Microsoft Corp. today announced the release to manufacturing of Windows® Compute Cluster Server 2003, the company’s first software offering designed to run parallel, high-performance computing (HPC) applications for customers solving complex computations. Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 accelerates customers’ time to insight by providing a reliable, HPC platform that is simple to deploy, operate, and integrate with existing infrastructure and tools. The product will be generally available to customers in August, and evaluation versions will be provided to attendees of the Microsoft® Tech•Ed 2006 conference, June 11–16 in Boston.
Evaluation versions are available today from http://www.microsoft.com/hpc, with generally availability scheduled for August via volume licensing and original equipment manufacturing licensing. Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 will be available in the volume license channel for an estimated price of $469 (U.S.) per node, but prices will vary depending on license and volume.
The price is aggressive, but it’s not free like Linux, the entrenched competition. Microsoft is building an ecosystem of OEMs and ISVs as well as working with a number of customers, but the real question is whether there’s a market for commodity HPC or it will remain the province of the research community. There’s more background in Ina Fried’s interview with Kyril Faenov, Microsoft’s director of High Performance Computing, at ZDNet.