Microsoft aims HPC Server 2008 at Wall Street

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Microsoft aims HPC Server 2008 at Wall Street

Microsoft has set out again on the trail of significant penetration into the High Performance Computing (HPC) market with the launch of HPC Server 2008.

Ironically the launch takes place in the US financial services capital of Wall Street, which is currently being battered by global financial instability.

The software giant has identified financial services firms as a target as they are using HPC resources to schedule real-time and intra-day risk analysis to try and weather the crisis currently sweeping business markets.

"Companies have to be more efficient than ever with IT resources, but need to maintain their position in a competitive marketplace," said Bill Laing, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Windows Server and Solutions Division.

However, Butler Group analyst Roy Illsley believes that Microsoft has a mountain to climb in the HPC market if it is to take share away from open source suppliers.

"Microsoft has made some progress, but I do not think that it will shift many Linux users from what they currently use," he said.

"However, Microsoft is in this market for the long haul. It will continue to chip away and develop its system, but I do not see it overhauling Linux in this market any time soon."

Microsoft is also touting rapid HPC application development through integration with Visual Studio 2008, which provides parallel programming environment support.

Another hope for Microsoft is that financial services firms already using products like Office Excel and Office SharePoint Server may decide to deploy a Microsoft HPC system for compatibility reasons.

Illsley also suggested that Microsoft's server strategy in general seems to be moving in a Linux-like direction.

"With Windows Server 2008 Microsoft moved to a much more compartmentalised model where you can install just what you need, and not a single monolithic blob of an operating system that does everything, 90 per cent of which you don't need," he said.
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