Just months after confirming plans to join the supercomputing game, Redmond will use the spotlight of this weeks SC2004 supercomputing show in Pittsburgh to demonstrate the SDK and change the name from Windows Server 2003 HPC Edition to Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition.
The SDK, which provides tools and APIs for developers to build integrated, high-performance computing applications, will be released to select partners later this month.
The Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition is expected to ship in the second half of 2005.
A spokesperson for Microsoft said final pricing and packaging decisions have not yet been determined. Pricing for HPC (high-performance computing) products has been a bit of a challenge for many in the space because of budgetary constraints faced by research houses and other enterprises in the market for supercomputers.
In the past year, a whos-who of research firms, ISVs and equipment manufactures has been quietly testing HPC clusters with existing versions of Windows.
With Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition, Microsoft is also supporting for the first time the MPI (Message Passing Interface), which is the standard for message-passing libraries used in HPC environments.
The spokesperson said Microsoft will support MPI-CH 2.0, the freely available, portable implementation of MPI. The company has already worked with the U.S. governments Argonne National Labs to tune the code and modify MPI-CH 2.0 to support Windows implementations.
Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition also will feature an integrated job scheduler and cluster resource management, the spokesperson said.