NASA Deploys Grid Capabilities From Platform Computing

November 9, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS LIVEwire

Dallas, Texas — Platform Computing Corporation announced that NASA has acquired Platform’s LSF MultiCluster software to manage the combined scientific and engineering computing workloads at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH and the Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. LSF MultiCluster extends the reach of Platform’s market leading Load Sharing Facility (LSF) distributed resource management (DRM) capabilities by coordinating the scheduling of the computing resources between the NASA centers in a fail safe, lights-out, peer-to-peer operational relationship, without requiring the addition of new hardware and without having to learn or implement any new job submission language or queuing system syntax.

Prior to implementing LSF MultiCluster, users at the centers were constrained by the capacity of their local compute farms. Although local resources were optimized through the use of the LSF Standard software, users often needed more processors, or processors with different performance characteristics, for jobs that exceeded the capabilities of their home SGI and Linux clusters. LSF MultiCluster expands the available capacity by enabling transparent user access to resources at both centers.

“Our CFD and structural analysts applications are used in very complex aerodynamics and propulsion projects that require prompt access to significant computing resources,” explains Isaac Lopez, Parallel Computing Testbed Development and Application Manager at the Glenn Center. “Platform’s LSF MultiCluster increases our available computing capacity by harnessing the computing resources from the Glenn and Langley centers. We were pleasantly surprised to find that installation took less than one day for both sites, and we are now exploring opportunities for inter-agency meta computing as well.”

“LSF clusters computers together and enables users to utilize their combined computing resources so researchers can explore significantly more sophisticated computing scenarios,” explains Phil Weaver, President and Chief Operating Officer, Platform Computing. “This is an example of how powerful LSF can be even in complex distributed computing environments like NASA’s.”

About LSF MultiCluster

The LSF MultiCluster design ensures that all individual computer clusters retain their independence in terms of management and job prioritization. This means that when more computing resources are needed to meet job requirements, LSF MultiCluster requests permission from the distributed clusters without imposing arbitrary demands. What makes this possible is LSF’s focus on providing scalable, policy-based prioritization that dynamically matches computing resources with processing requirements.

LSF and LSF MultiCluster are also designed so that end users are not required to implement any code or programming to initiate the resource sharing capabilities. Clusters are managed and organized so that the users do not need to have any specific knowledge about the IT-infrastructure.

About NASA Glenn and NASA Langley

Since 1941, the men and women of the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis field and the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA have been the pioneers and innovators whose work has expanded horizons and opened frontiers for our explorers in air and space. These Centers define and develop propulsion, space electrical power, structural integrity and communications technologies for NASA’s aeronautics and space missions. Visit our web sites at: http://www.grc.nasa.gov and http://www.larc.nasa.gov .

About Platform Computing Inc.

Established in 1992, Platform Computing Inc. is a strategic partner for Sun, IBM, Cisco, HP, SGI and Compaq to enable some of the world’s most creative companies to achieve better results by allowing them to harness the untapped potential of their people, products and processes. Platform’s software solutions, LSF Suite and SiteAssure Suite give both engineering 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 realize higher availability and performance to achieve their business objectives. For more information, please visit http://www.platform.com .

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