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HPC Meets Azure

I've looked into Microsoft and the world of supercomputing and it's a mixed bag. On the client side, I've found that Windows does a poor job exploiting multicore processors and, to some degree, graphical processing units (GPU). That means Windows clients aren't true workstations -- at least in the engineering sense. If you really want to, an ISV can exploit this hardware (with a lot of work) and Windows won't stand in your way too much, but the client does far too little to exploit these capabilities on its own.

The server, at least Windows Server HPC, is different. This really is built for high-performance platforms. And at the recent Supercomputing show in N'awlins, Microsoft unleashed even more power with its main weapon: the Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 -- an OS that exploits multicore, multiprocessing and clustering.

At the show, Microsoft announced Service Pack 1 for HPC, which lets the OS also distribute processing across the cloud, so long as that cloud is based on Azure.

What is the most hypo machine in your shop and what is used for? Brag by writing dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 11/29/2010 at 1:18 PM


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