Microsoft’s Latest High-Performance Computing Software Now Available

The newest version of the company’s high-performance computing (HPC) software is out today. Known as HPC Pack 2012, the latest version has been made available to customers starting December 14.

The software provides support both for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

This is the fourth major version of Microsoft’s HPC software, and succeeds Windows High-Performance Computing Server 2008 R2 that was released two years back, and its SP2 update that came to market last year.

HPC Pack 2012 allows users to run HPC applications on HPC clusters that include compute nodes that are on premise, as well as part time servers and resources that are running on Windows Azure.

Microsoft announced the HPC Pack 2012 in a post over at TechNet.

“Nodes can be deployed in Windows Azure deployments in which Windows Azure Virtual Network is available. You can use HPC Pack 2012 to deploy nodes in Windows Azure deployments in which Windows Azure Virtual Network is available. Virtual Network securely extends your enterprise network to Windows Azure, which allows applications that run on Windows Azure nodes to access resources on the enterprise network.

With Virtual Network, you can build traditional site-to-site virtual private networks (VPNs) to scale data centers, and create hybrid applications that span from an on-premises HPC cluster to Windows Azure. This feature provides applications with the means to access files in shared folders, and to access servers for license validation.”

In its efforts to simply versions of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft had decided against providing a Windows Server HPC product as had been the norm before. Instead, the company now offers the HPC functionality as a supplement to Windows Server.

Windows has been locked in battle with Linux in the HPC space for a fair while now, and this new version includes several performance and reliability updates.

The newest version provides the ability to increase cluster strength by adding more than two head nodes in a failover cluster group, as well as single installation of all features that were previously split between the Express, Enterprise, Workstation and/or Cycle Harvesting editions.

Those of you looking to download HPC Pack 2012 can get it from Microsoft Download Center.

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