Platform Computing, the leader in cluster, grid and cloud management software, today announced the availability of the latest version of its flagship product family, Platform LSF, the industry’s most comprehensive workload scheduling solution for high performance computing (HPC).  Designed to handle complex, distributed HPC environments, Platform LSF maximizes existing IT infrastructures by allowing more work to be done with fewer computing resources in the fastest time possible.  Version 8 boasts a number of new features including the ability to delegate administrative rights to line of business managers; live, dynamic cluster reconfiguration; guaranteed resources to ensure service level agreements (SLAs) are met; flexible fairshare scheduling policies; and unparalleled scalability to support the large clusters in use today.

Supporting Quotes:

  • “As organizations process larger data volumes at increasingly efficient rates, there is an even greater need for workload management solutions designed for powerful, efficient operation, such as Platform LSF,” said Steve Conway, IDC Research Vice President, High Performance Computing. “IDC forecasts that the HPC management software market will continue to experience healthy growth over the next five years to address the challenges of larger scale and newer environments.”
  • “With Platform LSF we can intelligently schedule workload, ensuring that we get the maximum return on our significant investment in simulation tools and hardware,” said Nathan Sykes, Head of CFD, Red Bull Racing.  “We partnered with Platform Computing to deploy a complete software management solution and, as a result, benefitted from a 20% improvement in the throughput of our engineering analysis.  Platform Computing has helped boost the performance of our cars, resulting in a number of significant wins, including the recent 2010 Constructor’s Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix. With the new capabilities in Platform LSF 8 we can further improve our throughput, increasing the number of virtual engineering simulations we can complete, which will enable us to continue building the fastest and most aerodynamically efficient Formula 1 cars possible.”
  • “Maximizing computing resource utilization has posed a constant challenge for IT departments serving the needs of HPC users.  Platform LSF 8 solves this problem by providing more intelligent workload scheduling and letting IT managers impartially delegate administrative rights to the appropriate users.  With these new HPC management features, Platform Computing continues to lead the market in providing workload solutions that maximize HPC computing efficiency and user productivity while cutting job completion time for complex computing projects,” said Ken Hertzler, Vice President, Product Management, Platform Computing.

Key Points:

  • HPC technology has advanced in recent years, resulting in dramatic improvements in application processing performance for a wide range of disciplines, from computer generated designs and graphics to scientific calculations.
  • Although most HPC environments are quite sophisticated, many IT organizations are still challenged to take full advantage of their processing capacity.  Higher processing utilization helps to keep costs down while improving application processing throughput.  With today’s wide variety of applications using clusters, along with multiple department SLA requirements, job management and submission can be extremely complex in order to ensure high cluster utilization.
  • Platform LSF provides a comprehensive set of intelligent, policy-driven scheduling features, enabling users to fully utilize all of their compute infrastructure resources. Other solutions lack key HPC components and workload management capabilities, leaving IT or HPC users without the necessary tools to fully utilize their computing infrastructure resources.  Platform LSF is the most powerful workload manager for demanding, distributed and mission-critical high performance computing environments.

New Capabilities in the Platform LSF product family include:

  • Guaranteed Resources – Ensures resources are fairly allocated and properly designated to user groups or specific jobs.  Because of the limitations of other schedulers many customers end up creating resource silos and overly complex scheduling policies.  Platform LSF resolves these inefficiencies by guaranteeing resources according to service level objectives.
  • Delegation of Administrative Rights – Provides flexible administrative rights designation throughout multiple levels of an organization.  This empowers line of business managers to control project workload.  As a result, the LSF administrator is freed from managing and monitoring internal project priorities and membership changes.  
  • Fairshare and Pre-Emptive Scheduling Policies – Includes exceptional scheduling flexibility, enabling administrators to fine tune production policies and share definitions at both the queue and global levels.  Using Platform LSF, administrators can stipulate when to pre-empt jobs and for what length of time while still ensuring SLAs are met.
  • Live Resource Reconfiguration – Extends administrative flexibility by allowing common configuration changes to be applied without reconfiguration or restart.  Historical changes are logged, making it easy to track or reset configurations as necessary. With live reconfiguration, down-time is reduced, and administrators are free to quickly make the adjustments needed rather than wait for scheduled maintenance periods or non-peak hours.
  • Integrated Application Support – Scripting guidelines and application templates simplify job submission, reduce setup time and minimize operational errors.  The web-based interface in Platform Application Center 8 enables remote job monitoring, easy access to job related data and the capability to easily perform basic operations like stopping, suspending, resuming or re-queuing jobs through a web browser.
  • Unparalleled Scalability – Platform LSF can be extended to an unparalleled scale of up to 100,000 cores and 1.5 million queued jobs for very high throughput EDA workloads and even higher for more traditional HPC workloads.

The Platform LSF family includes add-on modules, which have also been updated with this product release:  Platform Application Center.  For more information on these modules, please see:

Platform LSF will be available in January 2011.