Now what computational scientist wouldn’t want one of these under their desk. I like the tagline, “putting ‘work’ back into workstation”.
by Michael Feldman, HPCwire Editor
If you thought Windows 7 was just for mere mortals, think again. Microsoft's latest OS is about to show up in Cray's newest CX1 deskside supercomputer that puts a Windows workstation and a Windows HPC Server cluster into a single box. Called the CX1-iWS (for integrated workstation), the machines are to be sold exclusively through Dell and will range in price from $39K to $55K.
The idea behind the iWS is to retain the interactive experience of a personal workstation, but extend its computational power to that of a small HPC cluster. It's generally aimed at technical computing users who have simply run out of compute headroom on their two-socket machines, but are loathe to give up the intimacy of the workstation environment. A generic CX1 can be configured to provide the equivalent capabilities, but the iWS is preconfigured to deliver this experience right out of the box.
Since Windows 7 and Windows HPC Server 2008 form a natural client-server relationship, cluster administration and job management becomes relatively seamless. In addition, since there is disk storage shared between the workstation and the cluster, data management becomes much more straightforward. As long as your data set fits in 4 TB, no data transfers back and forth between client and server will be necessary.