HPC Server 2008 job startup experiences

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Christian Terboven has a quick post on his experiences getting ready for a Top500 run on a Win HPC Server Harpertown cluster

One of the things that impressed me most was the job startup time. We have been using 256 nodes and as each node has eight cores, the Linpack run consists of 2048 MPI processes. On most Unix cluster I have been working so far, starting a job of that size took a reasonable amount of time, typically several minutes. On our Windows HPC Server 2008 (beta) installation, that took only a couple of seconds. Because we were so excited about that, we recorded a video.

To see the video and read more about Christian’s experiences, check out the post.


  1. Rich Hickey says

    The first thing I thought was “Not In My Datacenter!!! What a farce, Windows HPC, ya not!” Then I got to thinking, am I really so pig headed and stubborn that I can’t entertain the idea of a different OS besides a unix flavor in HPC? I’m not all agains Window$. Heck, I have family members that work for Microsoft, can you spell employee discount?! But the idea of windows bloatware being an effective HPC variant? I’m still not too sure about it.

    I decided to watch the video, which wasn’t all that exciting really. But then I started poking around and checked out the interview with Ryan Waite. (I linked it here, hope you don’t mind John.)


    One of the things I’ve found about Microsoft, whether you love em or hate em, you have to admit, they hire some pretty bright folks. It’s hard to condemn a project like Compute Cluster 2008 after listening to Ryan talk about the developement process. It really sounds like they did a good job of looking at the HPC market and how it currently works. He even mentions people being almost religious in their MPI stack choice. Hmmm… Anyone remember a SCALI discussion here not too long ago? 🙂

    Also sounds like they did a lot of collaboration with Argon National Labs. More bright folks down there.

    So, in short, ya to late now, I know. I’m not sold on the idea of Windows Compute Cluster, however I’d be interested in seeing more. Might be a good thing, might not.

    With a final thought. Microsoft has a TON of money to throw at any project they find interesting. Would that be a bad thing for HPC? It may be a windows variant, but it’s money and talent added to the HPC arena.

    I’ll shut up now.