ZDNet wrote last week about a new HPC offering that Microsoft is evidently planning on moving from research to commercial product in the coming months. The platform is called “Dryad”
Dryad is an ongoing Microsoft Research project dedicated to developing ways to write parallel and distributed programs that can scale from small clusters to large datacenters. There’s a DryadLINQ compiler and runtime that is related to the project. Microsoft released builds of Dryad and DryadLINQ code to academics for noncommercial use in the summer 2009.
As you can see from the diagram (click for a larger view), there is a lot of technology in the platform, including a compiler, runtime, a new file system (TidyFS), and a scheduler (Quincy). “Nectar” is a set of data management tools
“In a Nectar-managed data center, all access to a derived dataset is mediated by Nectar. At the lowest level of the system, a derived dataset is referenced by the LINQ program fragment or expression that produced it. Programmers refer to derived datasets with simple pathnames that contain a simple indirection (much like a UNIX symbolic link) to the actual LINQ programs that produce them.”
According to ZDNet, Dryad was outed in a presentation this month with plans to offer a Community Technology Preview in November 2010 (announced with SC10, I’m guessing), with a final release for Windows HPC Server by next year.