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Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Released

Microsoft has announced the immediate availability of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2. This server offers new capabilities for powerful analysis.

“This release of Windows HPC server is a key step in our long-term goal to make the power of technical computing accessible to a broader set of customers, with capabilities across the desktop, servers and the cloud,” said Bill Hilf, general manager, Microsoft Technical Computing Group. “Customers in all industries can use Windows HPC Server as a foundation for building and running simulations that model the world around us, speeding discovery and helping to make better decisions.”

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 technical advancements inlcude:

  • A comprehensive and integrated solution. With Windows HPC Server, customers have an end-to-end HPC platform and do not need to spend additional time and money to piece together multiple technologies. It provides a streamlined experience for administrators and users because it is interoperable with the Microsoft IT infrastructure many customers have invested in and use today, such as Active Directory, SharePoint Server, Microsoft System Center, and Microsoft Office.
  • New capabilities for more powerful analysis and computation. HPC Services for Excel 2010 in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 reduces calculation time of huge, complex spreadsheets by orders of magnitude. For example, calculation of a workbook with 1,700 records dropped from 14 hours to less than three minutes. In addition, customers can now turn spare processor cycles on Windows 7-based workstations into desktop compute clouds that expand the capacity of Windows HPC Server clusters.
  • Growing application support. Hundreds of technical computing applications currently run on Windows HPC Server 2008 R2, with a sixteenfold increase over the past two years.

    The cloud is a key pillar of Microsoft’s Technical Computing initiative. At the High Performance Computing Financial Markets Conference, Microsoft demonstrated how customers will be able to burst HPC workloads from their on-premises datacenters to the cloud for elastic, just-in-time processing power. In the near future, the company will release an update to Windows HPC Server that allows customers to provision and manage HPC nodes in Windows Azure from within on-premises server clusters.

    At the conference, Microsoft also highlighted another tenet of its Technical Computing initiative: Simplifying the development of HPC applications for the new generation of distributed, or parallel, computing resources on client systems, server clusters and in the cloud. With Windows HPC Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010, and partners such as Intel Corporation and NVIDIA, Microsoft is providing an integrated parallel computing platform upon which developers can efficiently design, test, and optimize parallel code for deployment on client, cluster or cloud computing resources.

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