In May 2009, Microsoft made available for download the first taste of the next generation of its Windows operating system for supercomputers. At that time, the Redmond-based company started offering a preliminary version of the successor of Windows HPC Server 2008.
As the Community Technical Preview (CTP) of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 downloads went live, Ryan Waite, Product Unit Manager Windows HPC Server, indicated that Microsoft was also preparing a new toolpack for the release. An integral part of that collection of tools was a tuning utility designed to tailor Windows for supercomputers to the Linpack benchmark, the solution at the basis of TOP500 of Supercomputers. Lizard is now available for download via the HPC Pack 2008 Tool Pack.
“This release of the HPC Pack 2008 Tool Pack contains 1 tool. Lizard - Lizard helps you to determine the computational performance and efficiency that can be achieved by your HPC Pack 2008-based / Windows HPC Server 2008 cluster. It calculates and reports a peak performance value for your HPC cluster in billions of floating-point operations per second (GFLOPS), and a percentage value for the efficiency that was achieved at peak performance. After running Lizard, you can review the performance and efficiency results that were obtained, and optionally save these results and the parameters that were used to achieve them to a file on your computer,” Microsoft explained.
In the latest edition of TOP500 of Supercomputers, Windows powers the 15th fastest high performance computing machine in the world. As we told you yesterday, the Shanghai China Supercomputer Center - Magic Cube - Dawning 5000A (QC Opteron 1.9 Ghz, Infiniband) is running Windows HPC Server 2008, and is capable of reaching a performance of 180.60 Teraflop/s. “Lizard is a tuning wizard for the Linpack benchmark (get the name???). If you’re a Top500 geek you’ll love this tool. Using a set of parametric sweeps we identify the best input parameters for Linpack, helping you get a killer Linpack benchmark score,” Waite stated back in May 2009.
Lizard and the HPC Pack 2008 Tool Pack are available for download here.