Windows For Supercomputers

By on March 3, 2005 reports that Microsoft is working on a version of Windows for supercomputing environments. God help us.

Microsoft is aiming to have its first cluster version of Windows ready in time for a supercomputing conference this fall.

Software Architect Marvin Theimer said on Thursday that the company hopes to have a beta, or test version, by this summer, with the final version of Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition ready by the SC2005 supercomputing conference in November.

Let’s feed this one into my patented ‘FutureHeadline 2.0’ software:

Sasser Worm Sets New Spam Record On Government Windows Supercomputing Cluster

And, overheard in the IT department of the future?
“Well, the hotfix screwed up processing on about 5% of the nodes in our 200-node cluster, so Randy’s got to go around today, figure out which ones failed, and re-apply the patches on those from the terminals.”

Product tagline from the future?

Microsoft Pharmaceuticals Supercluster: What do you want to cure today?

OK, I’ll stop now.

Via OSNews.



  1. “So… Cray# will be the next .NET product?”

    Actually, yes. From the article:

    Theimer also outlined Microsoft’s goals for two follow-up versions. The next version of the Compute Cluster edition will extend to Microsoft’s .Net programming infrastructure, letting developers write software using the C# programming language, he said. Although such code runs more slowly than C programs running directly on Windows, writing programs in C# that run atop .Net is easier and more secure.

    Often, Theimer said, it’s more important to have a program as soon as possible than to have it running at peak performance, he said.

    “Anything that improves my development time is worth the trouble,” he said

  2. I’ve thought about this, and I cannot understand what value Windows would bring to someone doing computing of this level. I can’t think of ONE reason why you would run Windows on a big cluster like this.

    What value would it bring? The value Windows normally brings to servers are related to (1) integration with a Windows network (file shares, etc.), (2) high-level languages like .Net and such, and (3) ease of management.

    But —

    (1) You’re not going to be opening file shares on your nuclear simulator

    (2) If you’re doing weather simulations, you ain’t doing them in Visual Basic. You’re programming in C or Assembler, and why move to Windows for this?

    (3) I imagine supercomputer administration is quite different from standard server administration, and I imagine it’s very different from install to install.

    This is not a standard “Windows sucks” comment. But I would really like some legitimate input from someone why a supercomputer user would want or need Windows.

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