Last week brought us the big news that Platform Computing was being acquired by IBM, inspiring lots of media coverage, including our feature article here. This week, Platform shares their side of the story in a blog from company CEO Songnian Zhou. If you’re still wondering why these companies got together, this piece is sure to provide additional perspective.
Platform Computing got its start 19-years ago with a vision: to deliver IT as a service as cost effectively as possible. And “just as client/server took 20 years to mature into the mainstream, clusters and grids have taken 20 years, and cloud for general business apps is still just emerging,” notes Zhou, adding that “two areas have been leading the way: HPC/technical computing followed by Internet services.”
Now the company plans to take things to the next logical level, to go beyond clusters and grids. The stage is set for sophisticated middleware and management software that “hide all the moving parts and just deliver IT as a service.” This is HPC doing what it’s always done, feeding the mainstream. Distributed computing by way of low cost, massively parallel systems is spreading out from its scientific computing roots into financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas, electronics, entertainment and more. As HPC becomes more attainable, it helps all sorts of business create better products and services. “To make money, they compute. To out-compete, they out-compute” is how Zhou puts it.
The message here is one of growing up, of building smarter systems that meet a diverse assortment of needs for a user base that’s just as diverse. In Zhou’s words, Platform has “been doing a pretty good job for some enterprises in some parts of the world. But…combined with IBM, we can get to all the enterprises worldwide.”