M$oft CCS sees early successes

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Story over at C|net’s News.com about M$oft’s niche attack on the mostly *nix-flavored HPC market.

As we’ve noted before in this space, with CCS M$soft

the company tried to find a new niche in the market rather than go up against Linux directly. The software giant is trying to win over customers with small clusters, often integrated with the work customers are doing on their Windows PCs.

A few of the customer adoptions noted in the article

the South Florida Water Management District, which is using Windows CCS to power a modest-size five-server cluster that computes water flow to as part of a multibillion-dollar habitat restoration project in the Everglades National Park.

for Saifur Rahman, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, using Linux would have required new expertise. His organization is running Windows CCS on a 16-server cluster for research in transportation and in cancer-related molecular modeling.

Motivation for adoption? Right on message:

“We wanted to remain within the Windows environment so that we could use our existing applications and did not have to retrain our graduate students who have been working in this environment for several years with data from end users,” Rahman said.

Also mentioned in the article is the bias much of our community has against M$oft, at least at the high end. The company’s public face on this is that they aren’t trying to get into the high end, an attempt to turn the other cheek to all the ill will borne it by much of Linux world.

But in public the company is still talking about it’s Top500 list appearances (as it did at HPCC last week). Since there was only ever one CCS entrant on the Top500, and that one quietly switched to Redhat soon after its debut, this smells of a desperate need to be needed.

Which is the wrong approach. The company is doing important work with CCS, as I’ve said many times before. It needs to embrace one identity for CCS and stick with it. If it is successful at bringing a new low end to HPC, there is enough potential for that market to swamp the high end that eventually we’ll all be begging M$oft for evaluation CDs.