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HP and Microsoft embrace and extend around HPC

Robust cuddling leads to test centers

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HP and Microsoft have decided to hold hands as they go after the high performance computing (HPC) market.

Already the tightest of chums, the two vendors have extended an existing sales and marketing pact to the HPC arena. That means HP and Microsoft will whack you with a double-sided hammer, touting the wonders of HP's clusters and Microsoft's Windows Computer Cluster Server (CCS) 2003. The channel will have a chance to join in the fun as well, according to the vendors.

Microsoft has enjoyed a fair amount of success nudging its way into the HPC market so dominated by Linux. The software maker has pitched CCS as a way for customers to attack HPC and clusters via the familiar, warm, loving embrace of the Windows interface and developer tools. A number of labs and financial services types have been smoking what Microsoft is rolling.

In the past, most of Microsoft's big HPC wins have come in tandem with Dell. HP, however, owns a more prominent place in the supercomputing market, trailing only IBM for total number of Top500 list installations.

HP has backed CCS for quite some time, and looks ready now to push even harder with the software.

The vendors have set up technology centers in Houston and Grenoble, France to help both customers and ISVs learn about the HPC agenda. Interested parties can perform benchmarks, testing and application validation at the centers.

Along these lines, HP and Microsoft have announced a deal with computer-aided engineering software maker Ansys. The three companies have worked to port Ansys 11 and FLUENT 6.3 to Microsoft's software.

All of the major hardware and software vendors have picked up on the big business interest around HPC. Impressive compute power has become cheap and manageable enough to make its way out of the labs and into the data centers of large companies, stretching across a wide variety of industries.

The HP and Microsoft tie-up isn't likely to wow too many of you, as it’s a basic extension to their already sickening public displays of affection. Still, you have to appreciate their effort to codify the relationship and to set up the test centers that always seem to accompany this type of announcement. ®

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