October 21, 2011
Last week brought us the big news that Platform Computing was being acquired by IBM, inspiring lots of media coverage, including our feature article here. This week, Platform shares their side of the story in a blog from company CEO Songnian Zhou. If you're still wondering why these companies got together, this piece is sure to provide additional perspective.
Platform Computing got its start 19-years ago with a vision: to deliver IT as a service as cost effectively as possible. And "just as client/server took 20 years to mature into the mainstream, clusters and grids have taken 20 years, and cloud for general business apps is still just emerging," notes Zhou, adding that "two areas have been leading the way: HPC/technical computing followed by Internet services."
Now the company plans to take things to the next logical level, to go beyond clusters and grids. The stage is set for sophisticated middleware and management software that "hide all the moving parts and just deliver IT as a service." This is HPC doing what it's always done, feeding the mainstream. Distributed computing by way of low cost, massively parallel systems is spreading out from its scientific computing roots into financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas, electronics, entertainment and more. As HPC becomes more attainable, it helps all sorts of business create better products and services. "To make money, they compute. To out-compete, they out-compute" is how Zhou puts it.
The message here is one of growing up, of building smarter systems that meet a diverse assortment of needs for a user base that's just as diverse. In Zhou's words, Platform has "been doing a pretty good job for some enterprises in some parts of the world. But...combined with IBM, we can get to all the enterprises worldwide."
Full story at Platform Computing's Company Blog
Researchers from the Suddhananda Engineering and Research Centre in Bhubaneswar, India developed a job scheduling system, which they call Service Level Agreement (SLA) scheduling, that is meant to achieve acceptable methods of resource provisioning similar to that of potential in-house systems. They combined that with an on-demand resource provisioner to ensure utilization optimization of virtual machines.
Experimental scientific HPC applications are continually being moved to the cloud, as covered here in several capacities over the last couple of weeks. Included in that rundown, Co-founder and CEO of CloudSigma Robert Jenkins penned an article for HPC in the Cloud where he discussed the emergence of cloud technologies to supplement research capabilities of big scientific initiatives like CERN and ESA (the European Space Agency)...
When considering moving excess or experimental HPC applications to a cloud environment, there will always be obstacles. Were that not the case, the cost effectiveness of cloud-based HPC would rule the high performance landscape. Jonathan Stewart Ward and Adam Barker of the University of St. Andrews produced an intriguing report on the state of cloud computing, paying a significant amount of attention to the problems facing cloud computing.
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