Platform Computing upgrades enterprise grid technology

Source: Platform Computing

Platform Computing today announced its enhanced Symphony 3.1 software, a high performance, low overhead and high scalability solution for grid computing in the financial industry.

Symphony 3.1 software introduces a fully-integrated suite of features designed to streamline and enable simple management and implementation of the most advanced grid technology. Giving businesses the ability to both protect and share their computing resources, the generally available upgrade reinforces the industry-leading flexibility of Symphony 3.

Grid adoption in financial services has been slowed by fears that owned resources will be completely usurped by the grid. Departments believe that if they share their equipment it will be unavailable when they need it to run their own programs. Symphony 3.1 eliminates this political barrier by allowing groups within a business to borrow server cycles while respecting the owner's right of first refusal. Additionally, borrowers can distribute their demand across several clusters, allowing them to leave a smaller footprint in any one place.

"This release solidifies the leading-edge low latency and flexible computing for which Symphony is best known," said Jingwen Wang, VP, Products, Platform Computing. "For financial institutions, security and oversight are paramount. By seeing exactly how resources are being used and where the weak spots lie, institutions can ensure that their investment is well-allocated and well-protected. Platform's grid increases server utilization up to 95%, and Symphony 3.1 allows CIOs to see where and how those cycles are being used."

Symphony effectively scavenges unused cycles from all computers, distributing them among waiting tasks. The application also preferences dedicated resources over borrowed, using owned equipment first before looking for compute cycles on borrowed hardware. Individual departments and groups can determine their own Service Level Agreement (SLA) based on their needs and preferences.

Resource sharing ensures that financial institutions can bring additional resources to bear on critical market simulation activities when needed, supporting important capital allnt capital allocation decisions and minimizing the bank's risk exposure. With the new minimum services scheduling policy, data is transferred to the grid in large chunks, reducing the latency involved in waiting for instructions and data to "trickle down" from the server. Calculations are managed to ensure that results and inputs are perfectly aligned to eliminate waiting between processes.

"Customers were looking for a software product that could share their hardware with the grid, but still make it available when necessary," said Martin Harris, Product Manager, Platform Computing. "Symphony 3.1 has a scheduling system designed to fulfill this need while maintaining the most flexible grid architecture possible."

Symphony 3.1 supports an expanded range of auditing and reporting features on a variety of platforms. Security events related to many aspects of Symphony can now be monitored, including host and user access, allowing administrators to see who is using which resources when, offering greater efficiency and enhanced protection against unauthorized access. Data on session and task performance are aggregated into Oracle 9i and 10g relational databases, greatly simplifying system performance monitoring. Cluster, host and resource availability reports are available in version 3.1, with additional reports to follow soon, or companies can easily create their own custom reports.

With the open architecture of Symphony 3.1, businesses can run multiple applications while having the flexibility to upgrade one application without impacting others. Core to Symphony is Platform EGO, the industry-leading grid platform that delivers the power of virtualization, automation and sharing of all IT resources to any enterprise application. Grid technology has evolved to provide the real benefits of having a common grid platform, supporting multiple applications on the same grid and managing them through a common web-based portal the Platform Management Console.

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