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Before heading off for a few days of turkey, college football and family, a post from Mauricio Freitas caught my eye this evening. Mauricio is an admin for Geekzone, which he describes as such: Geekzone publishes news, reviews and articles on technology topics. We also have some busy forums. Geekzone is now one of the top 15 New Zealand websites in number of unique browsers Geekzone is now live on WS08 RC0 and IIS7. Very cool. I'll be interested to read Mauricio's future posts of the deployment. Heroes happen in New Zealand. Patrick
back to Redmond late yesterday from Reno where I was attending Supercomputing 2007 conference. I suspect SC07 will be best remembered for the power outage that hit the convention center and most of downtown Reno, and Ashlee's stellar headline. While I was in Reno, there were lots of colleagues in Barcelona making all kinds of announcements, from Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V to System Center, at Microsoft's IT Forum. I'm told there were 50+ journalists at a panel session on virtualization, and from the looks of all the news this week, IT reporters either attended Oracle Openworld or IT Forum (except the aforementioned Ashlee Vance). One Microsoft news item that went overlooked, despite the news of Oracle VM hypervisor, Sun xVM hypervisor, VMware Server 2.0 beta and Hyper-V (did I miss one?), was the Server Virtualization Validation Program. You can read a bit about it in this news release, read comments non-MS people here and Alessandro's post. So what is this program? Customers who have valid Windows Server licenses or support agreements can call for support to either Microsoft or the vendor that has provided them the validated server virtualization solution. Whichever company is contacted first will try to resolve the customer's issue, and in the absence of a solution will, via TSAnet, pass on the information to the other company to help solve the problem. For those of you who know WHQL [Windows Hardware Quality Lab], think of it as WHQL but for server virtualization software. The program will be open to any vendor who creates/sells/services server virtualization software can test and validate that Windows Server 2008/2003/2000 runs as expected as a guest OS. Along with this validation comes mutual technical support for the Windows Server OS running in the non-Microsoft VM. Given this week's news by Sun and Oracle, this program just became a bit more important to customers. [more]
It's time to register for a December 5 online meeting (Live Meeting) covering Windows Server 2008 certifications and the transition path for MCSA and MCSE 2003, plus relevant study resources and Q&A session with certification planners. The sesson is offered at 7:30am PST and repeated at 5pm PST. Patrick
For those of you interested in parallel computing and high performance computing, you'll take note that today we released the first public beta of V2 of Windows Server 2008 for HPC clusters. The V2 product is called Windows HPC Server 2008. The product currently in the market is called Windows Computer Cluster Server 2003 (or Windows CCS). I'm told the product has been renamed to reflect an expanded feature set beyond compute for very scalable enterprise clusters. Some of those features include high-speed networking, support for clustered file system (e.g., IBM's GPFS, HP Polyserve, Panasas), new failover capabilities, enhanced management tools and a service-oriented architecture job scheduler. Windows HPC Server 2008 will be available in the 2nd half of 2008. In the booth at Supercomputing 2007, we’re running a couple demos with mixed clusters (Linux and Windows). This is a first for Microsoft at a conference, and from what I’m told is link directly to customer input from research, academia, life sciences industries. Here’s an excerpt from today’s news release: Mixed, dual-boot clusters can also improve cluster efficiency. Because dual-boot clusters flexibly serve both Linux and Windows users, they increase utilization rates by expanding their number of addressable users. Examples of customers deploying large mixed clusters include the University of Iowa, Cambridge University, 3M and Baker Hughes Inc. Leading technology partners that have announced mixed cluster support for Windows HPC Server 2008 include Altair Engineering Inc., Cluster Resources Inc. and Platform Computing. One demo station, titled “Virtualization for Mixed Clusters” assumes the customers isn’t running MPI, and has SLES running as a child partition on Hyper-V with Windows HPC Server 2008 parent partition. I’m told that this scenario is coming when customers want to optimize for manageability and cluster utilization and not necessarily peak performance. The second demo station, titled “Linux and Windows: Mixed Cluster Management” assumes a dual-boot cluster (running SLES), storage from Panasas and management tools from Moab. I was told that this scenario could use Hyper-V. A gentleman from Moab explained that customers are seeing more demand for Windows-based apps running on HPC clusters, but the primary HPC environment is Linux. Moab’s tools let customers provision either OS with the chosen app – on an as needed basis. Very cool. Last item to point out is the new Top500 supercomputer list. For those of you not familiar with this bi-annual benchmark, the Top500 list represents the 500 most powerful computers in the world. We’re talking trillions of computations per second. And for the first time ever, there were six Windows-based clusters on the list. While this seriously pales in comparison to the 426 Linux-based clusters, it’s certainly a start. The most powerful Windows-based cluster is owned by Microsoft in our Rainier (Washington) datacenter, and measured in at 11.7 teraflops. And by upgrading this cluster to Windows HPC Server 2008 (same hardware, new OS), I’m told the Linpack benchmark results improved 30%, and more importantly, ran the test in 2 hours. To follow news from the Supercomputing 2007 conference, visit http://insideHPC.com or www.winhpc.org. Patrick