High-performance computing (HPC) continues to gain in popularity as businesses face increasing pressure to process data faster and with greater precision. Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc., working in concert with third parties, are now making it easier for IT executives to take advantage of the benefits of supercomputing with a technology initiative that helps customers realize greater IT infrastructure efficiency and subsequent cost savings. Today, Microsoft and Novell reported strong demand for their HPC interoperability solution with 33 shared customers now deploying sophisticated server workload management across SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Windows HPC Server.

HPC offers customers the ability to process massive amounts of data and solve computationally intense problems, making it an optimal choice for government entities, universities and large companies. In the past year, Microsoft and Novell have added HPC customer accounts in a wide range of geographies and industries, such as the financial, healthcare, higher education and technology sectors. Examples include Deutsche Bank AG, Honeywell International, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd., Texas Instruments, Tianjin Dawning Information Industry Co. Ltd. and the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

South Africa’s Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in Cape Town, the continent’s largest publicly funded HPC facility, is the latest company to adopt cross-platform solutions and enterprise support offerings from Microsoft and Novell.

“The technical collaboration between Microsoft and Novell has enabled us to reduce overall costs while increasing cross-platform manageability. This means we’re able to deliver more consistent quality of service to our customers at the best price possible,” said Dr. Happy Sithole, Ph.D., director of CHPC. “In addition, migrating to the Linux support offered by Novell was a great decision for us. Not only do we get the interoperability advantages of seamless integration between our platforms, but we also have the confidence of knowing we are supported by two world-class vendors.”

Businesses looking for ways to streamline infrastructure management, reduce IT costs and mitigate risk have long realized the value of interoperability as a way to optimize mixed-source IT environments. HPC customers now can gain the critical flexibility they need to simplify systems management through dual-boot and hybrid cluster solutions developed jointly by Microsoft and Novell.

“The ability to deploy and manage a complex high-performance computing infrastructure across multiple platforms has enabled us to streamline our IT operations without having to invest in new hardware, people or skill sets, all while delivering better and faster results for our clients,” said Earl J. Dodd, CEO of Rocky Mountain Supercomputing Centers Inc.

Having the capacity to dynamically switch between the Windows or Linux platforms empowers IT managers to balance server workloads by running specific applications on the platform of their choosing.

“Many customers are realizing the benefits of the Microsoft and Novell® HPC technical solution that streamlines management functions, reduces internal support requirements and enables greater interoperability without having to dedicate time and resources to devise workarounds,” said Joe Wagner, senior vice president and general manager of Global Alliances at Novell. “Through our successful initiatives in the joint Interoperability Lab, we’ve been able to anticipate the mixed-source IT requirements necessary in today’s business environment.”

“Companies around the world are realizing the benefits of our joint interoperable cross-platform technical solutions,” said Ted MacLean, general manager for Strategic Partnerships and Licensing at Microsoft. “The fact that we’re able to address a real need in the HPC market is evidenced by the number of licenses we’ve issued. These solutions, coupled with Novell’s proven technical support programs, make it easier than ever for our customers to have confidence that their existing infrastructure investments will serve them well into the future.”

“For HPC customers considering a dual-platform strategy with Windows HPC Server and a widely used Linux server product, they will come to realize that the interoperability between Microsoft and Novell platforms offers a clear advantage,” said Nie Hua, vice president of Dawning Information Industry. “Not only will you get the unprecedented flexibility of running either server, but you will have confidence in knowing that both operating systems will work seamlessly together in the datacenter. In addition, we save time and money by getting all of our support needs for both platforms from one resource.”

This HPC solution represents another joint technical initiative that delivers value to customers and partners. The partnership continues to broaden its joint technical scope and offering to enhance datacenter optimization for customers all over the globe.

Through the Microsoft and Novell joint Interoperability Lab in Cambridge, Mass., engineers from both companies have been working side by side to create technical solutions that support customers in addressing their unique challenges relative to advancing their technical and business objectives within a mixed-source operational environment.