News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost
Enterprise Cloud Computing

Enterprise I.T.
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Microsoft, Cray Partner on Low-Cost Supercomputer
Microsoft, Cray Partner on Low-Cost Supercomputer

By Jennifer LeClaire
September 16, 2008 1:46PM

    Bookmark and Share
Microsoft and Cray launched the Cray CX1 supercomputer, the most affordable Cray supercomputer ever made. Microsoft and Cray say the Cray CX1's goal is to bring high-performance computing (HPC) into the mainstream in diverse markets. Experts point to Microsoft and Cray's CX1 supercomputer as part of the "downward migration" of HPC.

A new deal between Microsoft and Cray may speak to major changes in the supercomputing market in the years ahead.

The companies on Tuesday introduced the Cray CX1 supercomputer. It comes preinstalled with Windows HPC Server 2008, and the various models carry price tags that range from $25,000 to more than $60,000.

What's different about the Cray CX1 compared to other Cray supercomputers is its ability to fit into standard office environments and workflows. The companies said the new product reflects a shared goal to drive high-performance computing (HPC) farther into the mainstream in diverse markets, including financial services, aerospace, automotive, petroleum, life sciences, government, academic and digital media.

"This combined solution will enable companies in various sectors to unify their Windows desktop and server workflows," said Vince Mendillo, director of HPC at Microsoft. "Many Microsoft financial services customers, for example, want to unify back-office modeling and simulation with the work of front-office trading desks."

Supercomputing for Everyone?

Microsoft appears to be on to something. According to studies from the Council on Competitiveness and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), nearly all large firms using high-performance computing consider it indispensable to their ability to compete and survive.

However, smaller companies, as well as workgroups and departments in larger firms, have been hampered by the cost of HPC systems and a lack of access to in-house experts to help them use these systems.

"The Microsoft-Cray collaboration is an interesting example of what you might call the downward migration of supercomputing that's been going on now for the last five or six years," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "A decade ago, supercomputing wasn't possible in commercial markets because stand-alone systems were too expensive. That is changing."

This change is due, according to King, to x86 computing clusters. A quick review of the Top 500 Supercomputers list demonstrates a clear shift from the stand-alone, monolithic systems seen in the first few years of the century to today, where the large majority of the Top-500 list features clustered x86 systems.

Tapping High-Growth IT Markets

The Cray CX1 supercomputer was designed to address cost barriers. Indeed, the CX1 is Cray's most affordable supercomputer ever offered. The goal was to produce an easy-to-purchase, deploy, operate and upgrade high-performance computer for offices, laboratories and university departments.

Technically speaking, the Cray CX1 product incorporates up to eight nodes and 16 Intel Xeon processors, either dual or quad core. It delivers up to 64GB of memory per node, and provides up to 4 terabytes of internal storage. Systems can be custom-configured with a mix of compute, storage and visualization blades. The system also interoperates with Linux.

"IDC research shows that HPC has been one of the highest-growth IT markets during the past five years, and the segment for HPC systems priced below $100,000 is headed for continued growth," said Earl Joseph, IDC's HPC program vice president. "The Cray HPC brand name and experience, combined with Microsoft's strategy of extending the familiar Windows environment upward to the server level, gives the Cray CX1 solution strong potential for exploiting the anticipated growth of this market segment."

Tell Us What You Think

Name: is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.

 Enterprise I.T.
1.   Teaming Up: CIOs, IT Asset Managers
2.   Juniper DDoS for High-IQ Networks
3.   IBM Rolls Out Hybrid Cloud Services
4.   Backlash Stirs Against H-1B Visas
5.   Windows 7 Ends Mainstream Support

Backlash Stirs Against H-1B Visas
Debate over foreign workers continues.
Average Rating:
IBM Rolls Out Hybrid Cloud Services
Based on SoftLayer net infrastructure.
Average Rating:
Windows 7 Ends Mainstream Support
But extended support still available.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Juniper DDoS Solution Aims at High-IQ Networks
In the face of more complex attacks, Juniper Networks is boosting its DDoS Secure solution to help companies mitigate the threats with more effective security intelligence throughout the network fabric.
Large-Volume DDoS Attacks Hit Record in 2014
The number of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks set a record in the first half of 2014, according to a report by Arbor Networks. The number of attacks over 20 GB/sec doubled.
U.N.: Nations Hide Rise in Private Digital Snooping
Governments on every continent are hiding an increasing reliance on private companies to snoop on citizens' digital lives, the U.N. human rights office says, with grave concerns about privacy.

NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.