Although I've tracked Platform Computing for well over a decade, I don't get the chance to speak with them all that much. A short while ago, I had the opportunity to chat with Peter Dye, Product Manager of VM Orcestrator (VMO). Although our discussion ranged from Platform's history, where it has been successful, where its technology would be the ideal tool for organizations and even why Platform isn't a name most IT executives find familiar. Oh yes, we also spoke a bit about Platform's VMO.
Just who is Platform Computing?The following bullets summarize how the company describes itself.
- The world’s largest enterprise grid software vendor with more than 2,000 customers worldwide
- Privately held, self-funded company with 12 consecutive years of profitability
- Leadership team includes experienced industry leaders from IBM, Novell, Oracle, Sun and SGI
- A strong global presence with 400 employees at offices in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe and a worldwide network of resellers and partners
- The industry's largest critical mass of distributed and grid computing expertise with 140 employees dedicated to research and development
What does Platform Computing offer?Platform Computing has focused on offering technology that allows multiple systems to work together to create a powerful single environment for a single or a small number of applications. Another way to describe this is that Platform offers virtual processing software that makes it possible for an application to increase performance or scalability by using the resources of many physical (and now virtual). Platform has tightly targeted the needs of engineers, scientists and even some academicians.
The company offers the following products:
- Platform LSF family - Grid processing monitor
- Platform Symphony - Grid processing monitor combined with tools focused on the needs of the financial services community
- Platform Open Cluster Stack - Integrated, tested and supported stack of open source components for users of Grid computing solutions
- Platform VM Orcestrator (VMO) - automated, policy-driven manager of virtual environments
- Platform Entrprise Grid Orchestrator (EGO) - policy-driven manager of virtual environments that can orchestrate computing resources across a number of dispersed datacenters.
Snapshot AnalysisAlthough Platform offers tools that could be of interest to a broad range of organizations, it has found success in a number of areas. Typically, Platform's customers are highly technical and are willing to use complex tools if the results they produce are worth the trouble. Yes, rocket scientists are known to use Platform's products.
This tight focus has been a benefit and an issue for the company. It's tools are known as being complex and extremely powerful. That usally also means that the customer had better have staff members that really understand the concepts of decomposing a process, an application or the application's underlying data to make the best use of Platform's products.
In the past, Platform has come into a market because it knew that its technology would be quite useful. It has not always taken the time learn how that market segment thinks about the the problems they're trying to solve or the language that segment uses to describe those products. This has limited its success.
Platform's VMO appears to be a powerful addition to the company's portfolio of products. Like the other products Platform offers, it is likely to also require a deeper understanding of what's happening that would be required to deploy the products being offered by others. In the end, however, it's use may be justifiable because of its greater power.
As with other Platform products, the likelihood of broad success is more dependent upon the company's ability to make IT decision-makers aware of the company, its products, and why they should select them rather than products offered by others, such as Cassatt, DataSynaspe, Novell, Racemi, Scalent Systems or VMlogix.