Platform Computing preps grid foundation

Platform Computing is developing a new platform, EGO, for centralized management of enterprise computing grids.

Platform Computing wants to make the foundation on which enterprise computing grids are built. At the LinuxWorld show in San Francisco on Monday, the company began discussing a new platform it's developing to offer customers a centralised management system for disparate applications running across an enterprise grid.

The Platform Enterprise Grid Orchestrator (EGO) is based on the technology Platform uses today in its LSF and Symphony workload processing and scheduling software. The idea of EGO is to open up Platform's technology to create a broader, partner-friendly platform, according to Platform Vice President of Marketing Bob Shecterle. "We're working with our customers on extending that core technology and adding some services around it, so that we can easily deploy it in an enterprise IT environment," he said.

Platform plans to release a free software development kit for EGO by the end of the year to assist developers with application integration. It is also preparing its first EGO-based product, the Platform VM (virtual machine) Orchestrator, which will coordinate the work of virtual-machine applications such as VMware and Xen. VM Orchestrator offers automated, centralised management of resource allocation and scheduling across heterogeneous hardware and software environments. "If a server fails, Orchestrator can grab the VM containers and move them to another set of resources," Shecterle said.

The software, priced at US$1,600 per socket, is scheduled for November release. Platform said it does not yet have any beta customers ready to publicly discuss the VM Orchestrator.

Based in Ontario, 13-year-old Platform is a small, privately held company that relies on partners for much of its visibility. Dell includes Platform's Rocks Linux cluster management software in its Dell HPC (High Performance Computing) clusters, and Platform recently struck a similar deal with Silicon Graphics, which will soon start shipping Platform Rocks with SGI's Altix 1350 cluster.

Platform's other close partners include IBM, SAS Institute, Cognos and Intel, all of which Platform is working with to advance its grid architecture. "We're a US$60 million company," Shecterle acknowledged. "Clearly, we're not going to perfect the grid platform inside of enterprise IT ourselves."

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