Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft Unite for HPC

A pair of IT icons are looking to bring Windows into the high-performance computer space.

Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard jointly announced June 26 that both companies would pour millions into packaging Microsoft’s Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 suite with HP’s Unified Cluster Portfolio.

The announcement between HP and Microsoft comes at the start of the 2007 International Supercomputer Conference in Dresden, Germany.

Since Microsoft released its Cluster Server, HP has offered support for the operating system through its Unified Cluster Portfolio, which offers a combination of hardware, software and services designed for the HPC field.

HP’s Cluster Portfolio use the Palo Alto, Calif., company’s ProLiant line of servers, its BladeSystem offerings and its own HP Cluster platform. These servers use a combination of microprocessors from Intel and Advance Micro Devices.

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For Microsoft, the agreement gives the Redmond, Wash. software giant a chance to significantly increase its presence in the HPC market, which has been dominated by Linux and Unix operating systems. In January, Microsoft and Silicon Graphics signed an agreement that allows SGI to support the 64-bit OS with its Altix XE cluster systems, which use Intel’s Xeon processors.

In a statement, both companies said the agreement would help expand HPC to enterprise and midmarket customers, while making these high-end clusters easier to create and manage.

The agreement also establishes two facilities in Houston and France for customers as well as ISVs to test and validate applications using HP’s Unified Cluster Portfolio with the Windows Cluster Server. In addition, HP will sell the Windows Cluster Server suite both directly and through its channel partners.

In addition to the agreement between HP and Microsoft, the two companies inked a deal with Ansys, which creates simulation software and other technologies for oil and gas companies as well as financial institutions. These two vertical markets are some of the largest users of HPC hardware and software.

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