The HPC team is starting up a new beta program right now, read on for a description and sign-up instructions.

Dryad, DSC, and DryadLINQ are a set of technologies that support data-intensive computing applications that run on a Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 cluster.

These technologies allow you to process large volumes of data in many types of applications, including data-mining applications, image and stream processing, and some scientific computations. Dryad and DSC run on the cluster to support data-intensive computing and manage data that is partitioned across the cluster. DryadLINQ allows developers to define data intensive applications using the .Net LINQ model.

Today we release the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of these technologies. This initial preview is intended for developers who are exploring data-intensive computing. The DryadLINQ, Dryad and DSC programming interfaces are all in the early phases of development and might change significantly before the final release based on your feedback.

This CTP has known scalability limits. In particular, the current version does not support more than 2048 individual partitions and it has only been tested on up to 128 individual nodes. Furthermore, the DryadLINQ LINQ provider does not yet support all LINQ queries.

The prerequisite is having an HPC Pack 2008 R2 Enterprise-based cluster, with Service Pack 1 installed. A trial version of HPC Pack 2008 R2 Enterprise is available through the Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Evaluation Program. The Service Pack 1 updater is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=aa86c849-15c0-4f97-a7b4-a23a2ba37890

Joining the new beta program is easy. If you have previously registered for an HPC Pack 2008 R2 program, you already have access. If you have never participated in one of our betas, you need to fill out some registration forms. Once you are signed up, just go to our 'Connect Beta' website and look in the 'Downloads' section.