Platform offers site assurance

Platform Computing announced the release of Platform SiteAssure 2.1 on Monday, offering customers an upgraded version of its distributed computing software equipped with new integrated service-level transaction probing and beefed-up management features.

The scalability and performance upgrade to SiteAssure is designed to minimize throughput impact of grid-level server cluster management to view multiple events affecting tightly coupled nodes to determine a potential common route cause, said Ian Mckay, vice president of development of resource management at Toronto-based Platform Computing.

"If you're using a cluster of computers to perform work for you, you don't want monitoring of [the task] to drag down the performance of the cluster," said McKay. "You want minimal impact on throughput."

McKay said the new version of SiteAssure is capable of cutting down fault positives by "dampening" alerts and a host of recurring events through automation and the ability to dynamically add and remove systems without manual intervention.

The software can also be used as an alternative to manage e-commerce Web farms and replace traditional systems management frameworks from Tivoli, HP OpenView, BMC Software, and Computer Associates' Unicenter, he added.

Pushed by IT powerhouses such as IBM, grid computing promises customers the allure of tapping into unlimited computing resources through a utility-on-demand basis. Platform SiteAssure aims to guarantee the availability and service-level monitoring tied to grid cluster performance.

Jim Jaquet, test software section supervisor for commercial satellite manufacturer Space Systems/Loral, said his Palo Alto, California-based company has used SiteAssure for more than a year to manage and monitor nearly 300 machines at its Unix-dominated satellite testing stations.

Jaquet said the software's ability to allow Space Systems/Loral developers to incorporate internally written applications onto the product is crucial for its custom probes to monitor and process satellite data and servers it brings online.

"Occasionally there are problems down on the test floor and [SiteAssure] streamlines the way we troubleshoot or isolate a problem, [to determine] if it's an anomaly during assembly and testing," said Jaquet.

According to McKay, Version 2.5 of SiteAssure, slated for release in June, will provide customers with more advanced policies for managing technical environments and offer improved integration of existing network management products.