Posts tagged ‘beta’

Microsoft Offers Betas for Supercomputing Clusters

At Supercomputing 2009, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of betas for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 and distributed , Microsoft Office Excel 2010 for the cluster. Together with the recently announced Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta, which helps simplify parallel programming, these advances make it possible for more users to access supercomputing power through familiar technologies and tools such as Microsoft Office Excel, Windows Server and Visual Studio.

            “Until now, the power of high-performance and parallel computing has largely been available to a limited subset of customers due to the complexity of environments and applications, as well as the challenges of parallel programming,” said Vince Mendillo, senior director of High Performance Computing at Microsoft. “Today, we’re seeing performance numbers that rival Linux … ISVs are seeing 30% to 40% performance improvements in the speed of their code on Windows HPC Server.”

            Although multicore systems are becoming ubiquitous, few developers can build parallel applications that truly leverage the available resources. Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 will help make parallel programming simpler and more efficient for a broad base of developers across both client and cluster workloads. In addition, by moving Microsoft Office Excel 2010 to the cluster, customers are seeing linear performance scaling of complex spreadsheets – spreadsheets that before would take weeks to complete, and which are now completing their calculations in a few hours.

            Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 improvements include the following:

  • Improved scalability with support for deploying, running and managing clusters up to 1,000 nodes;
  • New configuration and deployment options such as diskless boot, mixed-version clusters and support for a remote head node database;
  • Improved system management, diagnostics and reporting with an enhanced heat map, multiple customizable tabs, an extensible diagnostic framework and the ability to create richer custom reports;
  • Improved support for service-oriented architecture (SOA) workloads, automatic restart and failover of broker nodes, and improved management, monitoring, diagnostics and debugging; and
  • New ways to accelerate Microsoft Office Excel workbooks such as support for Cluster-Aware User-Defined Functions and the capability to run distributed Excel 2010 for the cluster.

            “Many frontline researchers, analysts and scientists desperately need access to more computational power than they currently have, but find it either difficult or too costly in time to gain access to expanded HPC resources. Windows HPC Server 2008 has been designed to address the needs of those wishing to expand their access to HPC, without requiring them to become computer programming experts,” said Earl Joseph, program VP, high-performance computing, IDC. “Microsoft’s latest investments in HPC and parallelism help to reduce the complexities of supercomputing, in particular making it easier to program and thereby making it more accessible to business, academia and government users.”

November 18, 2009 at 4:15 am Leave a comment

Online Projectplace Planner in Beta Test

Swedish online project management provider Projectplace is launching a Web-based planning tool called Projectplace Planner. With a user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop function, Projectplace Planner is easier to use than MS Project and faster than Excel, according to the company. The Beta version of Projectplace Planner is available for free prior to the full product launch later this Fall.

            Projectplace Planner is the first online collaborative planning tool of its type, designed to make life easier for all who manage projects. Projectplace Planner replaces complicated and confusing tools with clear, easy-to-use project planning.

            “We know that the most important ingredient for a successful project is effective communication between the people involved. That’s the reason why we designed Projectplace Planner as an interactive, online communications tool,” said Mattias Hallstrom, Projectplace International founder and head of development.

            Projectplace Planner allows users to quickly create clear planning structures that are easily communicated and shared on the Web. Recipients receive a link to a plan and are able to comment and make changes directly in their web browser. The platform is designed for a wide variety of project types and businesses.

            “We are launching a Beta version to gather feedback from our customers and other potential users of Projectplace Planner. Engaging in a dialogue with our customers is a crucial element of our strategy,” said Hallstrom.

            The Beta version of Projectplace Planner was launched on Sept. 7 and is now available for testing free of charge. Later in the autumn the platform will be released as a feature of the new Personal Edition, which also offers document management functions within a personal workspace on the Web.

September 8, 2009 at 1:28 am Leave a comment

New IT Simulation Game from Intel

Be one of the first to play IT Manager III: Unseen Forces. It’s an IT simulation game that gives your real-world IT knowledge a proper workout.

You’ll find it’s great fun to play. Apply your special powers and skills. Become a technology evangelist. Enable the business to grow into a global enterprise. Find your real-world IT knowledge being put to the test.

However, it is at the beta stage. Therefore there will also be a few wrinkles that need ironing out. As a result, updates of the beta may require you to start playing from the beginning again.

The simulation is packed with new technologies, game play, strategies and surprises. There’s a friendly questionnaire at the end of the game for you to have your say. Then, when Intel is ready to launch, you will be among the first to know.

So if you are game, try the IT Manager III: Unseen Forces beta

December 1, 2008 at 7:40 pm Leave a comment

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