[Beowulf] MS HPC... pricing...

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon Jun 12 11:11:11 PDT 2006

At 09:43 AM 6/12/2006, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>We will confront you with your statement in a few years from now.
>If microsoft doesn't price their server/cluster stuff too expensive then 
>in X years from
>now they'll dominate the highend market. Microsoft always has just taken 
>markets by
>storming in giving away copies of their software for near free initially.

 From zdnet.com

The Compute Cluster software will sell for an estimated $469 per node, less 
than the company's standard server OS price. The cost of Windows Server 
varies based on the version of the operating system, but the standard 
edition with the ability to connect to five computers has a suggested price 
of $999.

"The price is less than standard Windows Server," Faenov said. "We got 
feedback that that is an attractive price."

The software is also among the first products from Microsoft that will run 
only on machines that have 64-bit processors, though it can still run 
32-bit software.


So there you have it.. more than workstation windows, less than server windows.


and as far as applications:

Faenov said he is encouraged by the amount of HPC-related software already 
developed for Windows, including programs from MathWorks, Ansys and The 
BioTeam. Next, Faenov said he hopes to see Microsoft expand into the 
electronic design automation area, talking to folks like 
Graphics and 

There you go.. you have products from Ansys (Lots of design and Finite 
element stuff) which are hideously compute intensive, run in the Windows 
environment (because it has to, the engineer also runs MS Office for 
institutional compatibility) and could really benefit from an "attached 
cluster appliance" to make things go reasonably fast.
I suspect that WCC is integrated into their Parallel Performance stuff:

Note well that Ansys (and others) generally support multiple platforms 
(including Linux) but WCC gives them the ability to sell their (pretty 
expensive) product into an "all-windows" environment, which, in some 
institutions, is a good thing.

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