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Microsoft SQL Azure Codename "Cloud Numerics" Lab Release

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 Microsoft's SQL Azure Labs About page describes its projects as a series of "working prototypes" that represent . . .

. . . our latest thinking in specific areas that we want to share with you and have not undergone the rigorous testing required to be released as a product --Azure Labs About Page

On January 10, Microsoft's SQL Azure Labs announced the release of a new library designed to enable big data to be scaled out, deployed, and run in Windows Azure.  Microsoft Codename "Cloud Numerics" lab provides a numerical/data analytics library for Visual Studio C# writers.

Since its release, Ronnie Hoogerworf has been blogging about various topics related to the use of Cloud Numerics.  In a post last week, Hoogerwerf provided details about how Cloud Numberics can be used by F# writers with only "a few additional setup steps."  His tutorial suggests a level of user-friendliness to a widening Visual Studio user base, as Cloud Numerics is enabled with options for F# in it's New Project window as well as the Configuration Manager.  

Cloud Numerics is not without it's limits, though.  Hoogerworf explains that . . .

. . . the underlying communication layer in “Cloud Numerics” is built on top of the message passing interface (MPI) and does inherit some of the limitations in the underlying implementation such as:
    1.    The process model is currently inelastic; once a “Cloud Numerics” application has been launched on (say) P cores in a cluster, it is not possible to dynamically grow or shrink the resources as the application is running.
    2.    The implementation is not resilient against hardware failure. Unlike frameworks like Hadoop that are designed explicitly to operate on unreliable hardware, if one or more nodes in a cluster fails, it is not possible for a “Cloud Numerics” application to automatically recover and continue executing.
-- Ronnie Hoogerworf

Hopefully the Cloud Numerics lab will provide scientists, analysts, and Visual Studio writers with the tools necessary to meet the demands of a rising cloud computing market. 

Have you used Cloud Numerics?  What do you think?  Comment below.  And remember . . .

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