Windows HPC

Paul Redfern red at
Tue Aug 6 07:46:21 PDT 2002


Cornell Joins Forces with Dell, Intel, and Microsoft to Expand Usage of
High Performance Cluster Computing in the Corporate Data Center

Aug. 5, 2002 - Cornell Theory Center (CTC) today announced an agreement
with Dell, Intel, and Microsoft to develop and deliver CTC
High-Performance Solutions, a suite of industry standards-based
high-performance computing (HPC) solutions and services for business,
government and academic clients. The agreement provides $60 million
worth of resources over the next four years to aid in solutions

CTC High-Performance Solutions will be based on Dell PowerEdge servers;
IntelR XeonT and ItaniumR family processors and tools; and running
Microsoft Server software. This combination is designed to provide
customers with the performance and availability once only achieved by
proprietary supercomputers at a fraction of the price. CTC will double
the size of its existing 425-server Dell, Intel and Windows-based HPC
clusters as a result of this agreement. With the standards-based
technologies in CTC's clusters, it can provide users with documented
high performance, reliability and security while functioning at
significantly reduced total cost of ownership when compared to the
proprietary supercomputer CTC previously used. 

HPC clustering has been successfully used in university and research
environments for years to solve complex problems, but also has many
practical applications for business such as scalable online transaction
processing with Web clients, decision support systems, engineering
design and analysis, bioinformatics and more. CTC High-Performance
Solutions will apply its Windows HPC expertise to accelerate the
deployment and scale out of Windows-based IT infrastructure in the
private sector. 

CTC High-Performance Solutions will develop robust Windows HPC solution
stacks for broad industry deployment, and will include HPC services such
as UNIX to Windows code porting, optimization, and porting to parallel
environments; systems planning and integration; systems and applications
training and testing; benchmarking. CTC will also offer high-performance
Web services based on Microsoft's .NET software and SQL Server. CTC's
TechExchange Consortium will provide members with more immediate access
to IT technologies and will help drive the evolution of Windows HPC. 

In addition, CTC will establish a technology showcase for
proof-of-concept applications for HPCC in the financial district of New
York City. This facility will be linked to related activities in CTC's
Ithaca, N.Y., laboratories and will serve as the setting for customers
to pilot projects. 

"Establishment of CTC High-Performance Solutions comes at a time when
all sectors of the economy face increasing competition, pressure on
margins, and the need to demonstrate strong and quick returns on
investment," said Thomas F. Coleman, CTC director and Cornell computer
scientist. "With our expanded relationships and combined strengths, we
can show companies, government agencies, and academic institutions how
to expand their technical computing environment, while reducing their
overall IT budget. They can take their existing expensive, proprietary
systems, which are often islands of performance requiring extra systems
staff, and replace them with a more flexible, scale-out clustered
environment that is expandable and that fits in the overall
Windows-based office environment." 

"Cornell Theory Center is playing an important leadership role in
Windows Server-based high-performance computing," said Brian Valentine,
Microsoft Senior Vice President, Windows Division. "They were first to
move completely to Windows for HPC. They have shown that it works in the
most demanding settings. And they will be instrumental in moving HPC out
of the research environment and into the mainstream industry. As we work
together with CTC, Dell, and Intel, the efforts coming out of this
agreement will very clearly show Windows brings the highest value to
high-performance computing applications and companies' business systems
on an industry standards-based IT platform."

"The flexibility, performance and cost-effectiveness of Dell PowerEdge
servers with Intel technology is becoming more and more attractive to
customers in research-intensive industries outside of the university,
due in part to initiatives like CTC's Windows program," said Russ Holt,
vice president of Dell's Enterprise Systems Group. "Through Dell's own
HPCC program, we continue to see customers replacing legacy, proprietary
systems with Intel-based HPC clusters." 

"Intel continues to invest in HPC to propel the industry forward and
drive innovation using Intel's volume economics model - delivering
absolute performance, price/performance, flexibility and choice to
enable supercomputing for the masses," said Mike Fister, senior vice
president and general manager, Intel Enterprise Platforms Group. "Using
the industry-leading floating point performance of the Intel Itanium 2
processor and the world-class price/performance of the Intel Xeon
processor, CTC High-Performance Solutions will help accelerate the
migration of leading-edge computational research into the corporate data
center of the future."

"This tremendous investment by Dell, Intel and Microsoft in the Cornell
Theory Center is a true vote of confidence in the intellectual power of
one of our State's finest academic institutions," said Governor Pataki.
"Industry, university and government collaboration is critical to
economic success in our State and throughout the nation, especially in
the fast-paced world of information technology. This project is a prime
example of how expertise at New York State's top-flight universities can
help industry solve complex problems that will benefit all sectors,
public and private." 

For more information about CTC High-Performance Solutions, visit

About the Cornell Theory Center
CTC is a high-performance computing and interdisciplinary research
center located on the Ithaca campus of Cornell University. CTC currently
operates a Dell/Intel/Windows cluster complex consisting of more than
900 processors. Scientific and engineering projects supported by CTC
represent a vast variety of disciplines, including bioinformatics,
behavioral and social sciences, computer science, engineering,
geosciences, mathematics, physical sciences, and business.

About CTC Systems
CTC's Systems are configured into general purpose, strategic
application, and dedicated clusters. Among the dedicated research
clusters housed at CTC are a 64-node system devoted to computational
materials, 64 nodes for computational biology solutions, 32 nodes to
support the USDA-ARS Center for Agricultural Bioinformatics, and 32
nodes dedicated to social and economic research. CTC also provides a
novel Windows/Dell/Intel 3D, stereo immersive CAVE environment for
scientific visualization. 

Note: Intel, Itanium and Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of
Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other
countries. Dell and PowerEdge are trademarks or registered trademarks of
Dell Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Microsoft,
Windows, SQL Server, and .NET are trademarks or registered trademarks of
Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other names
and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Paul Redfern            

red at


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