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|Microsoft and Cray Team Up to Drive High Productivity Computing Into the Mainstream|
SEATTLE, WA and REDMOND, WA, Sep 16, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) today introduced the new Cray CX1 supercomputer pre-installed with Windows HPC Server 2008. With U.S. list prices starting at $25,000 to over $60,000, "ease-of-everything" features and the ability to fit into standard office environments and workflows, the new product reflects Microsoft and Cray's shared goal to drive high productivity computing farther into the mainstream in a broad array of markets including financial services, aerospace, automotive, petroleum, life sciences, government, academic and digital media.
Studies released by the Council on Competitiveness and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) found that nearly all large firms using HPC consider it indispensable for their ability to compete and survive, but smaller companies, as well as workgroups and departments in larger firms, have been hampered by the cost of HPC systems and a lack of access to in-house experts to help them use these systems.
The Cray CX1 supercomputer was designed from the ground up to address these barriers. It is the most affordable supercomputer ever offered by Cray and is designed to be easy to purchase, deploy, operate and upgrade. Purpose-built for offices, laboratories and university departments, the Cray CX1 is the world's highest-performing computer that uses standard office power.
The Cray CX1 product incorporates up to 8 nodes and 16 Intel Xeon processors, either dual or quad core; delivers up to 64 gigabytes of memory per node; and provides up to 4 terabytes of internal storage. Systems can be configured with a mix of compute, storage and visualization blades to meet customers' individual requirements. The quiet, deskside supercomputer features Windows HPC Server 2008 and interoperates with Linux. A three-year warranty with next-day, on-site Cray-certified support is standard.
"Windows HPC Server 2008, in combination with the Cray CX1 supercomputer, will provide outstanding sustained performance on applications," said Vince Mendillo, director, HPC at Microsoft Corp. "This combined solution will enable companies in various sectors to unify their Windows desktop and server workflows. Many Microsoft financial services customers, for example, want to unify back-office modeling and simulation with the work of front-office trading desks."
"IDC research shows that HPC has been one of the highest-growth IT markets during the past five years and the segment for HPC systems priced below $100,000 is headed for continued growth," said Earl Joseph, IDC's HPC program vice president. "The Cray HPC brand name and experience, combined with Microsoft's strategy of extending the familiar Windows environment upward to the server level, gives the Cray CX1 solution strong potential for exploiting the anticipated growth of this market segment."
"Cray sees Microsoft Windows becoming an increasingly important force in the HPC market," said Ian Miller, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Cray. "With the Cray CX1 high productivity system and Windows HPC Server 2008, we're bringing the power of Cray supercomputing to a much wider range of new users with an affordable and adaptable system that provides incredible value and is easy to install, program and use with a broad array of applications from independent software vendors (ISVs)."
The Cray CX1 high productivity system is also the first Cray product to incorporate Intel processors and the first milestone of the unique collaboration Cray and Intel announced in April to develop a range of HPC systems and technologies over the next several years to address various segments of the HPC industry.
"Taking advantage of the energy-efficient performance of the Intel Xeon processor 5400 series, Cray's CX1 system will bring many HPC capabilities to the office that were previously confined to the datacenter, enabling more users to employ supercomputing to help them solve some of their most difficult computational problems," said Richard Dracott, Intel's General Manager of High Performance Computing, "In addition, we continue to collaborate with Cray on developing the supercomputing technologies of the future, aimed at all segments of the HPC market."
Scientists at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at UCLA plan to use a Cray CX1 with Microsoft HPC Server 2008 for mathematical modeling and visualization. This will support their development of advanced computational algorithms and scientific approaches for the comprehensive and quantitative mapping of brain structure and function.
"We are very excited about utilizing the Cray CX1 to support our research activities," said Rico Magsipoc, Chief Technology Officer for the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging. "The work that we do in brain research is computationally intensive but will ultimately have a huge impact on our understanding of the relationship between brain structure and function, in both health and disease. Having the power of a Cray supercomputer that is simple and compact is very attractive and necessary, considering the physical constraints we face in our data centers today."
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About Cray Inc.
As a global leader in supercomputing, Cray provides highly advanced supercomputers and world-class services and support to government, industry and academia. Cray technology enables scientists and engineers to achieve remarkable breakthroughs by accelerating performance, improving efficiency and extending the capabilities of their most demanding applications. Cray's Adaptive Supercomputing vision will result in innovative next-generation products that integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified architecture, allowing customers to surpass today's limitations and meeting the market's continued demand for realized performance. Go to www.cray.com for more information.
Cray is a registered trademark, and Cray CX1 is a trademark of Cray Inc. Other product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.
Editor's Note: Quotes from leading independent software vendors (ISVs) and an early customer appear on the following pages.
ISVs and Early Customer Quote Page
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
"PNNL is delighted to be an early customer for the Cray CX1. We intend to use this system as a test-bed for several important applications running in a Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008 environment. The Cray CX1's small physical size makes it ideal for workgroup computing," said Dr. Moe Khaleel, Lab Fellow and Director, Computational Sciences & Mathematics Division of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
"We intend to use the Cray CX1 to run environmental modeling simulations as part of the Performance Assessment Institute (PAI) consortium led by Sandia National Laboratory in conjunction with UNLV. The CX1 is of particular interest to us because of its ability to support Windows-based applications like GoldSim," said Joe Lombardo, Director, National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment (NSCEE) at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
"With Milliman's Windows-based MG-ALFA(R) financial projection tool now available on the new, office-ready Cray CX1 supercomputer, the opportunity to dramatically speed up or expand the analysis associated with projections and product pricing is available to everyone," said Pat Renzi, Milliman MG-ALFA Product Manager and Principal. "We see significant opportunity with the Milliman-Microsoft-Cray combination as it reduces the financial and human resource cost of accessing a supercomputing environment."
Interactive Supercomputing, Inc.
"STAR-P boosts productivity of domain experts by making it dramatically easier to parallelize applications for high performance computers, using MATLAB or Python. The Cray CX1 supercomputer promises to expand the market for STAR-P through its unprecedented affordability and ease-of-use, in combination with Cray-certified quality and service," said David Rich, VP of Marketing at Interactive Supercomputing, Inc.
"FieldView is the leading post-processing software tool to help CFD practitioners understand scientific and engineering data and communicate results. The affordable, easy-to-use Cray CX1 supercomputer will allow even small firms and workgroups to effectively address the large data bottleneck in HPC enabled CFD workflows as they post-process and visualize supercomputer-size data with FieldView," said Roger R. Rintala, Strategic Marketing Manager at Intelligent Light.
"Our STAR-CCM+ solution on the new Cray CX1 supercomputer will make advanced engineering simulations affordable and easy to run even for those who are new to high performance computing," said David Vaughn, Director, Marketing/Aerospace and Defense Sector. "We're pleased to extend our long-standing collaboration with an industry leader such as Cray."
"SIMULIA, the Dassault Systemes brand for realistic simulation, and Cray have collaborated closely for decades to keep the performance of Abaqus FEA software running on Cray supercomputers in the forefront of the HPC industry," said Matt Dunbar, SIMULIA's Performance and Parallel Technology Area Leader. "The new, cost-effective Cray CX1 supercomputer provides HPC capabilities to a wider range of simulation users. The engineering community will now have access to the compute power needed to run large finite element analysis (FEA) and multiphysics engineering models quickly and affordably."
"The Cray CX1 workgroup supercomputer is needed in the engineering market. In 2007, we shopped around for a system like this that is easy to specify, buy, configure, use, and upgrade, and nothing fit the bill," said Darin McGinnis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at CEI. "This will be a good fit for our EnSight visualization software."
"PBS Professional on the affordable new Cray CX1 supercomputer will make job submission and workload scheduling easy for scientists, designers, financial analysts and engineers across all environments. In an era of shrinking budgets, this joint solution will enable administrators to get maximum value from computing resources through greater efficiency and utilization." said Bill Nitzberg, CTO, PBS GridWorks, Altair Engineering. "In addition, combining RADIOSS, Altair's next-generation multidisciplinary finite-element solver, will provide improved simulation quality and speed for advanced product development. We look forward to expanding our successful and long-standing relationship with Cray and work together to make PBS Professional and RADIOSS available on the Cray CX1."
"The affordable Cray CX1 supercomputer will make Cray's renowned supercomputing standards available to more people than ever before," stated Michael Jackson, president of Cluster Resources. "We are pleased to expand our successful partnership with Cray to desktop supercomputing through the Cray CX1 that can dynamically switch between Windows HPC Server 2008 and Linux. Moab on Cray's CX1 will increase flexibility and productivity and decrease costs for organizations in scheduling, managing, monitoring, and reporting on Windows, Linux, or mixed-OS workloads."
"ANSYS is very pleased to be working with Cray on performance benchmarking of the new Cray CX1 supercomputer, which should be an excellent solution for our customers doing increasingly detailed and sophisticated engineering simulation. The engineered scalability of ANSYS technology enables users to see outstanding performance from the desktop all the way to high performance supercomputers such as the Cray CX1," said Chris Reid, vice president of marketing for ANSYS, Inc. "Cray's focus on industry standards is consistent with our open strategy and makes this an affordable, easy-to-use solution that will help our users boost their productivity and bring superior products to market faster."
"Through our partnership with Red Hat, Platform Computing has joined with industry pioneer and leader Cray Inc. to offer Cray CX1 customers the option to easily deploy, run and manage the entire life cycle of its cluster with the Red Hat HPC Solution," said Tripp Purvis, Vice President, Business Development at Platform Computing. "The Red Hat HPC Solution is a fully integrated, easy-to-deploy, Linux-based software stack leveraging the powerful cluster software framework of Platform Open Cluster Stack 5 and the world-class performance, security and stability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux."
SOURCE: Cray Inc.; Microsoft Corporation