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Microsoft Releases New Software Tools for Researchers

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Trident workflow

Microsoft believes the Project Trident platform, which uses inexpensive sensors to collect data in real-time, can be applied to other disciplines.

Credit: Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft's External Research division launched a pair of new research tools — the Project Trident workbench and the Dryad/DryadLINQ programming environment — at the recent Microsoft Research Faculty Summit.

Originally developed for oceanographic applications, Project Trident has been expanded into a general-purpose platform for other fields. Its defining goal is to facilitate the development of workflow applications by scientists rather than programmers through a modular process by delivering a visual framework for workflow management and development. One of Trident's key advantages is its ability to exploit high-performance computing (HPC) clusters, and although the assumed clustering environment is Microsoft's Windows HPC Server, the workbench permits users to plug in their own schedulers as well.

Developers rather than end users are the focus of Dryad/DryadLINQ. Dryad is a general-purpose data parallel programming runtime that runs distributed applications on Windows clusters, while DryadLINQ is an abstraction layer that runs Language Integrated Query (LINQ) operations atop Dryad. "The beauty of the Dryad runtime is that if an individual node drops out or there's a failure in one of the jobs, Dryad automatically recovers, moving the computation off the failed node and reproducing inputs that node was responsible for," says Project Trident development leader Roger Barga.

From HPC Wire
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