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Pat Romanski

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Platform Computing announced the launch of Platform Symphony 5, a new version of its service-oriented architecture (SOA) grid solution for high performance computing (HPC) environments. Representing a leap forward in performance over previous versions, Platform Symphony 5 helps financial services organizations eliminate data access bottlenecks while squeezing even more performance out of their existing infrastructure. Beating the benchmark set earlier this year with version 4.1, the company has furthered its performance lead over the competition at a time when financial markets demand faster results from risk and pricing applications.

Platform Symphony 5 lowers the latency caused by large data sets, by intelligently placing workloads on systems that are physically close to the required data. In addition, version 5 makes the most of multi-core servers - whether applications are multi-threaded or not. As the only grid solution built on top of a shared utility platform, Platform Symphony delivers enterprise class resource sharing, availability, security and scale. Widely deployed within the financial services sector, Platform Symphony enables real-time pricing, value-at-risk and Monte Carlo simulations to better manage risk. Today, Platform Symphony is crucial to the operations of two of the three largest U.S. banks as well as a number of top European and Japanese financial institutions.

"Our research has found that eliminating data access bottlenecks is the highest priority for our customers. This has been the focus of our development efforts and is the centerpiece of this important release of Platform Symphony," said David Warm, CTO, Financial Services Business Unit, Platform Computing. "Symphony 5 continues to set the industry standard for performance and scale by improving the efficiency of applications in multi-core environments at the lowest possible cost."

The grid computing market has shifted in recent months, introducing risk for some financial services institutions. A key vendor in the marketplace was recently acquired for its technology at a time when grid technology has become mission critical for many banks. As a result, Platform has seen a recent surge of interest from organizations currently using competing grid solutions.

"The advances we're making in Symphony benefit not only our existing customers, they're appealing to other companies in the marketplace looking for alternatives to improve their existing infrastructure solutions," said Jim Mancuso, General Manager, Financial Services Business Unit, Platform Computing. "Platform continues to invest in our products with the long term needs of financial services companies in mind."

"Platform has customer data showing that Symphony can push utilization up from 20 to 80 percent and reduce cost per hour across 20+ intra and end-of-day pricing and risk management applications," said William Fellows, Principal Analyst, The 451 Group. "Emulating this successful utility model and applying it more broadly not only makes sense, it's downright prudent. Platform Symphony 5 eases the process of federating and extending grids to support other user constituencies, services and workloads - subsequently offering a wider benefit across the organization."

Also announced with version 5 were two add-on products designed to more easily extend Platform Symphony as compute requirements evolve. The add-on products for Platform Symphony 5 include:

Data Affinity for Platform Symphony - Allows Platform Symphony to intelligently schedule application tasks by taking into account data locality in order to place workload in the most optimal and cost efficient way

Dynamic Service for Platform Symphony - Designed to optimize utilization within a single blade and reduce memory contention for data I/O intensive applications by sending only one set of data, enabling Platform Symphony to scale up and out seamlessly in mixed environments with old (2-core) and new (multi-core) hardware.

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