Sun, Platform roll out clusters

Sun Microsystems Inc. and Platform Computing Inc. brought new clustering products to the table last week in a sign of the technology’s broadening appeal.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun on Wednesday released an enhanced version of its Sun Cluster 3.0 software to increase service levels and reduce downtime in clustered server environments.

Sun Cluster 3.0 is the software backbone of Sun’s clustered server environments, which it dubs SunPlex systems, according to Jim Sangster, group marketing manager for Sun clusters.

Enhancements to Sun Cluster 3.0 include the ability to dynamically reconfigure a Sun Enterprise 10000 server within a cluster, removing and replacing processors, memory, and I/O devices on-the-fly, Sangster said.

Sun Cluster 3.0 “supports the dynamic addition and removal of processing components in an active, running cluster,” Sangster said. “This decreases both planned and unplanned downtime.”

For its part, Platform Computing last week introduced Platform Clusterware, software that is designed to enhance the clustering capabilities in Linux. Clusterware was constructed from a variety of Toronto-based Platform’s technologies, including resource management, server provisioning, systems management and monitoring, load balancing, and job scheduling.

“Some of the systems management capabilities in Linux are weaker than in Unix,” said Khalid Ahmed, product manager for Clusterware at Platform. Clusterware also plays a key role in Platform’s grid computing strategy, Ahmed said.

Analyst company IDC, in Framingham, Mass., estimates that the cluster market will grow to US$2.27 billion by 2005, and a separate study predicts that Linux will become the dominant operating system in clustered environments in the same time frame. .