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Microsoft Finally up for Distributed Computing?

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the drinking-philosophers dept.

Microsoft 307

ReeprFlame writes "eWeek has reported overhearing Microsoft's plans to finally get into the distributed computing market. Considering that the Windows platform has never had the ability to parallel compute in the past, it leaves great potential to the company's operating system development. From current *nix systems we have today, such a grid proves very useful, especially in the serving arena. However, we are unsure of Microsoft's target for the software. Would it be an addition to home users computers as well as the server versions of Windows? As of now it is unclear, but Microsoft probably will bring this situation to life in the near future since it does hold alot of power for them over other platforms."

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307 comments

Oh great... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233428)

now we have to worry about the blue wall of death.

Re:Oh great... (1)

niteice (793961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233461)

I thought it was the many simultaneous BSODs around the world.

Wait, those are from the people who upgraded to Windows 98 the day it was released.

Re:Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233504)

Or machines running DoS or SPAM farm.

Re: Oh great... (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233565)


> now we have to worry about the blue wall of death.

No, the idea is to use one node as a dedicated BSOD server, so the rest can stay up all the time.

Re:Oh great... (4, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233583)

I thought Windows already supported distributed computing straight out of the box?

I heard the windows equivalent to Beowulf clusters were called 'Botnets'.

Nothing to worry about here... (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233639)

In a world of distributed computing, who is going to wear the cost of multiple and/or site licences when they have already forked out for development of the distributed apps in the first place?

Seems to me that the open source platforms are well and truly set to crucify MS in this market. Why pay for a platform when you don't have to?

I know... (3, Funny)

frickenhell (643246) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233434)

They'll be secretly using your CPU cycles to compile their latest version of Windows.

Re:I know... (1)

basvdlei (844717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233460)

They'll be secretly using your CPU cycles to compile their latest version of Windows.

Just in... Thanks to all this new Big(TM) technology Longhorn will be released next month!

Re:I know... (0, Flamebait)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233708)

I doubt it, not on the basis on their morals or anything like that, but how much processing power do you really need to compile this:

public int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
exposeWindowsAPI = Microsoft;
showPrettyGUI();
defaultSecurity = exploitableConsumerHorde; // Internet Explorer Kernel Integration
if (packet->evilBit == true){
runAsAdmin = true;
IERun(packet->exploit)
} // End Internet Explorer Kernel Integration
exposeWindowsAPI = nonMicrosoft;
while(){
executePrograms();
if (program == nonMicrosoftMade && random == 1){
windowsCrash();
}
}
}

Not So Funny: China and its Threat (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233712)

This new distributed computing technology which Microsoft will incorporate into Windows must be safeguarded from China [phrusa.org]. The Chinese would use it to enhance their military capability.

In particular distributed computing has particular use in doing wargame simulations. The Pentagon has been doing its simulations on distributed systems for, at least, a decade.

Clusters (1)

rastakid (648791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233440)

From current *nix systems we have today, such a grid proves very useful, especially in the serving arena.

Keep in mind though that Windows clusters are existing. Of course this is not the same, but it's not like all servers are single-machines.

Re:Clusters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233464)

Ha Ha Ha
All your Windows clusters are existing

confusing parallel and distributed computing (5, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233500)

the article poster seems to confuse parallel processing on a single machine with distributed computing. The difference is that each machine is running it's own OS and not sharing physical memory in distributed computing.

distributed computing happens at the application layer. Thus if you can run something like an MPI library on windows you have the basis for efficient distributed computing. All you need is a scheduler and launcher to be able to launch distributed launch an application across the net. But virtually all of these are daemons not strictly part of the OS. So that level of system independent abstraction exists already so this should not be too difficult.

Re:confusing parallel and distributed computing (2, Interesting)

pottymouth (61296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233683)

You CAN run MPI (and PVM) on Windows. You can even run a processes that share cycles between a Windows and a Linux machine. MPI and PVM are both capable of working on a heterogenius network (though MPI didn't start out that way).

MS clustering? Its a Joke! (5, Interesting)

Savage650 (654684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233628)

Keep in mind though that Windows clusters are existing.

Looking at the MSFT definition or clustering [microsoft.com], they describe two kinds of clusters:

  • network load balancing clusters ("[the type ..] that distributes and load balances network connections among servers, providing high availability and scalability for stateless TCP/IP applications and services.").
    Note the explicit restriction to "stateless".

  • server clusters ("[the type..] that the Cluster service implements. Server clusters are characterized by high availability.)
    Note they mention availability but not performance.
ObJoke: MSFT renamed "Wolfpack" to "Server Cluster API", probably because they were sick of people describing it as "two dogs fucking" (As in: two beasts stuck together, pulling in opposite directions and howling in pain).

Third party solutions got there first (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233443)

Don't the spammers and virus writers have this technology already in their botnets?

I guess Microsoft is imagining a Be-- stop! put down that bat!

Not a good idea (1, Insightful)

scsirob (246572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233447)

Windows has proven time and again to be designed for stand-alone situation. All network and security add-ons have shown to be just that; add-ons..

Distributed computing simply isn't part of the base design. Morphing Windows into something it isn't will once again be a task for their marketing department, not engineering.

Re:Not a good idea (1)

Sliptwixt (606116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233463)

Distributed computing simply isn't part of the base design Was it part of the base design of Linux?

Re:Not a good idea (1, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233566)

Security and networking weren't part of the base design of Windows OR its predecessor,Dos, unlike all the *nixish operating systems, which were designed from the ground up with the intent of running multiple processes with multiple users.

Sow's ears and silk purses, etc.

Heh... (2, Funny)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233686)

Indeed; as my fortune cookie for today reads:

A master was explaining the nature of Tao to one of his novices. "The Tao is embodied in all software -- regardless of how insignificant," said the master.

"Is Tao in a hand-held calculator?" asked the novice.

"It is," came the reply.

"Is the Tao in a video game?" continued the novice.

"It is even in a video game," said the master.

"And is the Tao in the DOS for a personal computer?"

The master coughed and shifted his position slightly. "The lesson is over for today," he said.

-- "The Tao of Programming"

Re:Not a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233714)


Security and networking weren't part of the base design of Windows OR its predecessor,Dos, unlike all the *nixish operating systems, which were designed from the ground up with the intent of running multiple processes with multiple users.

Windows NT (which is what Windows XP is built upon) had security and networking built into the base design. It was also intended to run multiple processes and multiple users (though not interactively at the same time like UNIX).

Re:Not a good idea (4, Interesting)

tesmako (602075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233560)

The NT kernel is modular and well-design, I can't imagine that it would be more troublesome than it was for Linux (and probably significantly less work).

I have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to networking and security in NT, sure the WIN32 part is troublesome to keep secure, but NT in itself has no such problems.

Re:Not a good idea (3, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233631)

The NT kernel is well designed.

The rest of the OS has way to much backwards compatibility to be able to strip things out.

Linux can run on clusters because you can install only those chunks that you need. in Windows every processor would also have to run the entire GUI. Even if it is never used.

Why do you think Longhorn is getting a full command line shell setup?

Insightful? (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233564)

Networking was an add on to NT/2000/XP/2003? Hardly.

How about a /. New Years resolution? Cut the ani-microsoft hyperbole in half?

Re:Not a good idea (1)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233574)

TCP/IP networking was an add on to Unix originally. That didn't mean that Unix didn't do it better than anything else at the time. Not saying M$ will, however I don't think you can rule them out just because in the past "All network and security add-ons have shown to be just that".

Windows clusters don't make sense (2, Insightful)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233454)

Windows is an overly-bloated OS which is very GUI-oriented and is not modular or flexible for cluster node usage. Processing nodes usually don't even have a monitor or keyboard, much less a GUI and a mouse. Windows isn't much use there. Nor can you strip out the parts you don't need, or customize the kernel for performance. Plus, Microsoft's incredibly expensive and anal licensing makes a Windows cluster not worth the effort or money. I mean, Linux's licensing cost is 0, and 0 scales infinitely ;)

Say what you like about Linux "not ready for the desktop", but Linux (and *nix in general) totally rules the clustering arena.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233482)

Why do you need a monitor, keyboard and mouse to run Windows? It works perfectly well with no GUI through remote terminal access.

Do you know anything about Windows?

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233502)

All he knows about Windows he learned from Slashdot. So, no, he doesn't know anything about Windows. I remember a time when true geeks knew something about all OSes and how to use them. Now it's just a bunch of damn zealot nerds who don't know thing one about computers but instead spout a lot of bullshit pseudo-politics in tech forums.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233582)

I remember a time when true geeks knew something about all OSes and how to use them. I'm sorry, "Windows" doesn't qualify as an OS. It's at best a polished turd. So take your Microsoft fanboyism and stick it where the sun don't shine.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (0, Flamebait)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233644)

Well you obviously don't know anything about windows.

Which computer is running that GUI?? just because you don't need a local monitor doesn't mean that the computer isn't running the GUI.

Talk about stupid person. REmote desktop basically takes snapshots of the desktop that is running in memory, Just because their isn't anything local doesn't mean jack shit.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (2, Insightful)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233492)

In other words: Windows is not ready for the cluster!

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (2, Informative)

ScottKin (34718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233569)

Yes, the utter ignorance of the /. readership rears it's ugly, pimple-ridden head.

Do everyone a favor and do some RESEARCH before you go spouting-off about something that you obviously know NOTHING about.

For some enlightenment, go to www.windowsclusters.org [windowsclusters.org]

--ScottKin

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233663)

Their "Real Application Performance" section starts off talking about how many gigaflops they get per cpu on a 4-way SMP Itanium box. This is distributed? The rest of the applications covered are at least distributed, with respectable scalability for 12 p2-300's networked with Myrinet. (Odd that elsewhere, they talk about what kind of hardware to use, and say that fast ethernet scales to 16 nodes depending on the application, I guess whatever they ran to get that graph wasn't one of those applications. There also appears to be nothing on the site about channel bonding for scaling networking capability up)

It's interesting to see there are companies other than microsoft providing distributed computing services (these people seem to favor Verari Systems' MPI/Pro, which seems to have a pretty nice range of features and runs on several platforms). I wonder if Microsoft's built-in offering will make them squeal about antitrust lawsuits.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (2, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233509)

While you're probably aware of grid computing from a perspective of "huge server farm at research organization X", I think the more practical use is corporations that often have 10s of thousands of extremely powerful workstations. These PCs are extraordinarily underused, and if there was some secure, reliable method of distribution processing across them (transaction calculations, actuarial processing, whatever) then that would be extremely valuable.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (1)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233654)

... if there was some secure, reliable method of ...

Do you know any single piece of software made by MS that you would
consider secure or reliable?

By your definition of workstation-clustering Windows already has the feature anyways.
We're reading about its RPC capabilities twice a week aren't we?
Just remotely inject your trojan of choice (sth like back orifice?) across the office and do whatever it is you want to do. Cluster computing needs application-support anyways (unless they come up with a MOSIX which would make me laugh hard) so doing it that way is probably even easier and more secure (BO uses encryption) than whatever crap patch MS comes up with.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233527)

Processing nodes usually don't even have a monitor or keyboard, much less a GUI and a mouse. Windows isn't much use there.
We have some 2500 Windows servers where I work. None of them have monitors, keyboards, or mice. If we need a KVM it's typically to get into the BIOS, not the operating system.

Nor can you strip out the parts you don't need, or customize the kernel for performance.
You most certainly can do both. It costs money, of course, but remember that we're not talking about trivial tweaks like compiling the kernel for your particular processor family. We're talking about hiring a team of programmers to extensively customize the kernel so it runs your specific application and nothing else. That costs a bucket of money, and compared to that the cost of a Windows source code license is not going to be a whole lot.

I still feel that Linux would be a good bit cheaper, but we're talking big bucks both ways. And it's also worth mentioning that Microsoft's licensing model for "corner cases" like this is extremely flexible: they may give the source away at a significant discount just for the publicity. They've done it plenty of times before. Some of those 2500 servers at work run a custom-built NT kernel and we sure aren't a huge international company.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233637)

Does that require Windows Server? I was bred on Unixes of various sorts but spend a lot of my time on Windows. There are a number of operations I don't know how to do without a mouse, even on my own machine, much less on a remote machine.

Even if I had a SSH/telnet-driven command prompt, I don't think I could kill a process on a remote machine, for example; I can do it only via the GUI. Is it just because I have a lot to learn, or is it a feature I don't have?

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233656)

yet each of those servers still run the GUI. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not in the memory.

At least with Linux you get two options. a low memory command shell that shuts down when you log out, or X which only loads the application on the local processor, using the remote machine for actual display. And when your done it turns off, restoring memory to the system.

Windows GUI never shuts off. It's always there.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (4, Insightful)

Bulln-Bulln (659072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233549)

Huh? Mac OS X is also very GUI-oriented, but that doesn't make it bad for clusters. I've only read positive feedbacks about Apple's Xgrid. http://www.apple.com/acg/xgrid/ [apple.com]
So that's not really a reason why a Windows Cluster won't make sense.
Licensing costs are also not the biggest concern from big corporations.

Not the same thing ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233665)

Huh? Mac OS X is also very GUI-oriented, but that doesn't make it bad for clusters. I've only read positive feedbacks about Apple's Xgrid.


In this case, Mac OS X is sitting on top of a UNIX kernel -- a modified FreeBSD. Which means all of those parts aren't GUI oriented, and you get all of the same benefits of a UNIX with all of the eye candy that Apple knows how to make work well.

Windows seems to have been built with a model that expects everything to want to be GUI based and it includes a lot of stuff geared towards that. As has been pointed out elsewhere, Windows seems to be taking networking and other stuff as add-ons without having been accounted for in the first place. Though that's probably changing somewhat over time.

In the case of OS/X, it will happily do both functions without saddling the non-GUI stuff with extra baggage.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (1)

Krisbee (644227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233710)

It's not because Windows is GUI oriented that it isn't suitable.
It's beacuse it is still single-user-oriented. If you cannot be root (ahem, Administrator) you cannot do much with it.
That's the difference between Windows and MacOS X.

cutting possible (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233579)

they do make an "embedded" version where you can cut crap away. Not that I think this is going to fly though... I like the poster: Would it be an addition to home users computers as well as the server versions of Windows? Considering all non-server versions only accept one telnet client at a time, keep on dreaming buddy. This is probably gonna get marketed as a distributed server thingy for large web or exchange clusters.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (1)

tesmako (602075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233594)

This has to be some sort of world record in bullshitting, the NT kernel is easily as modular and flexible as the Linux kernel. Microsoft can easily strip and optimize the kernel (the xbox is an excellent already-existing example, great use of the NT kernel).

A number of years ago it was possible to actually listen to technical arguments on slashdot, but it seems that all technical considerations has been deemed less important than slamming Microsoft at every turn.

NT will work great in such a setting, if anything it is the historic WIN32 GUI stuff on top that is holding it back.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233602)

This has to be some sort of world record in bullshitting, the NT kernel is easily as modular and flexible as the Linux kernel.

Only if you're Microsoft, or one of its allies. Linux puts the user in control. There is a difference.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (1)

tesmako (602075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233624)

True enough, can't just invent it oneself. But the point here is; Microsoft is in a good technical position to make a clustered computation system. It is also most likely so that for the average user the extra configurability of Linux is fairly useless (how many people have significantly changed the Linux kernel in some way? The basic compilation settings are mostly stuff that are configurable in NT by other means anyway).

I am not saying that Linux is a worse deal in any way of course, it just does not have any real technical advantage for this specific use. On the non-technical side it is still cheaper and the added control over it gives a nice safety (also the clustering software is already here, maturity will most likely count for something for quite a few years). Claiming that the NT kernel is unmodular and an unsound base for a clustering system is just wrong though.

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (1)

mtenhagen (450608) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233606)

Microsoft indeed can optimize the kernel. But I want to change to kernel to MY application.

And no I wont hire microsoft to do that, I want to show my optimizations to several people who can critize and improve it. I want the source and the ability to improve it!

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233610)

You're an astroturfer, aren't you?

Re:Windows clusters don't make sense (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233707)

IMHO, Microsoft won't sell a stripped down system as it goes totally against all their marketing spin that says "IE/WMP/etc it totally part of the O/S and we can't strip it out" Besides the deluge of lawsuits they would get lumbered with, they would risk becoming the next SCO (Derided by 90%+ of the IT Community) and suffer a total loss of whatever credibility they have left.

could be good (4, Interesting)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233457)

i always wondered why there's not an easy way to utilize all of the computers in a network to perform a task. Most of the computers on corporate networks are windows machines, and most of those are sitting idle 99% of the time. If there was a way to harness that power for something useful, like an oracle database, web hosting, mail hosting, etc, the whole network would not be bottlenecked by one overloaded server. Mosix kinda solves that problem, but on the linux-side only.

If someone wanted to make millions of dollars, build something like that for windows and charge minimally for it. Better do it before Microsoft does.

Re:could be good (1)

basvdlei (844717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233490)

I'm not an expert but using employees workstations to power your companies database sounds like an security nightmare to me.

But in there are indeed cases where it would not be such a bad idea.

Re:could be good (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233554)

If they are using the network, they already have a security model in place. There shouldn't be any additional security risk offloading cpu/storage to client workstations. Even if you offload only to other servers, the advantage of being able to add an additional server to increase cpu horsepower or storage space is invaluable. Most large sites already have this in place, they just had to build it in-house (like google, amazon, ebay).

I'm sure Microsoft will build something like that, and it will totally suck. Then someone else will come to market and their application will totally dominate. Then Microsoft will buy them, and the application will end up being like Virtual PC or something.

Who wrote the summary? (5, Insightful)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233458)

As of now it is unclear, but Microsoft probably will bring this situation to life in the near future since it does hold alot of power for them over other platforms.

Does this make any sense? The rest of the summary is equally nonsensical.

Re:Who wrote the summary? (5, Informative)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233523)

Here is tha actual article; note that MS doesn't plan to have this ready to release until "near the end of the decade."

A Peek Under Microsoft's Secret 'Bigtop'
By Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft Watch
December 29, 2004

Microsoft officials have said little about the company's intentions in the grid-computing space. But that doesn't mean Microsoft is ignoring the evolving arena of grid/distributed computing.

Microsoft is working on a skunk-works project that is code-named Bigtop, which is designed to allow developers to create a set of loosely coupled, distributed operating-systems components in a relatively rapid way, according to sources close to the company, who requested anonymity.

Rather than attempting to tightly couple a few high-performance systems together, Microsoft is looking at the consequences of loosely coupling a larger number of moderately powerful computers to achieve a similar result.

Bigtop's first commercial manifestation will likely be as some kind of large-scale project, most likely a distributed grid-computing operating system, the sources added.

Bigtop is one of Microsoft's incubation projects. It falls under the domain of Craig Mundie, the Microsoft senior vice president and chief technical officer in charge of advanced strategies and policy, sources said.

Bigtop consists of three components, all written in C#, according to developers who said they were briefed by Microsoft. These are:

Highwire: Highwire is a technology designed to automate the development of highly parallel applications that distribute work over distributed resources, the aforementioned sources said. Highwire is a programming language/model that will aim to make the testing and compiling of such parallel programs much simpler and more reliable.

Bigparts: Bigparts is code designed to turn inexpensive PC devices into special-purpose servers, according to the sources. Bigparts will enable real-time, device-specific software to be moved off a PC, and instead be managed centrally via some Web services-like model.

Bigwin: According to sources close to Microsoft, Bigwin sounds like the ultimate manifestation of Microsoft's "software as a service" mantra. In a Bigwin world, applications are just collections of OS services that adhere to certain "behavioral contracts." These OS services can be provided directly by the core OS or even obtained from libraries outside of the core OS.

Sources said Microsoft will likely make some sort of preview version of the Bigtop code available to the company's software-development partners by 2006. If and when the final version debuts, it won't be much before the end of the decade, sources added.

It's not clear whether the Bigtop components will run on top of Windows when they are completed. But sources say that is what they are expecting at this point. End of Article

I like their use of a circus term as a name for this project. It gives the impression of a bunch of clowns running around into each other and falling down. Kind of like MS systems on the web now.

Re:Who wrote the summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233608)

The slashdvertising dept

Re:Who wrote the summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233612)

Yeah, the writeup is crap. Someone needs some more coffee. The actual product is the usual microsoft vaporware.

They already dominate grid computing! (2, Funny)

Spackler (223562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233472)


Just plug an unpatched XP box into the internet. It will be part of the worlds largest grid computer in less than 2 minutes.

It will also hum the tune Zombie Rock!


Re:They already dominate grid computing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233650)

Done!

Now where can I see my current stats at?

Awesome (1, Flamebait)

knightrdr (685033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233473)

This is just what we need for a grid... an OS that will consume 10% of system resources just playing solitaire.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233596)

It'll be like a Casino, excepts Casino's don't give hints.

Already done (4, Insightful)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233475)

There are millions of Windows machines out there participating in a distributed SPAM relaying network.

I imagine if Microsoft 'enahances' Windows to do this even easier, it'll make it even easier for spammers to write the next-generation spamming-joe-jobbing apps.

Kudos, Microsoft!

Leaking as a business tactic (1)

Punctuated_Equilibri (738253) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233480)

Seems to me this is a deliberate leak to create uncertainty in customer's minds and block any adoption of *nix for grid computing.

IT decision makers can be persuaded to wait for Microsoft's solution rather than 'taking a chance' with another OS.

Re: Leaking as a business tactic (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233544)


> Seems to me this is a deliberate leak to create uncertainty in customer's minds and block any adoption of *nix for grid computing.

That, or they're priming consumers to accept the idea that it will take a whole rack of computers to run the next version of Windows.

standard distribution (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233484)

M$ 0wns the "distributed computing" business. What else do you call DDoS, worms, spam, and the incessant portscanning that represents so much Internet traffic, personal/business IT hourse spent, and malware protection business? Practically all running on a distributed network of Windows machines. But I guess it won't really work right until M$ charges everyone for the upgrade to v3.0.

Re:standard distribution (1)

corsair2112 (813278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233511)

Mod this motherfucker UP BABY! He is a COMEDY GENIUS!! I need a new keyboard here, I just shot Mountain Dew out my nose ALL OVER IT HAHAHAHA!! M$ -- FUNNIEST THING EVER BECAUSE IT'S A DOLLAR SIGN INSTEAD OF AN S HAHAHA!! Microsoft is all about THE MONEY AM I RITE?!?! Standard distribution, more like COMEDY DISTRIBUTION all on this side of the table LOLOLOLOL!!1!!!1

hardware is the cost (3, Informative)

mtenhagen (450608) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233491)

When you want to do large computations the biggest cost is the hardware. So you want to make optimal use of your hardware by using software optimized for that hardware. Rewriting networkcard software can give you improvements of 10-20% for your specific application.

On linux you can remove interrupts from the kernel if your app only needs polling. Stuff like that will never be possible with a closed source solution.

Lots of ppl stop using solaris cause of this.

Oh My God! (0, Troll)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233498)

Can you imagine how evil IE would be if it was networked together?

I think I just pooped my pants.

Re:Oh My God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233587)

I'm pretty sure the Adware programs will find a way to eat up 99% of the cluster's CPU and bandwidth. Nothing to worry about, we've got it under control ;)

No ETs yet... (4, Informative)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233501)

...but my SETI@home screen saver is one of the most stable apps on my XP machine. It certainly doesn't qualify as "grid" computing, but it feels awfully big some days.

Of note: I've got some Win2K web servers running in a native WLBS load balanced rig, and those machines have been doing swell for four years now. They talk to a cluster of SQL servers, but that clustering really doesn't count... it's more like hot fail-over. The native load balancing of the web servers, though, has been pretty tight and has scaled very easily, at least within my mid-market universe.

I know, I'm just asking for it with this post. Just wanted folks to know that it's possible to push a couple $million of holiday e-commerce through some pretty cheap white boxes running MS's stuff. And yes, my cheap admin help is glad there's a GUI for some of the chores they don't do every day. All right, flame me now. But you have to do it from a command prompt.

Re:No ETs yet... (0)

codepunk (167897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233647)

WLBS is absolutely nothing close to being a cluster it us just mearly a way to balance load between machines. I know we have a couple of MCSE's that I work with that talk about their great clusters but what they really mean is they have failover capability. On the other hand I run a few REAL linux clusters at work, clustered file system, distributed lock manager, cluster aware process management etc and all of that software was yes ZERO dollars. One of these clusters is actually running thin client kde desktops and even the desktop apps run process balanced across the nodes.

We also run a CFD lab with a parallel processing solver. The engineers initially tried to run it on windows but instability moved us to linux. On linux we seen a immediate 50% reduction in solver compute times.

Re:No ETs yet... (1)

Libor Vanek (248963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233694)

Hi, could you post (maybe to email - this is getting a bit off-topis) some more info? What FS do you use? (OpenGFS from Sistina/RedHat?) How kind of KDE applications and how do you balance them accros nodes? Thanks.

Huh? What? (0, Redundant)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233525)

Microsoft Finally up for Distributed Computing?

They have been doing this for years, you see all of those security holes were really features that allowed certain types of distributed computing.

Instead of taking up al of my CPU cycles for *Important* cough cough emails, I could just have a few thousand cough cough friends help me out.

Uh, right (1)

Gay Nigger (676904) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233532)

Considering that the Windows platform has never had the ability to parallel compute in the past

Gee, so that's why my friends in the CFD group have been running flow solving codes using MPI and Windows 2000 machines! Because Windows can't parallel compute!

I guess when you're a high-tech 21st century janitor and automechanic combined, you don't have anything to do with the design of large compute programs. That doesn't give you the right, though, to spread your ignorance.

Re:Uh, right (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233576)

And If your friends where smart they would use linux to do CFD. We switched from windows to linux in our CFD lab and cut solution computation time nearly in half. On top of that we no longer have system crashes that ruin the results.

Mod Parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233590)

This fucker has no idea of what the fuck he is talking about. R-E-T-A-R-D.

Re:Uh, right (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233698)

Gee, so that's why my friends in the CFD group have been running flow solving codes using MPI and Windows 2000 machines!

So the ability of using a message handling library for parallel programming does indeed make Windows the tool for parallel computing. Now that's the point where I usually wake up laughing my a** off.

Longhorn, Grid, RFID, SmartCards... (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233541)


Microsoft are wonderful. Trying to sell things they don't have in order to make it look as if they are ahead of the pack.

So if its announced in 2004/5 it will be "scheduled" for launch in 2007, but actually arrive in 2009.

Re:Longhorn, Grid, RFID, SmartCards... (1)

bob beta (778094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233586)

Yet again, another innovation that Microsoft 'stole' from others. Larry Ellison's army of marketers pioneered in the area of vaporware. Microsoft just followed in their footsteps. They aren't even as good at being slimy marketers as Oracle.

Re:Longhorn, Grid, RFID, SmartCards... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233605)

The article said they plan to have it out by the end of the decade ... they didn't say WHICH decade, so we're probably looking at 2019, or maybe 2038.

It's (the announcement) a trial balloon, along the usual Microsoft marketing lines (throw enough shit, some of it will stick). They did the same thing for years with the original versions of Windows, to try to keep the market from adopting competitors.

Of course, they're too late - the free OSes have them beat already, and by the time Microsoft comes out with something, hardware will be so cheap you won't need it - just make your own *nix supercomputing cluster with the money you save on licensing.

I feel a great disturbance in the net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233567)

...as if millions of computers cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Windows has been clustering for years (5, Funny)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233572)


Q. What do you call a cluster of Windows machines?

A. A botnet.

Linux SUCKS..LONG LIVE MICROSOFT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233580)

Word to your motha!

hmm interesting (2, Funny)

fmobus (831767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233591)

wow imagine a beowulf cluster of these... oh wait...

Re:hmm interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233685)

it would more like a nightmare than a dream...

Written in C#? (1)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233595)

Why not do it in something more low level so that you're not wasting the CPU cycles that you're trying to make use of.

Been done already (0, Redundant)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233598)

"Considering that the Windows platform has never had the ability to parallel compute in the past"

Surely all those Windows PCs propagating Outlook/Office worms all at the same time over the Internet have to count for some sort of "parallel computing" !

Not entirely accurate (1, Informative)

Sardak (773761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233621)

Considering that the Windows platform has never had the ability to parallel compute in the past, it leaves great potential to the company's operating system development.

This isn't entirely accurate. Server 2003 supports clustering, and if I remember correctly it even has a toolkit that allows you to add XP Pro systems to a cluster started by the Server 2003 machine. A friend of mine created a small cluster as part of one of his courses last year.

imagine a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233636)

beowolf clusters of windows.

I Thot I Taw One Aweddy (0, Redundant)

rogerborn (236155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233641)

Microsoft already does distributed computing, commandeering millions of computers every day, through all the rampant and sophisticated Win-duh-ows virii, trojans and spyware.

What? Now they want to do it legally?

Not on my computer! I have been 'Micro$oft' free for over a year now. Don't miss it at all.

Roger Born
Writer, Teacher, General Troublemaker
writing.borngraphics.com
"Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and
they won't bother you for weeks."

BTW, H A P P Y N E W Y E A R !

Oldie but a goodie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233642)

Imagine a Beowolf Cluster of Windows...

I knew you could!

Last time I checked... (2, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233657)

Last time I checked, Windows in all its multifarious versions has no way to run a program in a sandbox, such that this program is incapable of DOS'ng the PC by opening tons of windows, file handles, memory blocks, processes, etc.... If the system isnt designed fromt he ground up to be compartmentalized, stable, and secure, IMHO there's little change of grafting all these qualities on a decade down the road.

Summary of posts (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233662)

Summary of every post in this topic:

This is bad. M$ is evil evil. *Cough* . Bloated, FUD, GUI, copied MAC, FUD, [nonsensical, nonsensical] bloated, *Cough*, I'm waisting my life ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H. I can't believe people are so stupid to belive such M$$ lame FUD, propoganda [ nonsensical... ] Blue screen, Blue Screen!. Linux good. Why are M$$$ so stupid? Ha Ha, I'm so much smarter. *Cough* Blue Screen! this is like Clippy! [nonsensical, nonsensical], really crap. Mac good. Bad idea, unstable. Blue Screen! Open Source, Open Source! [ nonsensical... ]. M$ Bob. Zombie. Blue Screen, Blue Screen! Security ^H^H^H^H^H^H *cough*. IE, ahhh! ahhh! Blue screen. Stupid.

Microsoft is all about user choice (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233678)

Does that mean that when (if?) Windows Longhorn boots up for the first time, the user will be offered a list of available botnets?

That would be a major advance on the current behaviour of just selecting a botnet at random, a system that has annoyed some users.
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