Windows HPC Server 2008, released by Microsoft in September 2008, is the successor product to Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003. Like WCCS, Windows HPC Server 2008 is designed for high-end applications that require high performance computing clusters (HPC stands for High Performance Computing). This version of the server software is claimed to efficiently scale to thousands of cores. It includes features unique to HPC workloads: a new high-speed NetworkDirect RDMA, highly efficient and scalable cluster management tools, a service-oriented architecture (SOA) job scheduler, and cluster interoperability through standards such as the High Performance Computing Basic Profile (HPCBP) specification produced by the Open Grid Forum (OGF).

In June 2008, a system built collaboratively with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and Microsoft ranked #23 on the Top500 list, a ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers, with a LINPACK score of 68.5 teraflops. The NCSA supercomputer uses both Windows Server HPC and Redhat Enterprise Linux 4. That ranking has since dropped to #73 as of November 2009 rankings.

In the November 2009 rankings published by, a Windows HPC system built by the Shanghai Supercomputer Center achieved 180.6 teraflops, a peak performance that placed the Dawning 5000A system at #19 on the list of the world's fastest supercomputers. However, as of November 2009, Windows HPC only has about 1% (5 out of 500) of the market of the 500 most powerful supercomputers, with about 1.5% of total gigaflops, with Linux dominating the rankings with 89.20% and Unix second place with 5%. The other two systems in the top 100 that can run Windows HPC do so only part of the time[1][2].

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 will be the second release based on Windows Server 2008 R2. The release candidate is available on Microsoft's websites for evaluation and includes some improvements and new features. The OS is in beta development stage and there is a CTP (community technology preview) program running. [3]

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