Enhanced platform boosts performance

An upgrade to a resource management offering made for a more usable interface and better productivity for one spacecraft worker.

Toronto-based Platform Computing Inc. has released Platform SiteAssure 2.1, a resource management solution that monitors and manages distributed computing resources. The company said the newly upgraded solution boosts enterprise performance and productivity while reducing the risks often associated with deployment of complex IT infrastructure.

Ian MacKay, vice-president of development, performance and resource management at Platform, said built-in scalability for grid computing has improved flexibility and helped enterprises roll out clusters faster.

“This release ups the scalability significantly to address the largest clusters or enterprise-wide server systems,” he said. “The first thing is that, from a scalability point of view, to get to 30,000 servers managed. It depends on the environment. We have added a lot more integration with our flagship product LSF, a workload management system that facilitates productivity in the technical computing space.”

SiteAssure integrates with Platform Load Sharing Facility (LSF) workload management software and third-party system and network management tools which minimize downtimes by identifying and automatically preventing problems that are likely to occur across the network.

“We have significant differentiation in the technical computing market,” MacKay said. “If you have got clusters of computers, Linux farms, Web-server farms, that are being used for technical applications like chip design, SiteAssure is good at providing systems management for those environments.”

He added that the technology can also be used to operate e-commerce Web sites and effectively is an alternative to traditional systems management.

“SiteAssure is about one tenth of the price,” he said.

Available now, base price for SiteAssure is US$20,000 for the management server and US$599 per CPU after that.

Jim Jaquet, test software section supervisor, spacecraft test and operations, Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, Calif., has been using SiteAssure for over a year and upgraded to the version 2.1 a few months ago.

“We were using it to do monitoring of a large number of workstations that we have deployed here, to do system health monitoring and other things,” he said. “We also used it to track where the machines were, because the people that actually use our systems are test engineers and they do satellite testing in different locations.”

Features of the upgrade include rules-based management automation; comprehensive and easy-to-use management console; end-user Web transaction simulation; robust security model and multiple platform support.

“[One difference] between the first version and 2.1 is the user interface and how easy it is to use the tool,” Jaquet said. “That was the major functional gain, because a lot of other things we use the system for are under the covers type things.”

The next release of SiteAssure 2.5 this summer will “finish the job on performance and scalability,” MacKay said.

For more information on Platform’s offering, visit the company online at http://www.platform.com.