Microsoft Releases Computational Cluster Technical Preview Toolkit

Jared Hodge jared_hodge at
Wed Feb 14 07:48:36 PST 2001

The homepage for MS "High Performance Computing" (isn't that an
oxymoron?) is just .  I found
the FAQ link especially amusing.  Here is a quote from that:

"Q. How does a Windows-based supercluster compare with one running UNIX
or Linux?
A. In short, there’s very little substantive difference, but owners of
existing UNIX-based solutions will face changes that will cause them
some work and discomfort (less for users than for their current
administrators and support staff). These are offset in part by lower
costs of ownership (technical skills required), breadth of applications
and support tools, vendor support options, and commonality with the
constantly improving desktop environment.
	From a hardware perspective, there’s very little difference seen by the
application. In the past, UNIX-based hardware environments had better
floating-point performance, but that’s been offset in the last few years
by Moore’s Law curves for large-volume products that have advanced
faster than specialty products have, as well as the price and support
cost differentials between these vendors’ products.
	From a software perspective, Windows is a markedly different
environment, designed with priorities set by a much different market
segment than traditional science and engineering. Windows NT® and now
Windows 2000 were designed to meet the needs of those ISVs building
products for businesses that are unable or unwilling to dedicate their
best people to support their infrastructure (versus focusing on building
solutions for their business mission), as well as the needs of a
hardware community that required continuous integration of new devices
and components."

Thanks to Yoon Jae Ho for the link, I needed a good laugh today.  Maybe
I should send this to my friends as a joke, naa they probably wouldn't
get it anyway.  I have to say, although I can't really share your
concern about the computing needs for Korea (being an American), I think
we can all agree that the general state of ignorance towards the Beowulf
project is something that needs to be remedied before Microsoft gets a
chokehold on this market just like it has on the desktop market.

Christoph Wasshuber wrote:
> Matt Links wrote:
> >
> > from
> >
> > "Until recently, most clustered computers ran UNIX or proprietary
> > operating systems on proprietary hardware. Microsoft changed all
> > that with Windows® 2000, the de facto industry-standard operating
> > system. Now anyone with massive computing needs can create
> > clusters using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) PCs and a shrink-wrapped
> > version of Windows 2000. "
> >
> > I don't know about the rest of you but this makes me laugh.
> It makes me very angry!! Because it is clearly a lie! Isn't there
> a Better Business Bureau or somewhere to complain about? This is
> clear misinformation.
> Chris....
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Jared Hodge
Institute for Advanced Technology
The University of Texas at Austin
3925 W. Braker Lane, Suite 400
Austin, Texas 78759

Phone: 512-232-4460
FAX: 512-471-9096
Email: Jared_Hodge at

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