Microsoft has started external developer testing of a number of interrelated parallel/distributed technologies for Windows Server that are part of the codename “Dryad” family. In this regard, Microsoft released to testers via its Connect test site the first CTP test builds of its Dryad, DSC and DryadLINQ technologies.
This CTP has known scalability limits. In particular, the current version doesn’t support more than 2048 individual partitions and it has only been tested on up to 128 individual nodes. Furthermore, the DryadLINQ LINQ provider doesn’t yet support all LINQ queries.
This initial preview is intended for “developers who’re exploring data-intensive computing.” The prerequisite for the CTP is HPC Pack 2008 R2 Enterprise-based cluster, with SP1 installed.
Dryad is Microsoft’s competitor to Google MapReduce and Apache Hadoop. In the early phase of its existence, Dryad was a Microsoft Research project dedicated to developing ways to write parallel and distributed programs that can scale from small clusters to large datacenters. There’s a DryadLINQ compiler and runtime related to project. Microsoft released builds of Dryad and DryadLINQ code to academics for noncommercial use in the summer 2009. Microsoft moved Dryad from its research to its Technical Computing Group this year.
Download: HPC Pack 2008 R2 Service Pack 1