As part of the spring WIndows Azure release, I'm pleased to announce that the HPC team has also released a set of updates:

In addition to rolling up the existing HPC Pack 2008 R2 Service Pack 3-based updates (aka 'patches' or 'qfes'), we have made a number of robustness fixes to the product. Everyone using the HPC Pack should update to SP4, and if you are using our 'Windows Azure Burst' capabilities, you should definitely upgrade to take advantage of the improved reliability.

If you are using the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK, this update comes with the same reliability fixes that the HPC Pack is getting, and also adds compatability with the updated Windows Azure SDK.

Before installing either, take a look at the What’s New in SP4 document and Release Notes over on our Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Technical Library.

If you haven't already taken a look at the Windows Azure spring release update, hop over to the Windows Azure blog and the video at the Meet Windows Azure site.

And as always, head over to the Windows HPC Discussion forums if you have any questions or comments. We'll be happy to hear from you! 

Note: The single SP4 installer applies to all installations - Express, Workstation, Cycle Harvesting, and Enterprise, as well as the standalone 'Client Utilities' and 'MS-MPI' packages. You can download it from the Microsoft Download Center. Installers for the standalone Client Utilities and MS-MPI packages with the service pack already integrated are also available.

If you do not have an HPC Pack 2008 R2 cluster, you can download a free Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Suite evaluation version. Before you install, you can try out the new Installation Preparation Wizard which can help analyze your environment for common issues and provide some best practice guidance to help ensure an easy HPC cluster setup.