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Distributed Resource Management Leader Extends Its Reach With LSF ActiveCluster

Platform Computing Inc., a global leader in Distributed Resource Management (DRM) solutions, today announced the launch of software that allows enterprises to harness the unused processing power of their desktop computers. LSF ActiveCluster extends Platform’s core Load Sharing Facility (LSF) product line, which currently distributes computing jobs to servers and workstations in more than half of the Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and chemical companies.

The computational power of most PCs is wasted approximately 90 percent of the time, so tapping into this unused resource lets enterprises realise a significant jump in processing power with no additional hardware investment.

Companies with computationally intense problems, such as gene sequencing and drug design, have traditionally run simulations on supercomputers or clusters of dedicated Unix/Linux/NT workstations. LSF ActiveCluster, a complementary technology, allows enterprises to extend their processing reach by taking advantage of unused desktop cycles. When a PC is idle or under-utilised it contacts the LSF ActiveCluster server, which dispatches a suitable distributed computing job. Once the desktop completes the task it returns results to the server and is assigned a new task.

“Platform’s strength lies in its nearly 10-year history of fielding distributed computing solutions that allow users to manage workloads across multiple independent servers and workstations. Expanding its offering to integrate desktop systems via enterprise intranets is a logical extension of Platform’s technology,” says Dr. Christopher Willard, Research Vice President, workstations and high-performance systems, IDC. “The bio-sciences market is a good fit for distributed computing due to its very rapidly growing demand for compute power and its ability to use highly parallel programming strategies for a variety of applications.”

At the Beyond Genome Conference, held yesterday in San Francisco, Platform highlighted LSF ActiveCluster’s ability to speed time-to-discovery. LSF ActiveCluster runs all major bioinformatics applications such as FASTA, BLAST, PAUP, Genwise, HMMER and Smith Waterman. In addition to life sciences, LSF ActiveCluster can extend computing to the desktop level for companies in the financial services, design automation, industrial manufacturing, graphics rendering and energy industries.

“By extending its distributed resource management software to the Intel desktop environment, Platform further demonstrates the ability to extend the value of the PC in the enterprise,” says Pat Gelsinger, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the Intel Architecture Group. “With this new offering, Platform illustrates a commitment to delivering peer-to-peer solutions on today’s infrastructures.”

The LSF ActiveCluster client runs as a continuous background process, so the PC user sees no decrease in performance. Designed to be network and administrator friendly, the software requires minimal network bandwidth and supports Windows®, DOS and commercial off-the-shelf applications. As a security model, LSF ActiveCluster utilises advanced, native Windows features to protect job integrity and the user's desktop.

“In designing LSF ActiveCluster, the needs of the enterprise were paramount and we’ve taken every measure to ensure reliability, security and affordability. While a number of smaller players are entering the distributed computing space, none comes close to Platform’s depth of knowledge or years of experience delivering solutions within the enterprise,” says Phil Weaver, President and COO of Platform Computing

About Platform Computing

Platform Computing Corporation is a world leader in Distributed Resource Management software. Platform’s software, LSF Suite and SiteAssure Suite, enables some of the world's most creative companies to achieve outstanding results by allowing them to maximise the productivity potential of their people, computing resources and processes. Platform’s products give both technical and Internet environments unprecedented control over their mission-critical hardware, software and network resources. With Platform solutions, customers are able to bridge the worlds of networks, systems and applications and realise higher availability and performance to achieve their business objectives.

Founded in 1992, Platform has more than 1,500 customers worldwide and has strategic partnerships with Compaq, Sun, IBM, Cisco, HP and SGI. For more information, please visit http://www.platform.com


For more information, and photography:

Platform Computing Corporation
Sharon White
+44 (0)1256 370516
swhite@platform.com

MCC International
Tamsin Keynton/Richard Bennett
Tel: +44 (0)1962 888100
Fax: +44 (0)1962 888125
Email: tamsin.keynton@mccint.com
richard.bennett@mccint.com

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