Platform Computing buys HP-MPI library

Toronto-based high performance computing technology vendor Platform Computing Corp announced Monday that it will acquire Hewlett-Packard Co’s HP-MPI (Message Passing Interface) library.

MPI is an industry standard protocol that handles the communications aspects for compute-intensive applications.

The sale of HP-MPI to long-time partner Platform Computing is driven by demand from HP customers for a supported MPI to be available on multiple hardware environments, beyond HP’s hardware offerings, said Scott Misage, director of solutions research and development for scalable computing and infrastructure with HP.

That was challenging, however, given that “HP-MPI was inside HP,” said Misage.

Therefore, it was “decided strategically it would be better to host it with one of our partners and we chose Platform,” he said.

Platform Computing already has an MPI product, Platform MPI, formerly Scali-MPI acquired from Norway-based Scali AS in 2008.

But Platform Computing’s goal is to reach a broader base of independent software vendors (ISVs) for its MPI offering, and the acquisition of HP’s MPI product, which is used and distributed by more than 30 ISVs, will “enable us to work with HP to establish a de facto standard MPI implementation,” said Songnian Zhou, CEO with Platform Computing.

Specifically, Platform will continue to develop, enhance and support the MPI product, said Zhou.

“It makes business sense for HP to trust Platform to support the critical HP-MPI capabilities in HPC management software,” he said.

HP will continue to market the product to their customer base, but under the Platform brand, as HP’s ISV base has standardized their parallel applications around HP-MPI.

In the meantime, both MPI products, Platform and HP, will continue to be offered as per current release cycles.

While there is a “definite plan” to eventually integrate both into a common entity, Zhou would not divulge a specific date.

Along with the HP-MPI product, Platform has also acquired the associated technology assets and intellectual property.

Although not part of the transaction, Misage said some HP staff did transition to Platform as a result of having worked together for some time already.

Zhou wouldn’t specify how many staff moved to Platform, saying “they carry the IP, the technology know-how.”

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