Windows Compute Cluster Server has been RTM'd, and the bloggers and press are running their stories. And you can watch/listen to Zane talk about Windows CCS at the Virtual TechEd site. And of course you can go to the Windows CCS site for technical details, white papers and the (fairly) new community site.

Here are 10 things that you won't read there that you may find interesting about Windows CCS.

1) Windows CCS is the first product that MSFT has shipped that was partially developed by the dev center in Shanghai, China.

2) The first benchmark (LinPack) data for Windows CCS can be seen on page 62 of this report. It's also referenced by InformationWeek, and the benchmark was done with the folks at NCSA/University of Illinois.

3) Besides being sold by the big OEMs, Windows CCS will be distributed by the personal supercomputing vendors like Tyan Computer.

4) MS employs some well-known names in supercomputing and HPC, such as Burton Smith, Craig Mundie, Gordon Bell, Jim Gray, Tony Hey and Fabrizio Gagliardi. But the Windows CCS dev team also includes a woman who used to be on the dev team for IBM Blue Gene, a gentleman who developed one of the first Beowulf clusters, a gentleman from Argonne National Labs, and several folks from Cray.

5) Thirty years ago, at Los Alamos labs, Seymour Cray installed the first Cray-1 supercomputer, which was capable of 160 Mflops and cost $8.8 million. Fast-forward to today where the Windows's LinPack benchmark shows 4.1 TFlops, and if it had a price tag, it'd be in the hundreds of thousands.

6) In 1997, the folks from NCSA deployed the first Windows cluster on NT4.

7) The conceptual idea for developing Windows CCS dates back to an internal email titled, "the High End" on Dec. 23, 1998, that said in part:

A month ago we had a day devoted to scalability… we started by learning about the Beowulf clustering work being done on Linux and how that is the focus of University activity ... we need to get a focus here so that we form some partnerships

8)  In 2001, MS Computational Clustering Preview kit and "Beowulf Cluster Computing with Windows" book released

9) The folks at National Center for Atmospheric Research ported their well-known Weather Research and Forecasting Model to Windows CCS. WRF is a next-generation numerical weather prediction system, in use by the US National Weather Service, Air Force Weather Agency and over 3,000 users. WRF was originally developed for UNIX systems. 360,000 lines of code in C++, Fortran, OpenMP and MPI. What's interesting, is that 750 lines required modification to produce native Win64 binary that ran Windows CCS/MPI.

10) Partner training will be running throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe starting in mid-July through early September. Contact your local office for more info, and keep an eye on the Windows CCS site.

Patrick