Tuesday, 17 November 2009 09:41

Microsoft betas Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 and distributed Excel 2010

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Is your Excel spreadsheet recalculating too slowly? Maybe the answer is to move it to a cluster. If Excel isn't your bag, Microsoft has other HPC tricks up its sleeve.

A beta release of distributed Microsoft Office Excel 2010 for the cluster makes it possible to spread processing across multiple CPUs, slashing the time needed for complex calculations.

Used in conjunction with the new Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 beta, distributed Excel can carry out in a few hours calculations that would take weeks on a single PC, Microsoft officials claimed.

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 supports up to 1000 nodes and provides improvements SOA workloads, networking, and system management, diagnostics and reporting.

Microsoft recently released a beta of Visual Studio 2010 that includes support for parallel processing.

"Until now, the power of high-performance and parallel computing has largely been available to a limited subset of customers due to the complexity of environments and applications, as well as the challenges of parallel programming," said Vince Mendillo, senior director of high performance computing at Microsoft.

"Today, we're seeing performance numbers that rival Linux from micro-kernel benchmarks to independent software vendor (ISV) benchmarks. We have a dedicated performance lab at Microsoft, and ISVs are seeing 30 percent to 40 percent performance improvements in the speed of their code on Windows HPC Server," he added.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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