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Get Yer Red-Hot Compute Cluster Servers Right Here

As expected, Microsoft announced this week customer availability of its first entry into high-performance computing circles.

Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 was released to manufacturing (RTM) in July with customer deliveries starting this month.

Microsoft had originally hoped to ship Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 by the end of the year, but had to push it back to the first half of 2006. The software will only run on systems that support Intel's and AMD's 64-bit memory addressing technologies.

The system is intended for use in clusters of inexpensive machines that work simultaneously on the same problem. The server's base code is Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. Windows Computer Cluster Server will consist of two CDs -- a Compute Cluster Edition based on the x64 release of Windows Server 2003, and a Compute Cluster Pack consisting of the MPI layer, job scheduler, administrative console and management tools. The components can be used together or separately.

Evaluation versions were handed out to attendees of Microsoft's TechEd 2006 conference in Boston in mid-June. With volume licensing, Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 costs $469 per server node, the company said in June.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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