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This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  
Ricardo (you know, the engine / power train experts) now offer their solutions on Windows Server 20003 Compute Cluster Edition. Cool. Windows HPC is moving along nicely. Oh, Corporate Modelling is not doing badly either!

I've been very lucky this year to get some great accounts.  I have two in the HPC world, neither sit in my traditional small business space, but their solutions are still amazing to understand.  Corporate Modelling who offer a great new concept in business process management, modelling and business solution creation, using the latest techniques in business service modelling, process modelling, business solution and application generation techniques.  This is a great platform for requirements such as new insurance products and six-sigma to mention a few.  I hope to have more to say about this soon.

Anyway, Ricardo.  They have just had their European User Conference which I have to admit more than stretched me in trying to understand some of the details of what goes on inside an engine, but one thing I did get loud and clear was that to "simulate" that information with a high degree of accuracy takes a LOT of computing power

A single run could take days on a powerful workstation, thus tying up the workstation, so Ricardo have been offering HPC solutions that chop the problem up and significantly reduce the run time.  Until now this offering did not include Windows as a HPC platform, but that has now all changed.  Windows based HPC is now offered by Ricardo and they think it will clear up some problems their customers have with drivers and management of the clusters. Microsoft offers a special version of Windows Server specifically designed and priced for the compute intensive area of HPC.

When talking to people able the HPC offering from Ricardo people sighted three reasons they wanted clusters:

  • Reduce the time taken for a run
  • Increase the accuracy of a simulation
  • Run a spread of options in one go, but not increase the time to get results

In terms of why people would or should look at a Windows HPC solution, Ricardo gave me the following advice:

  • People who run Windows desktops need the extra compute power, but were not prepared to go for a non-Microsoft solutions now have a solution
  • For some, setting up, running and administrating the non-Windows clusters was difficult and carried undesired pain
  • IT Support of Windows clusters could make including the cluster in the IT plans easier

I know we will be getting more information out of Ricardo soon, but I just had to blog about the event and their offering, especially since Microsoft was able to sponsor the event and have a live demonstration available showing how a job is reduced in time and distributed over multiple nodes.  People also seemed quite interested in the solutions as you can see from the photo on the right where people are looking at two items of Ricardo software. All the photos can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/tags/Ricardo/default.aspx

On a side note, I also got to use the photo stitching software in Windows Live Photo Gallery to show you what the showcase at the back of the room looked like (Ricardo and Microsoft).

I do need to thank the US HPC team for the funding, Mike Pallot for starting the ball rolling, the UK HPC team (Dr Michael Newberry) for the guidance in the UK and Neil Foster for presenting on the day.  I also need to thank the people at Ricardo for their time and patience, especially Richard who has spent a lot of time explaining what Ricardo do, how and why!! Without these people I would not be in a position to write this blog!!

 

Anyway, this is another good success... I now need to show some sales :-)

 

ttfn

David

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Posted Thu, Nov 15 2007 9:34 PM by David Overton

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