Our first Beta release is now available! You can read the full press release at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/nov09/11-16SC09PR.mspx if you're in to reading that kind of thing ;)

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 delivers productivity, performance and ease-of-use improvements in several areas, including the following:

  • Improved scalability, with Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 offering out-of-the-box support for deploying, running and managing clusters up to 1,000 nodes
  • New configuration and deployment options such as diskless boot, mixed-version clusters and support for a remote head node database
  • Improved system management, diagnostics and reporting including an enhanced heat map, multiple customizable tabs, an extensible diagnostic framework and the ability to create richer custom reports
  • Improved support for service-oriented architecture (SOA) workloads including a new fire-and-recollect programming model, finalization hooks, improved Java interoperability, automatic restart and failover of broker nodes, and improved management, monitoring, diagnostics and debugging
  • Message Passing Interface (MPI) and networking enhancements including optimizations for new processors, enhanced support for RDMA over Ethernet and InfiniBand, improved MPI debugging, and a pushbutton HPC LINPACK optimization wizard
  • New ways to accelerate Microsoft Office Excel workbooks such as support for Cluster-Aware User-Defined Functions and the capability to run distributed Excel 2010 for the cluster

Come and join our beta program to give it a try, and you can give us feedback (positive or negative) on it: http://connect.microsoft.com/HPC/content/content.aspx?ContentID=6923