Platform moves into cloud management tools

Veteran grid company Platform Computing releases cloud management software to aggregate virtual and physical resources from any provider.
Written by Sally Whittle, Contributor

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 organizations 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 US$995 per node or server, per annum.

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