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Microsoft Adds Four Engineering Software Firms to Growing Oil and Gas Industry High-Performance Computing Partner Ecosystem


Four engineering software firms — Altair Engineering Inc., ANSYS Inc., CD-adapco and Livermore Software Technology Corp. — have recently converted their engineering software to run on Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Microsoft Corp. reported today at the Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

Each industry partner will help deliver more accessible high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities to engineers who use computer-aided engineering (CAE). With an easy-to-use, low-cost HPC platform, engineers can create highly detailed virtual prototypes and simulate product design performance. As a result, engineers within drill/platform manufacturers, downhole tool/drill bit manufacturers, and the petrochemical industry will be able to improve computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and design and enhance their equipment and process troubleshooting capabilities.

“It is critical for oil and gas supply companies and their customers to improve product quality and reduce development lead time to remain competitive,” said Craig Hodges, U.S. energy industry solutions director at Microsoft. “Companies that develop engineering simulation solutions to run on Windows Compute Cluster Server provide design engineers — even at the department level and from within small and midsize firms — with more accessible HPC to help amplify their impact by empowering them to conduct more accurate simulations to get better products to market faster.”

Engineering HPC solutions for small to midsize companies and departments has traditionally been cost prohibitive. However, Windows Compute Cluster Server clusters — which are built to integrate seamlessly with the firm’s existing Windows-based environment — are easy and cost effective to deploy and integrate with existing infrastructures, easy to manage and use, and fast and accurate.

These partners with engineering design software solutions recently converted to run on Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003:

Altair Engineering empowers client innovation with the most comprehensive, open-systems CAE solution in the industry for rapid design exploration and decision-making. RADIOSS, a highly parallelized nonlinear solver within the Altair HyperWorks technology suite, now runs on Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, allowing customers to simulate complex structural, mechanical and fluid-structure interaction phenomena quickly.

ANSYS, a global innovator of integrated multi-physics engineering simulation software and technology, provides a broad range of solutions widely used by engineers and designers across a broad spectrum of industries. For the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, solutions from ANSYS include hydrodynamic, safety and compliance, structural mechanics, and fluid mechanics. ANSYS Workbench provides a common platform for fast, efficient and cost-effective product development, from design concept to final-stage testing and validation. Integrated with the Compute Cluster Server Job Scheduler, ANSYS Workbench manages the communications with the Compute Cluster Server cluster. The ANSYS Mechanical, ANSYS Mechanical HPC and FLUENT solutions yield excellent parallel scaling on Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003.

CD-adapco is a leading global provider of full-spectrum CAE solutions (software and expert consulting) for fluid flow, heat transfer and stress. Running STAR-CD or STAR-CCM+ on Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 creates a powerful, accurate, but still easy-to-use automated CFD solution that scales extremely well on Windows Compute Cluster Server clusters.

Livermore Software Technology develops LS-DYNA, a general purpose, transient dynamic, finite element analysis program that simulates real-world problems from many industries including oil and gas. LS-DYNA, which was among the first applications to run on Windows Compute Cluster Server, provides engineers with the capability to perform intensive calculations of detailed models at enhanced processing speeds, shortening the amount of time and money spent on design and verification.

The combination of these engineering simulation software solutions with Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 makes it fast and easy for design engineers to predict and improve the performance of new products or processes, to reduce time to market, and to reduce overall engineering costs.

“More and more, our customers face increasingly tight schedules and budget constraints, and they’re demanding that simulation help drive engineering innovation. High-performance computing and our partnership with Microsoft are an essential part of the response to that demand,” said Jim Cashman, president and CEO of ANSYS. “Windows Compute Cluster Server makes computing capacity more easily deployable and maintainable, especially for those organizations that want to leverage their existing Windows expertise and infrastructure. We want to put simulation within the reach of every engineer, whether they are solving very large single-discipline problems or complex projects that span the physics spectrum.”

In a related announcement today, Microsoft announced it has added three new upstream independent software vendors that deliver reservoir simulation software solutions — Computer Modelling Group Ltd., Roxar and SPT Group — to its growing HPC partner ecosystem. (See the “Microsoft Expands High-Performance Computing Partner Ecosystem With Three New Upstream Oil and Gas Software Vendors” press release at

Also, in a separate announcement today, Microsoft announced Windows HPC Server 2008, the successor to Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, which is based on the Windows Server 2008 operating system and designed to increase productivity, scalability and manageability. The beta for Windows HPC Server 2008 is now available for download at (See the “Microsoft Unveils Windows HPC Server 2008” press release at

Meeting the challenges of global energy supply and demand depends on integrated business processes, breakthrough innovations and rock-solid business relationships. Together with its partners, Microsoft delivers game-changing solutions that help people in the oil and gas industry make better decisions faster. More information about Microsoft in the oil and gas industry can be found at More information about Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 can be found at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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