Platform moves into cloud-management tools

Veteran grid company Platform Computing has released cloud-management software to aggregate virtual and physical resources from any provider

Platform Computing has introduced a technology-agnostic cloud management package designed to help companies manage private cloud infrastructures.

Platform ISF, released on Monday as a global beta for Linux and Windows, allows organisations to aggregate virtual and physical resources from any provider into a single pool of computing resource. The software incorporates a workload distribution engine, an infrastructure aggregation layer and a self-service portal for IT managers; it runs with Red Hat and Citrix Xen, as well as VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V. 

Cloud computing is a logical next step for Platform Computing, which has made its name in grid and HPC environments, said Songnian Zhou, the company's chief executive.

"We have a good deal of experience in helping customers move away from the silo approach of the traditional IT infrastructure, and in creating something more like a cafeteria environment, where users can take the functionality they need, when they need it," he said.

Although Platform Computing is describing ISF is the first end-to-end management software for the cloud environment, the technology is similar to that offered by 3Tera and to Tibco's new Silver product, according to Clive Longbottom, a research director at Quocirca.

"There's a lot of marketing going on, but all of those products offer the ability to manage this whole environment, the ability to provision and de-provision and to trigger events," Longbottom said. "It's like a game of leapfrog, and I'd certainly expect IBM, BMC and CA to come out with something similar in the near future."

However, Platform Computing's strong history in the grid-computing market should give the company an advantage, Longbottom added. "Although they're saying this is new, really Platform has been doing this stuff for a long time with very big customers — just in a grid environment. They've got a lot more proof points than Tibco, for example," he said.

ISF is available globally in beta, with full release scheduled for early autumn. The software is priced at $995 (£600) per node or server, per annum.

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