IBM Targets HPC With Platform Computing Buy


IBM is to acquire the Canadian clustering, grid and HPC software provider Platform Computing

IBM has entered agreed to acquire Platform Computing, a high performance computing software company based in Toronto, Canada.

Platform Computing is a maker of cluster and grid management software for distributed computing environments.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the acquisition is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to the usual closing conditions.

HPC Boost

“IBM considers the acquisition of Platform Computing to be a strategic element for the transformation of HPC into the high growth segment of technical computing and an important part of our smarter computing strategy,” said Helene Armitage, general manager of IBM Systems Software, in a statement. “This acquisition can be leveraged across IBM as we enhance our IBM offerings and solutions, providing clients with technology that helps draw insights to fuel critical business decisions or breakthrough science.”

From departmental clusters to enterprise grids, Platform Computing management software helps clients create, integrate and manage shared computing environments that are used in resource-intensive applications such as simulations, computer modelling and analytics, IBM said in a press release on the pending acquisition.

These technical and high performance computing (HPC) applications fuel product development, critical business decisions and breakthrough science in financial services, manufacturing, digital media, oil and gas, life sciences, government, and research and education, IBM said.

Moreover, application complexity and the amount of data continue to grow significantly across enterprises, driving the need for more and more compute capacity. By combining Platform Computing’s software with IBM high performance systems and software, IBM can better serve enterprise clients who are turning to technical computing to reduce the cost and complexity of managing and analysing massive amounts of data, IBM said.

The combined opportunity for servers, storage and systems software for technical computing is more than $14 billion (£8.9bn) in 2011 and is expected to grow over 8 percent annually to $18.5 billion (£11.8bn) by 2014, according to IDC.

Blue Chip Clients

Platform Computing currently serves more than 2,000 clients including 23 of the top 30 largest global enterprises.

“Platform Computing’s software has a proven track record over the past 19 years of helping clients to accelerate innovation, business analytics and IT services while being easy to deploy and manage,” said Songnian Zhou, CEO of Platform Computing, in a statement. “Our market-leading software has enabled broad adoption of commodity clusters and enterprise grids around the world. This acquisition will enable Platform Computing to better serve our customers by leveraging the IBM solution portfolio and extend the reach of our pioneering distributed computing software for broader enterprise adoption.”

IBM officials said Platform Computing’s technical and distributed computing management software suite complements Big Blue’s high-performance platforms including System x, BladeCenter, Power Systems and System Storage, as well as the IBM software portfolio, including Tivoli management and WebSphere application infrastructure.

Platform Computing’s operations as of the closing of the acquisition will be integrated into IBM Systems and Technology Group.

Platform Computing has approximately 500 employees worldwide. Moreover, the acquisition of Platform Computing will help accelerate IBM’s growth in smarter computing, a key initiative in IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy, IBM said.

Earlier this year, IBM said Smarter Planet projects are estimated to drive $10 billion (£6.4bn) in revenue for IBM by 2015.

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