Microsoft has a couple of interesting high-performance computing events scheduled later this month. It looks as though the company will launch its Windows HPC Server 2008 at a New York event for Wall Street IT people, a key market for the product, on Sept. 22. Before that, the company will make an announcement with Intel and Seattle-based high-performance computing company Cray on Sept. 16.
Bill Laing, corporate vice president of the Windows Server and Solutions Division, is scheduled to give the keynote address to the 2008 High Performance on Wall Street conference, where he will formally launch the product, which was released in beta last November. That’s according to a PR firm touting the Wall Street conference and Mary Jo Foley. I’m also seeking definitive confirmation from Microsoft. (Update, 2:52 p.m.: Microsoft confirmed this is the launch date.)
Windows HPC Server 2008 is geared for complex, data-intensive tasks performed by engineers, scientists and market analysts, among others. It replaces Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, which the company released in June 2006. This version promises “high-speed networking, highly efficient and scalable cluster management tools, advanced failover capabilities, a service oriented architecture (SOA) job scheduler, and support for partners’ clustered file systems.”
In an internal e-mail laying out the company’s priorities for the 2008 fiscal year, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote, “we must continue to compete against Linux in key workloads such as Web servers and high performance computing.”
On another front, Microsoft appears to be entering some sort of HPC arrangement with Intel and Cray. Among the execs scheduled to speak during next week’s joint announcement is Burton Smith, a Cray co-founder, who left in 2005 to become a Microsoft technical fellow in parallel computing.