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Dryad and DryadLINQ Academic Release

Dryad is a high-performance, general-purpose, distributed-computing engine that simplifies the task of implementing distributed applications on clusters of computers running a Windows® operating system. DryadLINQ enables developers to implement Dryad applications in managed code by using an extended version of the LINQ programming model and API. The academic release of Dryad and DryadLINQ provides the software necessary to develop DryadLINQ applications and to run them on a Windows HPC Server 2008 cluster. The academic release includes documentation and code samples.


Date Published17 November 2009
Download Size27.59 MB

Note By installing, copying, or otherwise using this software, you agree to be bound by the terms of its license. Read the license.

Important Note

If you are looking for the product version of Dryad and DryadLINQ, please read this announcement from the Windows HPC team.

Cluster System Requirements

The following list describes hardware and software requirements that are specific to running Dryad on a Windows HPC cluster and that exceed the minimum Windows HPC requirements, as follows:

  • Microsoft® HPC Pack 2008 SP1
  • At least 200 GB of free hard-drive storage per node
    The appropriate amount of hard-drive storage depends on the amount of data you expect to process. Production compute nodes typically have 1–3 TB of hard-drive storage per node.
  • 4–8 GB of RAM
    Dryad is functional on cluster computers with relatively modest amounts of RAM. However, optimization heuristics might assume ample memory, so relatively small amounts of RAM can limit performance. Dryad is optimized for 8GB or more of RAM. However, the optimal amount of RAM depends on a number of factors, and installing more than 4GB of RAM on your compute nodes might not provide any additional benefit. If you are considering installing more than 4GB, you should discuss your requirements with Microsoft.
  • Gigabit Ethernet
    Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) is the recommended minimum for connecting the cluster computers. Network capacity is often the rate-limiting factor, so faster networking—such as 10 GigE—typically improves performance.

    Ideally, all computers in the cluster are connected to the same dedicated network switch, but larger clusters typically use a hierarchy of switches. If the cluster spans multiple racks, you can use IEEE 802.3ad link aggregation to improve performance between switches.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework, Version 3.5 SP1
    This version of the .NET Framework must be installed on all compute nodes. If you install Dryad Management Tools, this version of .NET Framework must also be installed on the head node.

Dryad Management Tools requires the following:

  • Access to a data store
    Dryad Management Tools uses the data store to record state information for those Dryad jobs that are subject to the data retention policy. You must have access to the data store; otherwise, the installation will fail. The supported data stores are Microsoft SQL Server® 2005 or later, and SQL Server Express 2005 or later. If you install the Microsoft HPC Pack 2008, the installer automatically installs SQL Server Express, which is usually sufficient.

    For more details on reten­tion policy, see “How to Specify the Data Retention Policy” later in this paper.
  • Access to the Windows HPC cluster
    Dryad Management Tools programmatically queries the Windows HPC cluster to determine the status of Dryad jobs.
  • Access to the data shares that are created when you install the Dryad computation engine on the compute nodes

Installation Instructions

  1. Click the Download button at the top of this page.
  2. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the download of the file.
  3. On your computer, extract the file you downloaded.
  4. Open the extracted AcademicRelease folder, open the AcademicRelease folder it contains, and then open the Dryad and DryadLINQ Installation and Configuration Guide.docx file.
  5. Follow the instructions in the Dryad and DryadLINQ Installation and Configuration Guide to complete the installation.