Microsoft Releases Computational Cluster Technical Preview To olkit

Mattson, Timothy G timothy.g.mattson at intel.com
Tue Feb 13 19:40:40 PST 2001


Richard,
 
Please try not to be so negative.  I was involved with producing the
"microsoft clustering solution", and I assure you, its much more than you
suggested.  
 
At the heart of the CD are the excellent tools from MPI software Technology
Inc.  They are commercial tools, so the Beowulf community may not like
them.  But rest assured, there are many companies out there who'd rather
pay someone to maintain their cluster middleware than maintain it
themselves.
 
Also on the CD is Intel's MKL library, PLAPACK from Robert van de Geijn's
group, and a collection of scripts and documentation from the Cornel
Threory Center.  Oh, and lets not forget the Microsoft contribution, Visual
studio and Windows 2000.  
 
Its a commercial clustering solution, so of course, the software is
provided as evaluation copies only.  But the evaluation period is more than
long enough to determine if the solution stack works.
 
Its important to note that there is a community out there --- granted not
well represented on this list --- who sincerely believe in the Microsoft
O.S.'s.   Rather than putting them down, I prefer to recognize that "one
size doesn't fit all" and do what can be done to enable clustering in both
Linux and Microsoft O.S.'s.  
 
thank you,
 
--Tim Mattson
 
Dislcaimer:  the views expressed in this note are my own -- not my
employers.
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Schilling, Richard [mailto:RSchilling at affiliatedhealth.org]
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2001 4:59 PM
To: beowulf at beowulf.org
Subject: RE: Microsoft Releases Computational Cluster Technical Preview To
olkit 



O.K. someone has to start, so might as well be me. . . . 

I'd bet if Peter Dell ran some numbers on how much it would cost to hire
all of us to develop custom software -vs- the total cost of ownership for a
"Microsoft clustering solution", we'd beat 'em in price.

I looked at the web page for the clustering preview kit, and the kit comes
with a bunch of evaluation software, including C++, and some versions of
MPI and PALPACK.  The problem I can see outright is that you've got to use
all the evaluation stuff - Visual C++, Windows 2000 Server, etc . . . to do
any testing.  And after all that work to develop a test suite (e.g. convert
your existing code), the only thing you have is a system that works for as
long as the evaluation software runs out - if you even get done before
then.  And buying the software to keep it going means buying into the
product life cycle for Microsoft products.  

I've seen too much work go into other products to justify the time needed
to explore this.  Perhaps just another marketing ploy to hock mediocre
software.  

So, am I alone in my concerns? 


Here's to getting Microsoft to CONTRIBUTE something USEFUL, 

Richard Schilling 
Webmaster / Web Integration Programmer 
http://www.affiliatedhealth.org <http://www.affiliatedhealth.org>  

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