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Back to all Platform Computing, an IBM Company announcements

Platform Computing marks launch of Symphony 5.1 with significant momentum in financial services market

Sales increase among Fortune 500 and global customers; company introduces latest version of industry standard distributed SOA middleware product.

Platform Computing, the leader in cluster, grid and cloud management software, has seen strong momentum and continued revenue growth in the financial services (FS) market over the past year. Organisations are ramping up their investments in Platform Symphony, which is geared toward enabling improved efficiency for distributed service oriented architecture (SOA) applications at lower cost. In addition, global demand for all of Platform’s offerings—including cloud, cluster, grid and MapReduce solutions — doubled year over year, with the company signing a number of marquee North American and European brand accounts, many of which rank in the Fortune 500.

Platform is also announcing the general availability of the latest version of Platform Symphony, version 5.1. Platform Symphony is the most powerful enterprise-class SOA management software available today to provide application services on a highly scalable grid. Platform Symphony accelerates both business and financial risk-based processes and reduces latency to perform complex computations over grids in near real-time. Optimised for performance, high availability and manageability, Platform Symphony meets or exceeds throughput requirements for a wide range of workloads and delivers a significantly reduced total cost of ownership for business and risk-based applications.

Financial services sector sales accelerate rapidly

In the last two quarters, Platform has won several significant multi-million dollar deals in both the capital markets and insurance sectors. Several of these deals were competitive wins—including a leading global bond fund manager, a private equity fund manager and a prominent pension fund—with sales centered on growing demand for Platform’s cloud management technology, Platform ISF, as well as increased sales for Platform’s Symphony product line.

Platform counts many of Wall Street’s largest banks and trading firms among its flagship customers, including 12 of the Bloomberg 20. Of those, Platform had two significant customer wins in Bloomberg’s top 10 listing in the past fiscal year, bringing Platform’s customer presence in the top 10 to six total customers. The company also continues to enjoy strong technology partnerships with software leaders such as Algorithmics, Murex, QuIC Financial, SAS, Sungard Front Arena, Sungard Adaptiv and Sybase. In addition, a leading US financial institution and long time Platform customer was recognised for its innovative technological leadership, with multiple category wins at the prestigious 2010 American Financial Technology Association (AFTA) awards.

“As organisations look to streamline operations and benefit from the latest data centre and analytics tools, we’re experiencing a healthy global demand for Platform’s technologies across the board—from MapReduce programming models to cloud management software to our flagship cluster and grid technologies,” said Peter Nichol, general manager, Platform Computing. “This increased interest is a direct result of the concern over data explosion, a lack of scalable environments, insufficient capacity to run complex analytics in real-time and enterprise-wide contention for computing resources, particularly among financial services firms. Platform is well-positioned to provide firms with the efficiency and dynamic compute power needed to operate in today’s volatile market conditions, and our growth over the past year proves that the time for high performance data centres has come.”

Introducing Platform Symphony 5.1

Today’s climate of increased economic and regulatory challenges is driving organisations to reevaluate their approaches to risk management and compliance. Due to the increasing complexity of products and portfolios, risk managers are tasked with creating more risk calculations and scenarios even faster for near-immediate decisions and transactions. Greater data volume and complexity have also created a demand for powerful, flexible systems that provide accurate, real-time, counter-party risk assessments to the business while lowering overall operating costs and also increasing quality and agility.

Platform Symphony enables a variety of business and financial risk applications, including real-time pricing, value-at-risk and Monte Carlo simulations, to better manage risk factors such as liquidity, credit, market and operations factors. In industries where analytics are required, Platform Symphony provides distributed computing workload solutions for analytics processing, such as complex event processing (CEP), extract transform and load (ETL) and business intelligence. Unlike other solutions that perform slower and do not have resource sharing facilities, Symphony provides operational agility and resource sharing capabilities to meet any workload demand.

“The speed of reaction to market changes often determines the likelihood of winning a deal. The credit crunch has focused attention on risk analysis, with many financial services firms now adding counterparty and liquidity risk to their analysis portfolios,” said John Barr, research director financial markets, The 451 Group. “They rely on high performance grid computing to help them process massive amounts of data efficiently using real-time workloads at enterprise scale.”

Highlighted new features in Platform Symphony 5.1

Easier application on-boarding
• Faster, easier, less costly development and testing for applications allows customers to retain investments in existing applications.

GPU support
• Intelligent graphics processing unit (GPU) workload scheduling exposes available resources at the enterprise grid orchestrator (EGO) software layer. The Platform Symphony Software Developer Kit (SDK) also adapts GPU-aware CUDA applications to make these applications callable as Symphony services.

Higher scalability and performance limits
• Expanded scalability to manage 10,000 services per application, 40,000 cores per cluster (5,000 hosts) and 300 applications per cluster.