Daresbury Labs: dares and wins with Windows HPC Server 2008

Oh dear, sorry about the terrible pun.  Daresbury Laboratory, part of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council, has recently deployed a dual boot system for its latest cluster using Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008 and is benefiting from:

  • Streamlined deployment capability
  • Enhanced cluster management
  • Expanded user choice
  • Increased ease of use thanks to familiar Windows environments

Daresbury labs, in the UK, has around 550 staff of which the Distributed Computing Group (DCG) is a part.  The DCG hosts and runs national high performance computing (HPC) facilities for its user community which works on simulation code in the fields of quantum chemistry molecular simulation, engineering and environmental simulations.

It has never been more important than in today’s economic climate to justify capital expenditure, in addition to this more consideration is being given to the environment.  Therefore, what Daresbury Labs has done is to deploy a system which can attract more users, therefore giving more value back to, and a higher utilisation will help to ensure that wasted cycles are kept to a minimum.  Key to this is expanding the users choice and by offering them something which is easier to use than earlier deployments.

Keen to maintain its reputation as innovative, Daresbury Labs needs to provide the latest in high performance computing services and technology.  It’s also seeking new ways to increase its user base by offering services to non traditional HPC users by providing the academic community new choices.

One of the reasons DCG chose a new Windows HPC Server 2008 cluster because of its strong management features including job scheduling capabilities based on SOA.

“The new functionalities offered by Windows HPC Server 2008 provide great potential”

Igor Kozin, Computer Scientist at the Distributed Computing Group, Daresbury Laboratory.

Daresbury partnered with Streamline Computing to implement the new cluster with Linux already deployed followed by installing Windows SPC Server 2008 in a short time frame using Windows Deployment Services.

For more details on this story and others please use this link.  Other UK Academic customers using Microsoft’s HPC customers include Cambridge and Manchester Universities plus many others all seeking to increase the value of their HPC facilities.

Also, during January 2008 in the UK there is a pricing promotion for Microsoft HPC Server 2008 so please feel free to get in touch via the blog for more information.

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