Windows HPC Server Close to Linux HPC Stack

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jun 30, 2010


According to The Register, the R2 update of Microsoft's HPC Server 2008 includes similar tools that a Linux distro uses to support parallel supercomputing workloads. The Register also suggests that to take on Linux in the HPC racket, it will require a lot more capabilities.


Windows HPC Server 2008 includes similar tools that a Linux distro uses to support parallel supercomputing workloads.

"Microsoft approached Double-Take, one of its disaster-recovery software partners (which is in the process of being eaten by high-availability software vendor Vision Solutions for $242m), to adapt its Flex bare-metal provisioning and remote boot tools so it could support diskless provisioning of compute nodes over iSCSI links back to storage arrays for Windows HPC Server 2008. HPC shops are notorious cheapskates, so any piece of iron not in a server means less money spent and less heat, which in turn means more flops to do real work.

"The resulting product, called Flex for HPC, can provision 100 diskless HPC nodes in under five minutes, according to Steve Marfisi, product manager for the Flex product line at Double-Take. It takes longer to do a larger number, and initial tests have shown it takes 90 minutes to juggle the images and fire them up for around 500 nodes. The reason is that the Windows cluster doesn't just boot from a raw OS image, but also has what Marfisi calls 'differing disks', which Flex already had for its Windows replication software, so each node can not only get the raw image, but have its own unique software and data. This personalization was created for the Flex virtual desktop provisioning tool, where PC images are booted off the network but allow for each user to have some customization."

Read the Full Story at The Register

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