Microsoft has opened up access to its Windows for supercomputers over the Internet, permitting the usage of the operating system over the web. While Windows HPC Server 2008 is available as a free download, with the platform hitting the latest Community Technology Preview stage in early March, a high-performance computer is a different matter altogether. This is why the Redmond company, via the Microsoft HPC++ Labs CompFin Labs, is making available its Windows for supercomputers, built on the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008, as an online service.
The HPC++ Labs CompFin Lab is “an online HPC service aimed at providing academic computational finance programs with a rich analytic and simulation environment in the context of real market data. Using this lab, professors will be able to develop models using .NET, Linq and SQL and deploy them via Sharepoint to a 256 core cluster, while students will utilize Excel to specify their experiments, seamlessly submit jobs to the cluster, and visualize the results. As part of the lab, we are making available a 2TB data set from Reuters with 5 year rick by tick data for S&P500, daily and fundamental data for 10,000 stocks and Mortgage Back Securities pool data,” revealed Phil Pennington, Windows Server Technical Evangelism.
Essentially, the Microsoft HPC++ CompFin Lab is based on Windows HPC Server 2008 but also integrates some of the company’s productivity tools as well as a central market data database. The result is an online high-performance computing service aimed at enabling the publishing, execution and management of computational finance models.
The incubation effort has three main goals: “to demonstrate end-to-end integrated HPC solutions using Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008 with Microsoft productivity and developer products. To develop expertise in operating end user focused compute and data intensive HPC services. And to incubate Microsoft product extensions required to support HPC++ scenarios “out of the box” on customer premises,” Microsoft explained.
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