Microsoft is set to bring the power of grid computing within reach of small businesses with the release of a high-performance computing (HPC) product this summer.
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Microsoft’s Windows Compute Cluster Server effectively offers companies their own enterprise grid in a box. It uses clusters of processors to carry out large numbers of calculations for tasks such as data modelling and business forecasting.
The server software could typically run on a server with up to 128 processors. It will have predefined code for different industries and will be capable of financial or economic modelling, manufacturing process projections, and fluid dynamics optimisation, said Microsoft.
To date, the field of high-performance computing has been dominated by open source grids, particularly in the academic and scientific communities.
Users will benefit by having a familiar Windows environment, said Tony Hey, Microsoft corporate vice-president for high-performance computing. “We are commoditising high-performance computing so biologists can use it without having to have a Linux expert on hand,” he said.
● A survey of 100 IT leaders published this week by software firm Morse has found that many business leaders consider high-performance computing to be complex, expensive and insecure. Eighty eight per cent said their board did not see grid computing as a priority, and only 8% said they had adopted or were planning to adopt grid computing.