Big Blue Meets Big Data: IBM Buys Platform Computing

IBM has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Platform Computing, a leading player in the market for high performance computing (HPC) and the mining of “big data,” the companies said today. Platform Computing makes software to manage large clusters and grids of servers in distributed computing environments, which are becoming critical tools in analyzing huge datasets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In announcing the deal, IBM cited the significant growth in the amount of data and complexity of applications, and said Platform Computing’s software can help IBM customers manage and analyze massive amounts of data in a timely fashion.

“IBM considers the acquisition of Platform Computing to be a strategic element for the transformation of HPC into the high growth segment of technical computing and an important part of our smarter computing strategy,” said Helene Armitage, general manager, IBM Systems Software. “his acquisition can be leveraged across IBM as we enhance our IBM offerings and solutions, providing clients with technology that helps draw insights to fuel critical business decisions or breakthrough science.”

Strong Adoption in Enterprise Computing

Platform Computing’s software is used to manage resource-intensive applications such as simulations, computer modeling and analytics tools used in industries including financial services, manufacturing, digital media, oil and gas, life sciences, government, and research and education. Platform Computing currently serves over 2,000 clients including 23 of the top 30 largest global enterprises. Example customers include CERN, Citigroup, Infineon, Pratt & Whitney, Red Bull Racing, Sanger Institute, Statoil and University of Tokyo.

“Platform Computing’s software has a proven track record over the past 19 years of helping clients to accelerate innovation, business analytics and IT services while being easy to deploy and manage,” said Dr. Songnian Zhou, CEO, Platform Computing. “Our market-leading software has enabled broad adoption of commodity clusters and enterprise grids around the world. This acquisition will enable Platform Computing to better serve our customers by leveraging the IBM solution portfolio and extend the reach of our pioneering distributed computing software for broader enterprise adoption.”

Once the deal closes in the fourth quarter of 2011, Platform Computing’s operations as of the closing will be integrated into IBM Systems and Technology Group. IBM said Platform Computing’s software suite complements IBM’s high-performance platforms including System x, BladeCenter, Power Systems and System Storage, as well as the IBM software portfolio, including Tivoli management and WebSphere application infrastructure.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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