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Overview of Windows HPC Server

Updated: January 13, 2009

Applies To: Windows HPC Server 2008

Windows HPC Server 2008 brings the power of high-performance computing (HPC) to the commercial mainstream. The centralized management and deployment interface helps to simplify deployment for both large and small compute clusters and provide a simple and effective management experience in order to increase cluster administrator productivity.

The HPC Pack 2008 includes a highly scalable job scheduler that provides support for interactive Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) applications using High Performance Computing for Windows Communication Foundation (HPC for WCF) and parallel jobs using the Microsoft Message Passing Interface (MS-MPI). Essential applications from key independent software providers (ISVs) can be run on the cluster to help you meet your business needs in a timely, cost-effective, and highly productive manner.

Integration with the Windows operating system helps to provide seamless security, storage, and desktop access to cluster resources and management. Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 provides parallel debugging capabilities for use with Windows HPC Server 2008, and MS-MPI is now integrated with the Event Tracing for Windows infrastructure. This consolidates application, networking, and operating system events from many compute nodes into a single, time-correlated record to speed debugging.

Windows HPC Server 2008 is built on the x64-based version of the Windows Server 2008 operating system. Included is an advanced job scheduler, a new and faster MS-MPI, rapid deployment options using Windows Deployment Services, and a new management interface built on the System Center user interface (UI), which has support for Windows PowerShell as a preferred scripting language. In Windows HPC Server 2008, the head node takes advantage of Windows Server 2008 failover services as well as the failover clustering capabilities of Microsoft SQL Server for cluster failover and redundancy.

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