The companies have come together to drive high-performance computing into the mass market by delivering supercomputing clusters that are easier to deploy, support and manage for enterprise and mid-market customers.
The extension of the alliance entails a multimillion dollar investment by both HP and Microsoft, and includes HP selling Microsoft Windows(R) Compute Cluster Server (CCS) 2003 direct and via reseller channels as part of the HP Unified Cluster Portfolio, which is supported on HP ProLiant servers, HP BladeSystem and HP Cluster platforms.
"High-performance computing is poised for continued strong growth, averaging over 20 percent a year for the last four years, with HPC standards-based clusters growing at even higher rates. End-users are looking for easy-to-use systems and will likely go with vendors that can provide an easy transition from their desktop to HPC servers," said Earl Joseph, program vice president, IDC, an industry analyst firm. "The HP and Microsoft partnership to provide Windows Compute Cluster Server on ProLiant and Blades platforms has the potential to address these key user requirements and enable more customers to take advantage of HPC technologies. Many users, especially desktop users, are already familiar with the Windows environment, and this partnership provides an easy transition to an HPC solution."
The combination of Windows CCS and HP servers enables users to effortlessly expand their compute capability and easily tap into the power of clusters. Windows CCS is designed specifically to make HPC clusters easier to design, integrate and manage within organizations so employees are more productive.
HP enhancements to Windows CCS include custom installation scripts and documentation that greatly streamline deployment. The optional HP Message Passing Interface and InfiniBand drivers offer increased scalability and performance in applications that require high-speed, low-latency communications. Using HP's custom installation kit for Windows CCS, a customer can realistically expect to have a 64-node cluster deployed and running within two hours.
"We see the addition of Microsoft as an important part of our Unified Cluster Portfolio program to expand the market and bring HPC technology to the mainstream," said Winston Prather, vice president and general manager, High Performance Computing, HP.
As part of the alliance, HP and Microsoft have established technology centers in Houston and Grenoble, France, for customers and independent software vendors. The technology centers provide a venue for benchmarking, testing and validating applications on HP servers based on AMD and Intel(R) processors running Windows CCS.
HP and Microsoft team with ANSYS to bring HPC to vertical industries
HPC resources are in wide use in industries such as computer-aided engineering (CAE), oil and gas and financial services. To help more customers take advantage of HPC solutions based on Windows, HP and Microsoft are teaming with ANSYS, Inc., a global innovator of simulation software and technologies. The three companies are delivering the ANSYS portfolio of CAE applications as part of a cost-effective, easy-to-use and security-enhanced Windows HPC solution.
"By working collectively with HP, an industry leader in HPC, and Microsoft, the world's leading software provider, ANSYS is providing customers with access to the most productive and powerful engineering simulation solutions available," said Chris Reid, vice president of marketing, ANSYS. "ANSYS software is a valuable tool for anybody making fundamental design and engineering decisions, and our joint solutions with HP and Microsoft allow those decision makers to stay focused on innovation instead of lengthy IT deployment."
Recently, Microsoft and ANSYS agreed on worldwide sales and marketing initiatives focused on joint solutions for the manufacturing industry. As part of these initiatives, ANSYS worked through the Microsoft and HP technology center to port, performance-tune and conduct benchmarks with its ANSYS(R) 11 and FLUENT(R) 6.3 CAE applications and the 64-bit Windows Server(R) platform.
"Microsoft is making long-term investments in HPC to help the community collaborate on innovative solutions that can accelerate the pace of discovery and insights," said Bill Laing, general manager, Windows Server Division, Microsoft Corp. "Microsoft's work with HP and ANSYS will deliver greater productivity and performance so they can tackle today's most complex, technical computing challenges. Our long-established relationship with HP, and strong reseller channels, will enable us to bring HPC solutions to enterprise and mid-market customers."
More information about HP high-performance computing is available at www.hp.com/go/hptc. Further information about Microsoft high-performance computing is available at www.microsoft.com/hpc.
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