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Grid Suite Will Accelerate Move to Virtual ‘World Wide Computing’

Platform Computing, the leader in distributed computing software, is launching the industry’s most powerful and comprehensive commercial Grid computing solution. An integral part of Platform’s strategy to accelerate the adoption of Grid computing, Platform Grid Suite will integrate Platform’s distributed computing software with open source components from the Globus Toolkit™ and data management components from AVAKI. Compaq Computer Corporation plans to make Platform Grid Suite available on its high performance servers to provide a ‘Grid-enabled’ solution.

Viewed by experts as the next disruptive technology, Grid computing allows organisations to send data faster, share software more easily and store more information than existing computer networks. For years, organisations with demanding computing loads such as life sciences and government organisations, have capitalised on the power of Grid computing.

“For Grid computing to flourish in a commercial setting, industry leadership will be required to develop solutions that will remove obstacles, establish industry standards and drive broad commercial application,” said Debra Goldfarb, group vice president, Worldwide Systems and Servers, IDC. “We believe that Grid computing offers a significant opportunity for collaboration in areas such as the life sciences, manufacturing, and Electronic Design Automation (EDA) markets in particular.”


Compaq has named Platform its preferred supplier of Grid solutions, and plans to make Platform Grid Suite available on its high performance servers, including the AlphaServer SC system. Compaq and Platform will collaborate to provide leadership solutions for Grid Computing. Compaq systems provide an ideal platform for commercial Grid computing as they are highly available, reliable, and scalable.

“Compaq is strongly committed to Grid computing and endorses Platform Grid Suite as a vendor-neutral, standards-driven solution,” said Bill Blake, vice president, High Performance Technical Computing, Compaq Computer Corporation. “By Grid-enabling our servers with Platform Grid Suite, we can help our customers harness unlimited compute power to build virtual communities, facilitate access to information and share distributed resources to pursue common goals.”

As a standards-based solution, Platform Grid Suite is the first integrated product that addresses the complexities of Grid computing – including standards, security, workload management, data management, scalability, real-time functionality, and manageability - with the flexibility to integrate new technologies.

“Through Grid computing, we can accelerate the move to virtual ‘World Wide Computing’, enabling businesses to tap into a global reserve of under-utilised processing power,” said Robert Gordon, CEO, Platform. “With Grid computing, organisations can improve collaboration, impact the quality and speed of products and services and help reduce IT costs by enabling transparent collaboration and resource sharing. Together with our partners Compaq, Globus and AVAKI, we believe that Platform Grid Suite is a major step forward in accelerating the practical and commercial application of Grid computing. Platform will continue to expand the capabilities of our new Grid Suite, and develop broad industry partnerships to further advance the adoption Grid computing worldwide.”


Platform Grid Suite includes:


· Platform MultiCluster - enables reliable and effective Grid computing for organisations that want to share and access remote computing resources across wide-area networks, or with other cooperating but independent organisations;


· Platform LSF - provides on demand access and scalability in distributing applications and executing workload;


· Platform ActiveCluster - a P2P solution which allows enterprises to aggregate unused desktop cycles to create desktop clusters;


· Platform FTA - provides secure and reliable file transfer to help complete computational projects quickly, thus enhancing productivity and time-to-results;


· AVAKI 2.0 -AVAKI’s data Grid capability enables secure access to data across wide-area and multi-platform computing environments; and


· The Globus Toolkit - an open-architecture, open-source set of protocols, services and tools, enabling secure, distributed, multi-vendor Grid computing. Globus’ directory services identify resources across the Grid to facilitate management, selection and allocation, and a uniform means of querying information on resource configuration, capabilities and status.



“With a projected hundred-fold increase in data volumes for distributed computing applications, Grid computing demands a new approach to data sharing and access,” said David Fish, CEO, AVAKI. “By partnering with Platform, we can provide customers with integrated, robust, fine-grained security that spans grids covering multiple administrative domains, sites and even company boundaries, providing authentication, access control and encryption.”



“To drive commercial acceptance of Grid computing and ensure these technologies work together seamlessly, we need to develop common standards,” said Dr. Ian Foster, senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a co-developer of The Globus Toolkit. “Platform is the largest distributed computing management software company in this market, with the experience, R&D capabilities and established customer base to deliver a viable Grid solution. It has also demonstrated its commitment to open source and standards.”


Platform has been deploying real-world production Grid computing solutions since 1996 to organisations such as Texas Instruments, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Italian National Agency for New Technology, Energy and the Environment (ENEA). For the past three years, ENEA has utilized Platform MultiCluster to connect 12 ENEA Research Centers on five supercomputer hardware platforms in Linux, Unix and Windows environments.



“Grid computing answered our requirement for a scalable, parallel computing infrastructure for our organisation’s research, development and educational activities,” said Silvio Migliori, Vice Director for Scientific Computing, The National Agency for New Technology, Energy and the Environment (ENEA), Italy. “We strongly support Platform Grid Suite as this will allow us to take our current Grid to the next level in compute and data sharing.”


Platform has been deploying real-world production Grid computing solutions since 1996 to organizations such as Texas Instruments, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Italian National Agency for New Technology, Energy and the Environment (ENEA). For the past three years, ENEA has utilized Platform MultiCluster to connect 12 ENEA Research Centers on five supercomputer hardware platforms in Linux, Unix and Windows environments.


“Grid computing answered our requirement for a scalable, parallel computing infrastructure for our organization’s research, development and educational activities,” said Silvio Migliori, Vice Director for Scientific Computing, ENEA, Italy. “We strongly support Platform Grid Suite as this will allow us to take our current Grid to the next level in compute and data sharing.”


Standards will be key to the success of Grid computing. In 2000, Platform led the creation of the New Productivity Initiative (NPi), a global industry consortium of leading software and hardware companies, including Compaq, HP, Cadence and Aurema, dedicated to defining and developing industry standard APIs for distributed and Grid computing.


Platform is also an active member of the Global Grid Forum, a community-initiated forum of individual researchers and practitioners focused on the promotion and development of Grid technologies and applications via the development and documentation of "best practices," implementation guidelines, and standards with an emphasis on rough consensus and running code.


About AVAKI

Avaki Corporation offers the first commercialized grid software solution to provide highly secure, virtualized access to data and compute resources in wide-area, multi-platform environments. The flagship product, AVAKI 2.0, allows enterprises to capitalize on the true power of grid computing and thereby, accelerate time to market, increase ROI on existing computing infrastructure, and reduce the barriers associated with implementing Web Services. AVAKI has million in funding led by Polaris Venture Partners, and joined by General Catalyst and Sofinnova. AVAKI is located in Cambridge, Mass.

For more information, please visit http://www.avaki.com



About Compaq

Founded in 1982, Compaq Computer Corporation ("Compaq") is a leading global provider of enterprise technology and solutions. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures and markets hardware, software, solutions and services, including industry-leading enterprise storage and computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, communication products, and desktop and portable personal computers that are sold in more than 200 countries.

Information on Compaq and its products and services is available at http://www.compaq.com

About The Globus Project


The Globus Project is a multi-institutional research and development effort creating fundamental technologies for computational grids. Grids are persistent environments that enable software applications to integrate instruments, displays, computational and information resources that are managed by diverse organisations in widespread locations. A primary product of the Globus Project is the open source Globus Toolkit, which is being used in numerous large Grid deployment and application projects in the United States, Europe, and around the world. The Globus Project is based at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute.

For more information, visit the Globus Project web site at http://www.globus.org



About Platform


Platform is the world’s leading distributed computing software provider, with desktop to Grid solutions that allow organisations to dramatically improve time to market and quality of results, while maximizing their I.T. investment. Platform has strategic relationships with industry leaders including Compaq, HP, IBM, SGI, Sun, LION Bioscience and SAS and its open, scalable software solutions are the choice of more than 1,500 result-driven organisations around the world. Platform is a private company with 400 employees in 14 offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

For more information visit http://www.platform.com

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

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