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Microsoft Dropping Itanium Support For Clusters

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the laming-the-duck dept.

Intel 265

upsidedown_duck writes "According to an article at TheStreet.com, Microsoft is opting not to support Itanium on its coming release of Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition. Instead, Microsoft will focus on AMD's offerings and Xeon."

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Netcraft confirms it... (3, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796544)

Itanic is dying. The writing is on the...


Aww, you know the rest.

Itanic Itanium (0)

zaxios (776027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796581)

It was an audacious [lowendmac.com] move for Intel to rhyme its architecture with "Titanic" and still not expect its utter perdition.

Given the rhyming, I'm surprised it lasted this long.

Re:Itanic Itanium (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796647)

Since my friend pronounces Linux as "Loonix," it's surprising that it's users aren't all fish-eating, web-footed birds. [reference.com]

Itanium doesn't rhyme with Titanic any more than bizooty does.

Re:Itanic Itanium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796697)

Hmmm... Did you read the grandparent's post?

Re:Itanic Itanium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796738)

Yeah. Is Microsoft's name now officially M$ because so many people here call them that?

Intel didn't name their processor after the Titanic. Geeks did after it flopped.

Rawh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796546)

GNAA > joo

I LOVE YOU !!!

JON17 LOVES GNAA FOR LIFE

Itanium is circling the bowl (3, Insightful)

Erect Horsecock (655858) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796549)

SGI and HP are the only ones left on the Itanic. HP looks to be hesitant anymore though, hell it plopped a fuckton of its own money on IA64 dev and just recently killed off its IA64 Workstations. One of the few places that Itanium sold fairly well.

Sun might bring solaris to it, but... why?

IA64 is a really cool chip (no pun intended) and I hate to see it flounder like this, but with PPC, x86, and SPARC all stepping up with new R&D.... Who needs itainium?

(oh and the nasa cluster based on it is neato)

Wrong... (4, Informative)

sultanoslack (320583) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796724)

SGI and HP are the only ones left on the Itanic

Siemens and Bull (both major vendors in Europe), Dell, and IBM, and probably a lot more that I'm forgetting support ia64.

Actually pretty much every hardware vendor (that's traditionally worked with Intel CPUs) supports ia64 in one way or another.

But this article isn't a surprise. ia64 is just presently a pretty crappy CPU for clustered computing because it's very hot, sucks a lot of power and very expensive. When building a large cluster you naturally have to balance heat, energy and cost against performance much more than you do with most setups.

Re:Wrong... (2, Informative)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796946)

But this article isn't a surprise. ia64 is just presently a pretty crappy CPU for clustered computing because it's very hot, sucks a lot of power and very expensive.

FWIW, a Xeon uses slightly more power than an Itanium chip, and yes the Itaniums are very expensive. However, I believe that both of these are going to change. The Itanium already has a low power model at 1GHz, and Intel is looking at upping the speed of these low power offerings. And they better start reducing their prices.

And being that the current 2nd and 5th [top500.org] fastest clustered computers are based on the Itanium chip, ovbiously someone with more decision making power than you believes that these processors are OK for clustering. The first AMD offering is at #17.

Re:Itanium is circling the bowl (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796726)

Sun might bring solaris to it, but... why?

Sun seems Very happy with the AMD partnership as it is. http://www.sun.com/amd/ [sun.com]

So I do not see this likely.

Re:Itanium is circling the bowl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796848)

One of the few places that Itanium sold fairly well.

Err, Itanium servers are far more popular than Itanium workstations.

For example, Intel made a workstation chipset for the Itanium 1, but they never even _made_ a workstation chipset for the Itanium 2 range. Only HP did that....

Re:Itanium is circling the bowl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796850)

"killed off its IA64 Workstations. One of the few places that Itanium sold fairly well."

That is bullshit. IA64 servers have been selling a lot better than what the workstations did.

Itanium is Linux bound (5, Interesting)

Thaidog (235587) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796551)

The only place I see the Itaniums making it anywhere is SGI. They're using them for all their supercomputers running linux. Let's hope they keep the mips line... just in case ;)

Re:Itanium is Linux bound (5, Insightful)

EyeSavant (725627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796591)

MIPS is dead.

SGI are pretty much commited to moving everyone to Itanic, they are only selling MIPS stuff to people who REALLY REALLY want backward compatability. MIPS chips are not going to get much faster, they are not going to bring out a proper new generation, most of the improvements are going to be from shrinking the gates on the chips.

Making a chip costs a stupidly big amount of money, and MIPS does not have the volume to justify it.

If Itanic sinks (really sorry) then SGI will eventually be bought up by IBM for their shared memory tech, and customer roladex.

SGI have bet the company on Itanic

Re:Itanium is Linux bound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796671)

Err, how about SGI just move over to amd64 or PPC?

Its not like their interconnect is Itanium specific - it came from their MIPS line.

Also, supercomputers don't need backward compatibility because things usually get highly tuned for a specific architecture.

Re:Itanium is Linux bound (1)

nekonoko (688354) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796673)

Did they really bet the company on Itanic though? It seems to me by going with Linux on their new machines they should be able to switch to any chip architecture at a whim. If they had spent a bunch of effort on porting something like IRIX to Itanium I could understand that sentiment.

Re:Itanium is Linux bound (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796694)

SGI has bet the company no more on Itanium than HP has. Sure, they'd rather stick to their current line of IA64-based products for a little while, but if Itanium dies, SGI can still move to another chip. No doubt the costs would be significant, but I wouldn't expect it to be so bad that SGI would go belly up over it.

Why?

Because their core technology seems to be relatively independent of the CPU. The Altix line really just builds on the Origin line. It's the connections between machines (NUMAflex), and their understanding of high-performance computing in general, that will keep them afloat.

What's more interesting is, what would they move to iff IA64 would be discontinued (which is still very unlikely, but let's assume it does)? AMD64 is an option, Cray are showing it works well with their RedStorm machines. Or perhaps SGI can find an ally in IBM with their POWER chips. The latter is IMO more likely because SGI is a firm believer in RISC, and when IA64 is dead, POWER is the last in the line of RISC chips with competitive performance. Or perhaps they can revive their MIPS based lines.

What's actually more interesting is, what is HP going to do when more vendors move away from IA64 and they risk ending up being the only ones selling them???

Re:Itanium is Linux bound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796819)

FYI, iff is a mathematical term, and is short for "if and only if".

Re:Itanium is Linux bound (1)

cmaxx (7796) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796858)

You can rest assured that if Itanic is killed off the SGI line would jump straight over to Xeon.

The next generation of Xeon and Itanic will have compatible buses according to the current roadmaps, and SGI would haev much less reengineering to do than if they wanted to use Opteron.

SGI's current plans are far more interesting then just coping with CPU supply changes though - they want to add vector processors and FPGAs into the mix.

In the meantime Altix kicks butt.

Re:Itanium is Linux bound (1)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796923)

MIPS is doing pretty well in the embedded world. I recently worked on a SOC project that contained an onboard MIPS core.

Bad news for Intel (0)

Elpacoloco (69306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796553)

I think this is going to sink the itanium project.

Oops (1, Funny)

Elpacoloco (69306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796560)

I forgot to add on the end:

</captainobvious>

Re:Bad news for Intel (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796626)

To misquote the late Lew Grade:

"Raise the Itanic? It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic!"

Re:Bad news for Intel (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796633)

Looks like I will be moving to the AMD 64bit platform for my next PC upgrade.

Intel, I loved ya from the very beginning. But AMD is offering greener pastures. Hope you can respond in kind to the market.

Re:Bad news for Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796841)

Yes, and everything else also. Nobody will run MS on clusters except MS.

The correct response: So what? (5, Interesting)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796558)

Does Microsoft's dropping of the Itanium from it's supported platform list herald the end of Itanium? No. In fact, Microsoft wasn't even the first to drop it, rather HP was the first to go ahead and stop using it in its high end servers. The whole thing boils down to the cost/benefit ratio which is insanely high for Itanium-based machines.

So Intel now gets a boost to its Xeon line of chips which are leading the high-performance server market percentage-wise. With this, Intel can put more effort into ramping Xeon production and subsequently driving the prices down there, and likewise continue producing the superfast Itaniums in servers running Linux or some other proprietary supercomputer operating system.

The demand for supercomputers is low. It will always be low. As technology progresses, the normal users like us get to reap the rewards of this high technology and eventually those supercomputers will be available to us on a single board. The supercomputers of that future will be supersupercomputers and the demand will still be small.

So let the Itanium fit its niche in the super-highend market. Let the Xeons fill in the normal server market. And let Microsoft stay out of the supercomputer market where it simply doesn't fit.

Re:The correct response: So what? (3, Interesting)

smu johnson (309071) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796602)

The problem here is intel spent a fortune developing a whole new architechture trying to get people away from x86. They cant be content to just let the market flood with xeons. A lost itanium sale doesnt automatically mean a xeon sale. While more XEON sales mean money for intel, they really need to try to make up their investment or it would be like throwing money in the garbage.

Despite all of this i agree wiht you..MS doesnt belong in the supercomputer market. But i doubt intel spent billions developing the itanium so it could be used in a few supercomputers worldwide. They tryed for mass market servers and failed. Cpus are a very low margin business and the failure of such an investment really just shaves their margins even thinnner.

Re:The correct response: So what? (5, Insightful)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796619)

The problem here is that intel is sinking billions into itanic, its a black hole for money and intel keeps throwing more money into it trying to save face.

itanium has not delivered on a single design goal since its inception. intel went full steam ahead on itanium, placing bets on a number of key technologies to pan out in order to sustain itanium development -- all of which never happened.

so now intel is stuck with an incomplete chip with projected market share shrinking, support drying up, and partners abandoning ship.

intel continues to sink huge sums of money into itanium on an incredibly tiny niche market, which would be better spent investing on developing technology for their core markets. right now amd is eating them for lunch with amd64.

Re:The correct response: So what? (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796645)

The problem here is that intel is sinking billions into itanic, its a black hole for money and intel keeps throwing more money into it trying to save face.

Indeed, one of the hardest things in business planning is the axiom "Never count the sunken cost" since prestige seems to allways come in the way.

Re:The correct response: So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796890)

I'd have enormous respect for Intel if they said "Yes, we know, we fucked up. Itanium isn't what it was supposed to be. We've had some success, but it's pretty much been a stream of continual bad news. We've spent a lot of money and it hasn't worked. We're going to give up on Itanium."

I'm also hoping to meet an honest politician and a flying, talking pig.

Re:The correct response: So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796933)

The expression is "eating their lunch", not "eating them for lunch"

Re:The correct response: So what? (1)

kinema (630983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796623)

Do you happen to work in Intel's marketing or public relations departments?

Re:The correct response: So what? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796715)

"Do you happen to work in Intel's marketing or public relations departments? "

Someone needs to ammend Godwin's law to include "You must work for them" rebuttal.

Re:The correct response: So what? (1)

phooka.de (302970) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796708)

let the Itanium fit its niche in the super-highend market

Sorry, that market is getting cowded, too, with processors that deliver more punch per dollar and more punch per kilowatt.

Take a look at Apple, the G4 and what little money you have to spend on that to make it to the top 10 of supercomputers.

Re:The correct response: So what? (3, Informative)

cmaxx (7796) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796847)

HP are dropping them from their high-end workstations.

Not their high-end servers.

Re:The correct response: So what? (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796854)

You'd have to be an idiot to use Windows on a cluster anyway, it just cause SO many problems and costs with no real incentives. ...No matter what Microsoft's sponsored and umm 'creative' research says.

Re:The correct response: So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796856)

"HP was the first to go ahead and stop using it in its high end servers."

Ehh, that is simply wrong.

Future (3, Insightful)

Elithris (789957) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796559)

This is a smart move. The Itanium was built for a niche market. Due to it's high price, and low performance to price ratio, the Itanium isn't popular. But Microsoft has so much weight that it could probably stop supporting intel processors and still come out alive, albeit heavily damaged. If I were Microsoft, I'd try to buy (or merge) with AMD or Intel, then stop OS support for my competitor, leaving them helpless. It would be risky, but if I were a selfish, inconsiderate, greedy, power-hungry, monopoly driven CEO, that's what I would do :).

Re:Future (5, Interesting)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796630)

The Itanium was built for a niche market.

No it wasn't. Intel developed to itanic as a "post-RISC" design to crush all the 64-bir RISC processors, and to take over the workstation and server market. It was designed to be _the_ volume 64-bit processor with spectacular performance and low price due to economies of scale.

Those of us with a passing interest in microprocessors knew it was a turkey.

The only thing itanic has going for it is high SPEC FP scores. On everything else it is either poor or mediocre. It is hot, power-hungry, expensive, have virtually no software support, no developer community etc.

If you look closely at the "benchmark" comparisons that HP and intel put out for public consumption, you will see they usually only compare with very old models from competitors. Also notice the kind of workloads they compare and the configuration of the machines.

SGI recently might have given NASA a free itanic supercomputer if the rumours are true, accounting for a whole 10% of this years itanic shipments. That sounds like a processor in trouble.

Itanic was a solution looking for a problem. It was based on out-dated ideas of processr design, it was late, over-engineered and basically a damp squib for all but the handful of people who can afford it for numbercrunching. This is a far cry from the de-facto 64-bit, mass-market, low-cost processor with world domination that intel intended for it to be.

Re:Future (5, Interesting)

EyeSavant (725627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796674)

The only thing itanic has going for it is high SPEC FP scores. On everything else it is either poor or mediocre.

I have to second that. My feeling on it is when they had a meeting with a blank piece of paper to design this chip they only invited hardware people. All the tough stuff has been moved into software.

I think the lack of out of order execution really hirts them. If you don't do an amazing job with the compiler then the processor moves like a slug. In the supercomputer centre I used to use they "upgraded" their 512 processor MIPS machine by adding a 400 processor (or so) Itanic box. For a lot of things without extra optimization of the source code (i.e. just compìling the thing, assuming you could get it to compile, but that is another story) the Itaniums were SLOWER than the 3 year old MIPS processors. It takes a lot of tweaking to get anything like peak performance

There are 3 FPU pipleines that you have to fill at compile time to get maximum performace out of the thing. Identifying THREE parallel instructions at compile time, ALL THE TIME, is damn hard, and normally the compilers fail. Hence slow.

It is just too hard to get anything like the theoretical peak performance out of the thing for stuff other than benchmarks.

Re:Future (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796777)

Identifying THREE parallel instructions at compile time, ALL THE TIME, is damn hard, and normally the compilers fail.


Not in the supercomputer world. Jobs where you really need high processing power have already been reduced to highly parallelizable algorithms. This trend started in the 1930's and 1940's, when "parallel" meant a room full of people, each with a mechanical adding machine.


People sometimes feel surprised when confronted with the fact that "supercomputers" existed in the 1940's, but they did. Computers were first used for the most difficult tasks, not the easiest ones. Therefore, these algorithms have undergone decades of adaptation by the world's top mathematicians and computer scientists. Sometimes centuries, like the Fast Fourier Transform, for instance, whose first incarnation was created by Gauss in the early 1800's. Therefore, "supercomputer" algorithms usually boil down to easily parallelizable solutions, like matrix inversions or convolutions.

Re:Future (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796901)

Yup, the good old days. Back then you could actually date the sexy FPU third row on the left - oh, wait...

and specfp was perhaps hand tuned (1)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796742)

Must of taken a *long* time to get specfp up given the brain damaging "software has to do it" thing on itanic. All I want (personally) is a low watt, high screaming 64 bit version of the 11...Somebody resurrect the Alpha or implement the stanford cpu please? (You are right VLIW was soo 1980's wasn't it..) - oops I wrote 32 bit initially.

The irony is that when we get a mass market 64 bit
processor the first thing some of us will do is
to make a good emulator for the old 36 bit cpu's
(grins)

Re:Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796869)

"The only thing itanic has going for it is high SPEC FP scores. On everything else it is either poor or mediocre. It is hot, power-hungry, expensive, have virtually no software support, no developer community etc."

This is not something I fully agree with.

"SGI recently might have given NASA a free itanic supercomputer if the rumours are true, accounting for a whole 10% of this years itanic shipments. That sounds like a processor in trouble."

Do you have any insight in SGI ecomincs. That they are giving NASA this is not true. And the only CPU with volume is x86. POWER is in the 200000 range per year, Itaniums may soon reach POWER in volume.

"This is a far cry from the de-facto 64-bit, mass-market, low-cost processor with world domination that intel intended for it to be."

Well, if that was true they did wrong.

Re:Future (3, Insightful)

1000101 (584896) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796640)

"If I were Microsoft, I'd try to buy (or merge) with AMD or Intel, then stop OS support for my competitor, leaving them helpless"

I think that should read "If I were AMD or Intel, I'd try to buy (or merge) with Microsoft..." My point is that AMD or Intel would like to dominate their market completely. Microsoft already does that.

Makes economic sense (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796566)

Itanium is too small a market for Microsoft to devote developer time to. They're better off getting longhorn ready than supporting an already dead platform. Itantium will go the way of the Pentium Pro, another hyped up CPU that never really delivered.

Seems like the Wintel alliance isn't so strong these days. Microsoft opting for IBM's PPC processor for XBox 2 is another example of how they're looking what hardware is best for the job, instead of what their traditional partners can offer.

Re:Makes economic sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796582)


Oh really? Then all the PII's and PIII's never did anything in the market then huh?

Only difference between a PII and PPro was how the cache chips connected to the CPU core....

Re:Makes economic sense (1)

smu johnson (309071) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796610)

And stepping but yes you're basically right.

Re:Makes economic sense (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796769)

The original Pentium Pro CPU, not the subsequent processors based upon that line.

Re:Makes economic sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796900)

So the Itanium II must be one great CPU?

You made a bad analogy.

Re:Makes economic sense (5, Insightful)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796660)

Pentium Pro, another hyped up CPU that never really delivered.

Hang on, you are joking, right?

PPro has probably been Intel's best chip architecture to date. The initial P6 had bad 16bit performance, which made it a bad choice for consumers are that time, but it was very competitive in normal 32bit mode, idea for NT, Linux and other PC Unixen. The 2nd iteration of the P6 architecture fixed the 16bit issue and was enormously successful. The latest iteration of that arch (Pentium-M) is quietly outperforming the architecture designed to replace it, the P4, at nearly half the clock speed and far less power usage. Indeed, it looks like Intel will be going *back* to the P6 family in future as its 'frontline' PC architecture.

So you must be joking.

Re:Makes economic sense (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796813)

I'd like to add its bad 16-bit performance was actually Microsoft's fault, becaues they had told Intel that Windows 95 would be 32-bit. Intel designed the chip with exclusively 32-bit performance in mind. The second Pentium Pro (the "Pentium II") had the 16-bit performance issues fixed.

Re:Makes economic sense (5, Interesting)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796825)

The initial P6 had bad 16bit performance, which made it a bad choice for consumers are that time, but it was very competitive in normal 32bit mode, idea for NT, Linux and other PC Unixen. The 2nd iteration of the P6 architecture fixed the 16bit issue and was enormously successful.
Sorry, wrong on the 16bit issue. The 2nd iteration of the P6 architecture, aka Pentium III, still sucked with 16 bit software. It was saved by the introduction of 32bit software and a (mostly) 32 bit OS.

I remember a software project I was working on in 1998, where we still used Delphi 1 (16bit) because the customer still had a Win3.11 environment.

When we ran that program side-by-side on a Pentium MMX with 200MHz and a Pentium III with 450 MHz, the old Pentium MMX was roughly twice as fast.

Re:Makes economic sense (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796698)

I think Intel would kill to have itanic be as successful as the Pentium Pro. It was the core of their best selling processors for like seven years or more(PPro,P2,P3,Celeron1+2,P-M).

Re:Makes economic sense (2, Interesting)

Craig Ringer (302899) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796730)

*looks over at PPro firewall*

The PPro may have been over-hyped, but it _was_ a seriously good chip. In fact, it heralded the best line of CPUs Intel ever produced, the PII/PIII/PM line. They're currently in the process of ditching the Pentium 4 to go _back_ to the PM, which is at heart a PPro. The PPro also spawned the Xeon line, until Intel moved it across to Pentium 4 a while ago. The PIII Xeon was a _mightly_ fine chip.

Overall ... I'd argue that the PPro really did deliver.

Re:Makes economic sense (2, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796781)

While the core was an improvement on the previous chips the original PentiumPro was rather expensive and in my eyes didn't really offer the sort of performance gains to justify it. Likewise with the initial P4 processors.

Subsequent processors based on the core have been better. But going from a 750Mhz PIII to a 900Mhz Athlon was an incredible leap in performance, so I'd argue that AMD have forced Intel to buck up their ideas.

Re:Makes economic sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796887)

Sorry but I have P-Pro systems here that are STILL in service because they kick the living arse out of the P-II servers that were bought to replace them.

Hell I was able to overclock one 4 processor box to 333mhz and it STILL has had no problems (Compaq ML line server)

I use it for linux web development and have had it running 24/7 for over 5 years now.

they bought me a newer server for development, I let it sit as a print/file server cince it can not touch the old P-Pro machine STILL.

Windows Supercomputer? (5, Insightful)

ortcutt (711694) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796567)

Does anyone want a Windows Supercomputer anyway? Does Microsoft really think they have a chance in this sector considering how entrenched *nix is?

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796579)

Does anyone want a *nix computer anyway? Does *nix really think it a chance in the desktop sector considering how entrenched Windows is?

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796836)

Good point. But even if you're completely satisfied with Windows on the desktop, Linux and *BSD at least offer a price advantage. On a cluster, Windows is going to cost $/cpu; it had better offer something for that. But what can it possibly offer? The main thing Windows has going for it is Windows compatibility, and on a cluster that's no help at all.

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (3, Interesting)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796583)

You would be surprised at the number of people who are currently trying to run low end "supercomputer"-like things on windows machines or groups of them.

I do not currently see any special reason for anyone to run that on the highend level, as all those things are so specialised anyway, so you can get the right staff.

But the fact is, many of the aplications that low-end supercomputing could be used for are quite "common" in many enviroments. This coupled with the fact that extremly many companies have very entrenched Microsoft-only IT-cultures, makes me think there will be quite many of "supercomputers" running windows.

Please note the use Supercomputer in quotes, as most of these systems are really not going to be supercomputers, more something like "mini-supers".

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (1)

ortcutt (711694) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796611)

Are these scientific or business apps primarily?

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (3, Insightful)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796634)

Well, most are likely to be Business analysis types of things as the engineering departments of most companies tend to be more indepenedent. But you have to rememember that there is a huge number of computer science people in the world who have basically a windows based education. So the combination of those makes me think that the product in question might actually get quite many sales alsoe outside immediate business applications in the low end supercomputing arena. But the current ones I have seen have mostly been of the business-analysis type things.

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (1)

ortcutt (711694) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796646)

Well I guess they know what they're doing then.

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (4, Funny)

pchan- (118053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796745)

Does anyone want a Windows Supercomputer anyway?

i don't know about you guys, but the first thing i look for in a supercomputer is an easy to use graphical user interface. who wants to spend all that time typing archaic commands into their supercomputer's commandline? i just put NumberCrunch.exe on my desktop, and doubleclick it when i'm ready to launch. and all of my computations are stored on my shared folder, so that the other nodes can see what i've done and add their results. and while my program is running in the background i can also browse the web or play a little doom 3 (you would not believe the frame rates i get). but remember, turn off your screensavers if you want your supercomputer to reach its full power, because that opengl flying windows thing takes up alot of cpu time.

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796880)

oh my gawd... someone didn't see the joke and modded you "insightful"!!!!!!!!!

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796969)

A few modders mod funny posts insightful because a "funny" mod does not contribute to karma.

Not that this should be an issue. If someone is funny, they usually also come up with the occasional insightful/interesting/informative post. So, IMHO, it doesn't really matter that much.

Honestly, if you really feel the need to make sure a funny poster's comment deserves karma, I think the better alternative to modding funny "insightful" would be to mod them "underrated".

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (1)

cybergibbons (554352) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796896)

How did this get to insightful? Humour - not always supported in the moderator's brain.

Re:Windows Supercomputer? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796826)

Yea you get this poor Microsoft Certified Administrator in this mid size buisness. Then all of a sudden it grows rapidly. So the solution is to get a bigger box (since Windows doesn't scale well especially compared to Solaris and other UNIX) So these people are always looking at the latest windows compatible hardware trying to allow their systems to scale. Although Technology moves fast, Sometimes buisness growth moves faster.

dammit (3, Funny)

koi88 (640490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796569)


Dammit, I can't blame MS for this move.
As much as we all like MS-bashing, this action does not seem evil.

Or, is it? (Please?)

Has anybody just bought a big Itanium-cluster to run Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition on it?

BTW, is the name really "Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition"? Sounds terrible...

Re:dammit (4, Funny)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796624)

BTW, is the name really "Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition"? Sounds terrible...

Oh, I am sure the developers wanted to call it Windows Server 2003 CCF (Complete Cluster F***) but the marketing people stepped in... Changing the name to Windows Server 2003 CCE

I did!! (1)

Pervertus (637664) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796679)

I bought 100 Itanium PCs in order to have lotsa computing power, so I can create realtime virtual porn featuring Princess Fiona, Aki Ross and me. And now those PCs are doomed to stay and collect dust. :( Life just can't get any worse.

Re:I did!! (1)

jtev (133871) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796732)

Just run Linux on them instead. You can run plenty of ray tracers that will love the clocks and FLOPS.

The future of itanium? (4, Informative)

smu johnson (309071) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796573)

One really has to wonder how long intel is going to stick with the itanium after its dissapointing sales figures [arstechnica.com] and a move like this from the software giant is sure to really hurt. Maybe they will eventually drop their itanium line in favour of a AMD type X86-64 instruction set like they are using in their new P4's and new Xeons.

This is actually an exciting opertunity for AMD since they can increase their margin in the sever and business arena where the big money is. They should seize this opportunity and start pushing their server lines.

Itanic (2, Funny)

Konster (252488) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796574)

The Pentium Pro never really delivered? In it's various incarnations (Pentium Pro, Pentium 2, Pentium 3)have been around for a while...

But anyway, this is news how? I wasn't aware that there were enough Itanics around to MAKE into a cluster :)

Re:Itanic (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796600)

But anyway, this is news how? I wasn't aware that there were enough Itanics around to MAKE into a cluster :)

oh.. if they put together ALL the ithaniums in the world it would enough make a cluster..

Re:Itanic (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796651)

Quick quick!! Someone photoshop the CPU sinking into a bed of quicksand. Make sure you get the camara angle just right for the parody.

Could it be? (1)

Vash_066 (816757) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796649)

Could the unholy alliance be breaking down?

Lord of the rings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796709)

Obligatory Lord of The Rings quote:

"It began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Journalists, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven to the Engineers, great designers and craftsmen of the computer chips. And nine, nine rings were gifted to the race of Politicians, who, above all else, desire power. But they were, all of them, deceived, for another Ring was made. In the land of Redmond, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Gates forged in secret a master Ring, to control all others. And into this Ring he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life. One Ring to rule them all."

Linus was onto something... (5, Interesting)

Flaming Foobar (597181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796682)

Linus was right [theinquirer.net] , then, I guess...

Two day old CNET news (-1, Troll)

Hobart (32767) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796691)

Folks, please check article sources before submitting and save recycling old news.
http://com.com/2100-1006_3-5447042.html [com.com]
The original CNET article by Michael Kanellos
Can't find any references on PressPass [microsoft.com] , so that seems to be the authoritative word.

sooooooo oooold google news (-1, Troll)

kelk1 (660671) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796692)

When a subject has been in the already crappy google tech news for half a day (probably generous in this case), please avoid making it a /. article. It just makes me feel like I am going to puke.

Re:sooooooo oooold google news (1)

jlehtira (655619) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796930)

Oh, puke on! I like to see interesting news on Slashdot. Even when they're somewhere else too, because I've got a job and try to limit my waste of time to Slashdot only ;).

If only I could foresee this headline 4 years ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796693)

... :(
Or did I?
I don't remember. There was too much hype back then and too much cocaine. We bought everything that fell in our hands like madmen.

Now, I've invested in .NET

The Limit of closed source developpement (4, Interesting)

DrYak (748999) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796696)

In a way, this shows us the limits of closed source developpement :
Compagnies have to concentrate their (limited) efforts on a few software/platform combinations. They cannot developpe a version for every CPU existing on this planet.

Microsoft has already a lot of work to do (Longhorn, 64bits XP, XP reloader, still supporting deprecated Win98, developing specials like WinCE, WinMedia, etc...) so they just cannot afford supporting more than 2 CPU types.

In open source, it's the opposite. Because the source is Open, even if the main developper can only target 1 CPU type, everyone is free to try to recompile/port the code to another architecture.
Just have a look at the impressive number of architectures supported by Linux (including weird platforms like cellphones, gaming console [DreamCast/XBOX/GameCube] ).

Maybe this trends will change if Microsoft finds a way to use "write once run everywhere" vm like .NET for it's OSes. But until then, they are tied to Intel x86, and can make some exceptions a few times...

Re:The Limit of closed source developpement (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796839)

So instead of specialising something for one CPU, you would have it generalised for all CPU's. This happens with some games, and they are often very crappy. I can't imagine it being any better for other software too.

AMD stock (4, Interesting)

Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796700)

Wonder how this will affect the market.
AMD 2 year chart [google.com] .
I bought a little bit back when the Athlon 64 was announced. Trading volume has been up since. Opteron announcement didn't seem to make much of an impression on the market.
Post election, the markets been up overall.
Do you think we'll see a runup to $30 over the next couple of days?
Now I'm feeling like I should have bought a bit more AMD but historically I've been bitten on almost every investment decision based on the techniclal merits of the product.
WHat's the feeling out there in /. land? Does the big M$ gorilla's 'endorsement', Sun's decision to use opteron in their low end servers, AMD technical superiority, Intel's seeming 'mis-steps', the overall market upswing, the fact that A64 is a NICE piece of hardware, that AMD is NOT intel, and make AMD a very attractive investment?
Whay about AMD taking on $600,000,000 debt the other day and adding a guy from Radio Shack (see latest SEC filing).
My favorite way of looking at stocks (useless for decisions as I still don't grok it) is the correlation between the analyst recommendations and price/volume.
What sort of analysis do these guys do? Ouija board?

BUT wait. What I really want to know is how you /.'ers who invest are planning to react to this Intel news.

comparing chipzilla with chimpzilla: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796727)

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=5y&s=AMD&l=on&z=m& q=l&c=INTC

Re:AMD stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10796735)

AMD was a good investment back in 1999. Unfortunately I didn't have two pennies to rub together, or I'd have bouhgt some. I also foresaw the .com bubble/bust and could have made a killing, but once again I didn't have any money to spare and I don't like gambling with bank loans...

Re:AMD stock (1)

y2dt (184562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796940)

$30 in the next couple of days?!?! AMD is trading at $18 now. Merrill Lynch set their target for AMD to hit $22 NEXT YEAR.

So no, I doubt AMD will double in a week. Their stock has been doing pretty well this year tho.

Re:AMD stock (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796963)

Let me get this out of the way:

I'm an idiot who frequently talks out of his own ass.

If I had any money I would have bought AMD when it was at $5. But I still thinks it's a very good buy right now too. In a recent article at /. , http://www.theinquirer.net/ [theinquirer.net] , or http://www.theregister.co.uk/ [theregister.co.uk] , One of the Dell bosses was quoted as saying that AMD couldn't meet demand for server chips.

Add to that tidbit the fact that AMD just partnered with ANOTHER foundry, (when their existing one isn't even running near capacity) I think that spells a huge AMD + Dell love-fest soon.

I'd buy some if I could.

Oh I bet (1)

Ambient_Developer (825456) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796711)

Oh I bet intel loves this one, but hey if you were microsoft would you really care about intel? I mean lets think here though, who depends on who?

See also this ref (bit old, 1hr+long but fun) (2, Interesting)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796719)

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14310
(the link to the video is at the end).

I think we all know EPIC is dead. So is Moore's law.
Get used to learning how to parallelize (??) your
program.

Itanic I knew it not at all. Lot's of 64 bit CPU's out there means we can (finally) write nice emulators for the 36 bit ones (grins)

Any next generation chip left? (1, Insightful)

sphealey (2855) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796788)

Does that leave us with ANY next generation chip? Or are we stuck with the x86 architecture until 2020?

Too bad HP killed off the Alpha architecture in favor of Itanium. Maybe they could restart it...

sPh

Re:Any next generation chip left? (1, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796861)

Or are we stuck with the x86 architecture until 2020?

We sure are - Microsoft have enough trouble developing bloated, unstable & insecure applications for one processor architecture, they sure don't want to develop for any others...

Crap (3, Funny)

JamesP (688957) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796802)

Now we cannot imagine a bewolf cluster of these...

Pfff!!!

Is Amd winning this round? (1)

demon_2k (586844) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796866)

First Amd beat Intel in 64 bit, then they beat Intel in performance, they they got them with value (performance and price) and now they are making faster chips then Intel. Will that become a trend for the next few years?

Criswell predicts... (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796872)

One might suspect Intel realized a while ago that Itanic was never going to make it. Now they're generating various scenarios, trying to figure out how to write off the investment at the least painful moment. One good instant might have been when Andy Grove left. Or maybe the next guy is revving up for this. Anyway, the shoe is going to drop sometime in the next 12 months. Don't expect much sudden drop in their stock as the market willprobably anticipate this.

Oh great , the x86 arch. wheezes on a bit longer (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796889)

More old Intel , they try and try but they just can't get the albatross of the x86 off from around their necks. They tried years ago with the i860 and they tried recently with the itanium but its just not happening. Personally I wish x86 would die ASAP as its an inefficient , bloated and power hungry architecture but if big corps like MS won't support itanium we can only hope that open source does even if that makes a lesser impact on the market as a whole.

Alpha's not dead !... (2, Insightful)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 9 years ago | (#10796934)

... it just smells that way ; but hey, why don't HP take it out of its coffin, Intels starts printing 'Alphanium inside' labels, and here we go again !!!
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