IT Professional

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 provides a productive, cost-effective, and high-performance computing (HPC) solution that runs on x64-bit hardware. Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 can be deployed, managed, and extended using familiar tools and technologies. Get up to speed quickly with Microsoft HPC Server 2008 R2 with these videos, white papers, and presentations.


Overview of Microsoft Technical Computing and HPC Server 2008 R2
A high level synopsis of Microsoft's Technical Computing offerings is presented by Ryan Waite, General Manager for High Performance Computing. The sheer size of generated data is a key driver in today's computational ecosphere. By the end of 2010, over 1.2 zetabyte of data will have been generated. Microsoft has been working closely with Intel to integrate their Parallel Studio product into Visual Studio 2010. R2 is Microsoft's third release of the HPC product built on Windows, scalable to thousands of nodes. This release realizes the product team's vision of democratizing high performance computing, simplifying ease-of-use by means of intuitive interfaces such as Excel 2010, while meeting the performance needs of the HPC community. The distributed memory and resource model is implemented in Microsoft's cloud computing solution, with automated service management, relational storage, and information management suites available on the Windows Azure platform. From client, to cluster, to cloud, our customers' computational challenges are covered.

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Monitoring and Management Part One
Cathy Palmer, Lead Program Manager of the HPC Team, presents the management and monitoring enhancements released with R2. The notion of personal supercomputing is a core operational paradigm that is rapidly evolving in the numerical computing ecosphere. Various visualization aids, such as heat maps, provide administrators with hierarchical and aggregate views that simplify utilization, health management, and troubleshooting.

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Monitoring and Management Part Two
Part Two explores cluster management and demonstrates how major administrative tasks are performed from a single integrated console: Configuration & Deployment, Monitoring, Node Management, Job Management, Reporting, and Diagnostics.

Diagnostics and reporting in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2
Rae Wang, Senior Program Manager on the Windows HPC Team enumerates the diagnostics and reporting features available in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2. Microsoft designed comprehensive diagnostics to assist with granular troubleshooting, empowering administrators, ISVs, and IHVs to address failures. Rae gives a walk-through on the UI and discusses Extensibility features implemented in the Diagnostic console and Reporting features. HPC exposes reporting data, making it available for data warehousing, manipulation with Excel, or other authoring tools. For this purpose, the available data interfaces are Powershell and database views.

HPC Server 2008 R2 Job Scheduler
Greg Burgess, Principal Development Manager for the HPC team, describes the HPC job scheduler. Job lifecycle is described according to three phases, Admission (jobs enter the scheduler), Allocation (scheduler makes decisions about job placement), and Activation (scheduler starts and controls the job).

Hybrid Windows HPC & Linux Clusters
Matt Blythe, Product Manager with the Microsoft Technical Computing team, offers an introduction to Dual-Boot "Hybrid" Clusters that allow Windows HPC and Linux HPC to exist on the same hardware. A key advantage of this approach is simplified integration into existing Linux-centric IT environments. It also enables OEM partners to continue providing platform-centric solutions without expending additional effort to port codes across platforms.


Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Datasheet (download)
Learn about the Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Suite, and discover how it provides a comprehensive, cost-effective solution for harnessing the power of high performance computing. This datasheet outlines the ease of deployment, the powerful monitoring and scheduling tools, and the enhanced productivity that Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 provides.

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about licensing, requirements, pricing, migration, and backwards compatibility for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 are all answered here.

What's New in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2
Existing users of Microsoft HPC solutions will find that Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 includes many new and enhanced features. This article details many of the new additions, including job scheduling, SOA scheduling and runtime, and HPC Services for Microsoft Excel 2010.

Getting Started Guide for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 
New users and experienced IT professionals alike will benefit from this step-by-step guide to deploying Windows HPC Server 2008 R2. Tasks including preparing your environment, configuration, and adding nodes are all covered, in addition to advanced topics such as failover clustering.

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Technical Library
This TechNet library includes all the information you need to evaluate, deploy, and administer Windows HPC Server 2008 R2. Security settings, cluster management, HPC Services for Excel, and other topics are covered. Common tasks including job submission, upgrades, backups, adding workstation nodes, and more are documented as well.

Design and Deployment Guide for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2
This in-depth article covers all common aspects of deploying Windows HPC Server 2008 R2, including head node deployment, configuration, adding nodes, and running test jobs. Advanced topics such as using PowerShell with your cluster and node templates are also covered.

Upgrade Guide for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2
This document walks IT professionals through upgrading an existing Windows HPC cluster to Windows HPC Server 2008 R2. System equirements, in-place upgrades, and troubleshooting are all covered.

Adding Workstation Nodes in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Step-by-Step Guide
One of the new features in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 is the ability to add Windows 7 workstations as additional nodes for the cluster, giving you the ability to better use the hardware in your environment. These workstation nodes can be available based on a schedule (for example, every night on weekdays and all day on weekends), or brought online manually. This document describes how you can use workstation nodes to add more computing power to your cluster.

Deploying a Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Cluster with Remote Databases Step-by-Step Guide
Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 allows you to use HPC databases on remote servers running Microsoft SQL Server, without having to serve them from the head node of your cluster. This step-by-step guide shows you how to take advantage of remote databases.

Deploying iSCSI Boot Nodes in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Step-by-Step Guide
Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 can use iSCSI storage arrays, allowing compute nodes to boot over the network without requiring local hard disks. This guide shows how you can set up iSCSI boot nodes for your cluster.

Configuring Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 for High Availability of the Head Node
Cluster availability is a primary concern for many administrators; every outage, scheduled or unscheduled, results in lost productivity for your organization. By using a process called failover, clusters can be set up so that if the head node of the cluster becomes unavailable for any reason, a second server takes over as the head node; this allows jobs to continue to run and for new jobs to be submitted. This guide shows you how to configure your cluster using failover, maximizing the availability and productivity of your environment.

Configuring Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 for High Availability with SOA Applications
Failover clustering can be used for clusters running applications based on service-oriented architecture (SOA). By using multiple servers working together, an outage on a single machine will not keep the HPC cluster from being available; jobs can continue to run and new jobs can be submitted. This guide shows how to configure Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) broker nodes for a failover setup.

Migrating a Failover Cluster Running Windows HPC Server 2008 to Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Step-by-Step Guide
This step-by-step guide details how to upgrade an existing Microsoft HPC cluster using failover to Windows HPC Server 2008 R2, including importing configuration data and testing the head node fails over as expected.

HPC Services for Excel
HPC Services for Excel can speed up workbooks and user-defined functions (UDFs) by offloading calculations from a workstation to an HPC cluster, increasing productivity and allowing larger data sets to be used. Learn how HPC Services for Excel enable Excel workbooks to run in parallel on a cluster, and how you can use this feature in your environment.

Advanced Deployment Operations in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2
Learn about advanced topics for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 administration, including deploying computes nodes with pre-created computer object in Active Directory, creating DHCP Reservations for nodes, and configuring proxy settings for nodes.

Deploying InfiniBand Device Drivers with NetworkDirect Support in Windows HPC Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guide
This guide provides detailed instructions for deploying InfiniBand device drivers with NetworkDirect support on your cluster, including configuring the head node, creating node templates, and testing the application network.

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Advanced Installation Kit
System integrators, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and enterprise system administrators can use the Advanced Installation Kit (AIK) to preconfigure a Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 high performance computing cluster. This guide shows you how.

Enable HPC_CREATECONSOLE for GPGPU Jobs in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2
Cluster computing can be highly effective at increasing the productivity of both applications and the organizations using them; when combined with the processing power of doing general purpose computations on GPU (GPGPU), the potential productivity benefits of HPC increase even more. This guide shows how cluster administrators how to enable GPGPU on their setups, providing the computing power of GPUs to their users.