At the High Performance on Wall Street conference (last September (2008)), Microsoft’s high performance computing honcho, Bill Laing announced Windows HPC Server 2008. Microsoft’s goal is to take HPC mainstream and make Windows an alternative to Linux and Unix for HPC customers, particularly in the financial sector.
Meanwhile, in addition to the core group of customer organizations that helped Microsoft hone the product, Microsoft also helped some early adopters take advantage of the technology for ongoing work.
Ricky Higgins, IT director in the products and markets group at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets, said his organization was in the midst of an upgrade of its IT infrastructure and Microsoft was able to help them seamlessly migrate their systems ahead of schedule with the Microsoft HPC platform. "HPC was a natural progression for us," Higgins said, noting that the Microsoft HPC offering is similar to other products the company uses. "There was minimal disruption because there were few training and usability issues," since Lloyds TSB users were familiar with the Microsoft technology.
"Microsoft believes HPC means more than high performance computing; it also means high-productivity computing," Laing said, noting that he has been working on operating systems for 35 years and decided to come to Microsoft nine years ago to "bring high-end features into the mainstream. And I believe the financial sector is critical to helping to drive adoption of HPC into the mainstream."
As part of the Microsoft Dynamic IT initiative, the company is pushing application development and deployment processes that will focus on the use of models, Laing said. "We want to enable customers to be more agile and dynamic," he added.