2007 is shaping up to be the year the walls between high-performance and general purpose computing came down.
Earlier this week, we got the news the HPC stalwart SGI is looking to breach the traditional enterprise market with the new Altix ICE blade server. Now we have Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft teaming up to boost their presence in the HPC space.
The pair is focused on uniting Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 with the Unified Cluster Portfolio, a union that gives Microsoft more cachet when competing for HPC installations against Linux and UNIX, while HP gets new outlets for its ProLiant and BladeSystem platforms.
Also key to the match-up is computer-aided design technology from Ansys. The Ansys 11 and Fluent 6.3 platforms will be ported to Microsoft, which should be a boon to heavy HPC users like oil, gas and financial firms.
HPC used to be the realm of universities and well-heeled research organizations. But as commercial interests demonstrate a growing need for top-of-the-line processing capabilities, it's probably inevitable that the old order gives way.