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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

HPC event in NYC

John and Nathan will be presenting at a Microsoft event in New York City this coming Wednesday.  The event targets fHPC for financial services companies. 

John and Nathan will . . .

. . . present information on how the Digipede Network integrates with and adds value to Microsoft’s entire technology stack, including the new Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 (CCS), Visual Studio 2005, .NET, Excel 2007, SharePoint 2007, and more.  (They’ll) run through some real-world examples of how our financial services customers use the Microsoft / Digipede solution to make more money by dramatically improving application performance and scalability.

One of our customers will also be a speaker at the event. 

You can read more about this (and find registration information) on John’s blog (here: HPC event in NYC).

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Digipede at the Bay Area .NET User Group on Thursday

John says:

Digipede Evangelista Kim Greenlee will present at the Bay Area .NET User Group on Thursday, September 28. The show starts at 6:30, at 1 Market Street (the “Landmark Building”) in San Francisco. (Yes, that’s Microsoft’s office — go to the second floor, and score some free pizza.) It’s an easy BART ride from wherever you are (in the Bay Area), and it’s well worth the trip. She’s talking about concurrency, a topic near and dear to the hearts of architects and developers everywhere. Multi-threading, grid computing, clusters, grid objects — if you’re thinking about scalability and concurrency, this talk’s for you. Details and registration — go here.

Check it out!

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Grid Today’s Editor’s Choice

I knew we would be in the press this week with the release of v1.3 of the Digipede Network and announcing our recent deal with Digital Dimension.

What I didn’t know is that our product was going to receive an Editor’s Choice Award for Price / Performance.

A pleasant surprise! Thanks, GridToday.

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It’s the team

Dan writes about the new version of the Digipede Network coming out soon:

But, most exciting: we’re getting ready to release the Digipede Network 1.3 next month. The development for this release has gone very well (mostly due to Rob, his adoption of some agile development techniques, and his devotion to automated builds and tests). We’re on schedule for a September release.

Thanks for the nod, Dan, but it is everyone on the team making this release happen — even you 😉

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Free Developer Edition

I almost forgot . . . thanks to Dan for the reminder . . . we are making it even easier to try out the Digipede Network.

Today we announced that the Digipede Network Developer Edition is free. This has all the capabilities of Team Edition, but it is limited to two processors.

Go here to fill out a form to get your copy.

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FlexGo != Utility Computing

FlexGo is a new “pay-as-you-go” service from Microsoft. From their site:

Introducing Microsoft® FlexGo™ – an innovative technology that makes it easier for people with modest incomes in emerging markets to buy a full-featured PC for their families.

Nick Carr calls this a “full-fledged utility computing service for PCs”. While technically correct, calling this kind of service utility computing further muddles an already troubled term — rendering it useless.

Update: apparently Mr. Carr decided this isn’t really utility computing and has changed his post to read “a utility-like computing service.” Good. I feared he had gone around the bend.

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This just in: our CEO is blogging

The Digipede CEO, John T. Powers, has begun blogging at Powers Unfiltered. This will turn out to be an interesting blog. Aside from being really smart, John is funny and opinionated.

Our partner Nathan asks,

when do we get Powers filtered?

BTW: you may recognize his blog template . . . if any of you IE CSS wizards know how to fix the white gap between the header graphic and menu, let me know. John will buy you a drink.   😉

Update: Thanks to Shannon Whitley for the simple fix to the header.  It still looks better in Firefox, but I’ll tweak it.

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CRN Reviews Digipede again

Just yesterday I compared the Digipede Network to Sun Grid.  One point I made was that our product is very easy to use . . .

Of course, I’m biased, but: stay tuned for an upcoming independent review that contrasts the Digipede Network favorably against Sun Grid on this very point.

Little did I know that the review would be just a day away.

The review Gridlock Alert For Sun Grid? goes further than I thought.  It slams Sun Grid and speaks well of our product.  You can see it all in the article’s subheading:

Analysis finds hidden costs in Sun platform, while competing Digipede offering shines

The article also specifically supports my earlier point.  The reviewing engineers gave up after spending five hours trying to get something to work on Sun Grid.  On the Digipede Network, it took approximately 1/2 hour.  In the reviewer’s words:

The difference in ease of use in Sun Grid vs. Digipede was enormous.

Thanks for the great review! 

CRN has a more comprehensive review of the Digipede Network here:  Grid Computing Turns .Net Into Enterprise Powerhouse.

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Screencasts and contrasting Sun Grid

Jon Udell, lead analyst at InfoWorld, recently posted a screencast of the Sun Grid Compute Utility (Screening Room #4: The Sun grid compute utility).

I enjoy reading Mr. Udell on his blog and in InfoWorld as well as listening to him on the Gillmor Gang.  He brings together both the broad view of an industry analyst with the deep dive on the technical only achieved by a developer.  In fact, he is a developer (for example, he recently deployed metadata searching and exploring services for InfoWorld).

In the Sun Grid Utility screencast, Mr. Udell does a good job of quickly showing the major functionality of the Utility and the Compute Server project (i.e., Java APIs for communicating with the Utility).  The screencast is not too different from the webcasts we do for the Digipede Network, our distributed computing solution for the Microsoft .NET platform.  The quality of Mr. Udell’s questions in his screencast are on par with the best questions we get in our webcasts — he clearly groks distributed computing.

Sun Grid appears simple but is deceptively hard to use.  Simplicity was a primary reason we developed the Digipede Network: we don’t think distributed computing needs to be complicated.  I think we have been pretty successful at that.  Of course, I’m biased, but: stay tuned for an upcoming independent review that contrasts the Digipede Network favorably against Sun Grid on this very point.

The Digipede Network is a Windows-focused product that shares some similarities to Sun Grid (specifically Sun Grid Engine).  Here are some differences between the Digipede Network and Sun Grid:

  • We do .NET 1.1 and 2.0, as well as command-line and other stand-alone applications.
  • We have full support for COM on both the front-end and on the distributed program.
  • .NET and COM developers can serialize assemblies, data and objects into messages do be distributed for execution.
  • Our SDK and community site includes samples in many languages (C#, Python, PHP, VB6, VB Script).  We plan to put together a Java example, though honestly the demand hasn’t been that great.
  • The SDK integrates with VS2003 and VS2005, supplying developers with samples, a developer guide, API documentations, and XML schemas for Intellisense.
  • We have a Workbench that allows you to design your jobs without writing any code.
  • Our Agents are smart about data and applications.   They can cache persistent applications and move data from and to file servers and web sites (in addition to the messaging described above).
  • Applications can be configured externally.
  • Jobs can be defined through XML or programmatically.
  • We have a much richer user experience for control and monitoring of jobs through an ASP.NET Web site.
  • You don’t need Solaris 😉

If you want to see this stuff in action, sign up for one of our webinars here or go to MSDN.  They recently hosted two webinars on the Digipede Network: Object-Oriented Programming for Grid: Grid Computing for .NET and Advanced .NET Programming for Grid Computing.

And Mr. Udell, we would love to do a screencast with you, too.

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Digipede News and Announcements

We have been getting good press at Digipede. My recent favorite is the 5-star CRN review here: Grid Computing Turns .Net Into Enterprise Powerhouse.
If you are interested in getting Digipede news straight from the horse’s mouth (as it were), subscribe to: Digipede News and Announcements.

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