Robert said his company, which set up a three-way Oracle cluster on Linux that uses a shared file system, "has been a bear, what with the lack of documentation and problems with our backup program not being compatible. Im sure Microsoft will do a better job in this arena than Linux," Robert told eWEEK. Now that the Windows Compute Cluster Server code has met certain quality and performance goals and is suitable for production deployment by early adopter customers and partners, the product is on target to be released to manufacturers by the end of June, a Microsoft spokesman said."The prescriptive setup procedures in Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 simplify network configuration, the remote loading of nodes using Remote Installation Services, node configuration and security setup," the spokesperson said. The integrated Job Scheduler can be accessed via command-line interface or through several APIs provided for submitting and managing cluster workloads, while the job console allows customers to manage jobs in much the same fashion that they would queue and manage print jobs. In addition, Active Directory integration provides user and security management, while the Microsoft Management Console supports extensible snap-ins and integration with Microsoft Operations Manager 2005. Visual Studio 2005 allows developers to leverage their existing Windows-based skills when developing "massively parallel" applications and "embarrassingly parallel" applications, he said. At the other end of the software spectrum, the release candidate of Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2, brings automated, network-wide patch and update management, giving users enhanced security and management; increased mailbox limits of 75GB (from 16GB); and expanded client access license (CAL) rights for access to additional Exchange 2003 and SQL 2005 Workgroup servers in the SBS 2003 R2 network. Earlier this year Microsoft hosted some 400 of its small and midsize customers and partners at the Redmond campus as part of its inaugural Small Business Summit titled "Take Your Business to the Next Level." Kevin Turner, Microsofts chief operating officer and former executive vice president of Wal-Mart Stores, used his opening keynote at that event to talk up its Small Business Server 2003 R2, show the new user interface and some features. Read more here about SBS 2003. Microsoft would only say that the SBS 2003 R2 product is on target for customer delivery later this year. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
So far, more than 30 customers are using Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 to solve their complex computational problems.