Microsoft fluffs boffins with supercomputer promise
It's crunch time
Microsoft plans on delivering supercomputing power to a broader audience of scientists via its cloud computing and server technologies.
On Tuesday, the company announced its new Technical Computing group, saying it will let scientists focus on research without having to build or program complicated applications or server systems.
The group is part of Microsoft's server and tools division, under president Bob Muglia, and it will focus on three areas: Azure compute cloud power, simplified development of parallel programs, and development of powerful technical computing tools and applications.
Muglia outlined here how Microsoft can help. Scientists can augment their on-premises systems using Azure, while Microsoft is building what he called new tools to "automate and simplify writing software through parallel processing" for desktop, cluster, and cloud. Also coming are what he called "easy-to-use tools and applications" that will automate data acquisition, modeling, simulation, visualization, workflow, and collaboration.
Microsoft's general manager of technical computing Bill Hilf said here: "Our goal is to create technical computing solutions that speed discovery, invention and innovation."
The company has augmented the effort with a website packing video from scientists and its own researchers discussing the issues here. ®
"New" supercomputer group?
When in doubt, reorganise. After all, it worked for DEC, didn't it.
What were MS's HPC folk up to back in 2006 (or was it 2003 - the answer is in the article, for the Sun readers amongs us)?
"Microsoft has just chosen the UK for the worldwide launch of Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, its HPC (High Performance Computing) offering.
This is because high performance and technical computing is a growth market in the UK and a lot of the basic work on it was done at places like Professor Simon Cox's Microsoft HPC Institute at Southampton University."
It was a big hit in the HPC marketplace, was it not?
What, even less succesful than Vista? Howcome? Just because Windows hasn't a clue about high performance low latency software (preferably with SMP or multinode apps) doesn't mean it can't produce ever such pretty charts you know. As long as you've not used fixed point (scaled) integers for performance, that is. Excel rather struggles with those.
How sweet, MS have 'goals' and 'aims' to solve problems in the scietific community. It doesn't mean they're going to achieve them. I think MS doesn't have the first clue what is actually required, but they are talking it up as much as they can.
Meanwhile, the real solutions providers will continue to provide the to scientific community in an open and engaged manner. For example IBM has been trying to solve exactly these problems through their PERCS project and this has been going on for years with the aim to deliver this year.
MS is desperate to move out of their desktop/small server space, but this ain't it.
Move along MS, nothing to see.
3? Lower, lower!
Officially Shanghai's massive system is a Windows machine - because their benchmarks were done under Windows - and were good enough to get in the top 10 with its benchmark.
However the majority of the time it runs Linux because that's where the real apps and the real users are.
So, not 3, but 2, or fewer!