productivity and reduce the complexity of your HPC environment. Windows HPC Server 2008 can efficiently scale to thousands of processing cores and provides a comprehensive set of deployment, administration, and monitoring tools that are easy to deploy, manage, and integrate with your existing infrastructure.


Cray's computers are shipping with it. Also, there is a 180-day trial available to anyone who spends way too much money on computers.

Some screencasts: http://www.microsoft.com/hpc/en/us/demos.aspx


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:52 am 
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Is it possible to link machines through Cat5? Possibly fill up as many idle dual/quad core systems with virtual machines running and then link them together in some kind of cluster of doom...

Also, how can you write multithreaded applications that support 10+ cores (I suppose they must be multithreaded)...

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:45 am 
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First of all, I am going to remind everyone that no one on BA should have a need to use this product.
Windows HPC Server 2008 is a high performance cluster server for really really huge company that needs a high performance server for accessing data. No, not even BA need to run on it, although it would be helpful.
Licencing is very expensive, thus no one will have a use of this (unless your insane) at home.
The ammount of hardware required to have this server fully operational is in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Here's some images of what is a cluster server (from google) incase if your not sure:
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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:10 am 
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Windows HPC 2008 is inexpensive. It's possible to create a small HPC cluster for $5000 to $10,000, a price that Microsoft notes is about 10,000 times less expensive than the cost of similar computing power in 1991. (Microsoft charges $475 per node.) A basic compute cluster will include a head node server and then some number of computer nodes. The head node connects the cluster to your broader internal network, but communication within the cluster occurs through a separate, private network.

Windows HPC 2008 is for developers. Thanks to integration with Visual Studio 2008, it's possible for developers to write HPC solutions in record time and take advantage of the product's unique functionality. Developers can also easily port their HPC solutions from more expensive and complex solutions to Windows HPC. And Windows HPC 2008 is fully compatible with the standard Message Passing Interface (MPI) message-passing API and specification, which is widely used by existing HPC clusters.


But, yes, like I said: Too much money.

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First of all, I am going to remind everyone that no one on BA should have a need to use this product.


Also, I'd like to point out that no one on BetaArchive should have a need to use any pre-release software that most of you here enjoy screwing around with.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:43 pm 
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well, there is nothing to screw around with this product.
Other beta product like longhorn could be tested for fun.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:50 pm 
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Here's HPC Server 2008 if anyone's interested to see it :) -

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:42 am 
The licence price of Win 2003 Compute cluster was not so high. In fact it was cheaper than Win 2003 standard but it can only be used as compute node (where 2008 standard can be DC, file server etc.)

The price is even high because when you are building a farm you don't buy 2 servers but at least 4 and generally at least 16.

MS tried to develop this market so they often offered the licences and in my case the servers too (3 nodes + 1 head node).


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:35 pm 
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Does anybody still have the Beta/CTP builds of it?

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:28 pm 
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@Vista Ultimate R2

from where did you get the images? Do you have it installed?

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:36 pm 
Luckie wrote:
@Vista Ultimate R2

from where did you get the images? Do you have it installed?


well i think so, trial is avaible here --> http://download.microsoft.com/download/ ... HPC_EN.iso as amd64 version


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:38 pm 
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For a complete set of images (installation) see at my site:

http://djrob.betaarchive.co.uk/gallery/index.php?spgmGal=Microsoft%20Windows/(14)%20Server%202008/6.0.6001.18000/HPC

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:07 pm 
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Luckie wrote:
@Vista Ultimate R2

from where did you get the images? Do you have it installed?

Yep, just installed the trial (same as the full version, just without a retail key supplied) into VMware. The installation is identical to Server 2008 apart from the Eula (if you enter no key, it doesn't offer you a choice of editions like in the normal Server 2008, it just goes straight to the HPC Eula) but you end up with "Server 2008 HPC Edition".

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:32 pm 
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thx Namronia and Vista Ultimate R2 :)

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:23 pm 
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XDude wrote:
well, there is nothing to screw around with this product.
Other beta product like longhorn could be tested for fun.


This could be tested for fun, there is a free trial and it runs on any 64-bit machine.


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