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Cloud Computing: Blog Post

Platform ISF 2.1 Improves Use, Breadth of Private Cloud Management

Sets stage for use of public cloud efficiencies

Platform Computing on Tuesday released Platform ISF 2.1, which improves ease of use and automation for building and managing enterprise private clouds.

Platform's cloud management software helps enterprises transition from internal IT to more productive and efficient private cloud infrastructure services that support multi-tier applications.

New in Platform ISF 2.1 is a dynamic “single cloud pane” for cloud administration; expanded definitions for support of multi-tier application environments such as Hadoop, JBoss, Tomcat and WebSphere; and enhanced business policy-driven automation that spans across multiple data centers. [Disclosure: Platform Computing is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Enterprises looking to take advantage of the cloud do so for many reasons but one of the key ones is to enhance their agility in response to changing business dynamics.



By automating delivery of complex enterprise infrastructure and production applications across heterogeneous virtual, physical and public cloud resources, Platform ISF also helps reduce electricity and cooling requirements while freeing up capacity in data centers. The management layer provides improved monitoring, policy management, and workload management across multiple and heterogenous cloud and traditional IT stacks. By capturing corporate standards and business policies within the automation engine, companies can improve both compliance and security, said Platform Computing.

Via the single-pane administration capabilities, what Toronto-based Platform calls a "cloud cockpit," users can self-select approved services to support a wide variety of applications. Enhanced end-user portals are also new, including drag-and-drop portlet-based dashboards and customizable application instantiation pages.

What's more, the applications be can monitored from both private and public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). The degree of management allows for future planning and capacity management, to help exploit hybrid computing benefits and cut the total overall costs of supporting applications.

Enhancing agility

“Enterprises looking to take advantage of the cloud do so for many reasons but one of the key ones is to enhance their agility in response to changing business dynamics,” said Cameron Haight, Research Vice President, Gartner, in a release. “This means that the technology used to manage cloud environments should be similarly agile and act to facilitate and not impede this industry movement. IT organizations should look for tools that can address the various cloud usage scenarios without demanding excessive investments in management infrastructure or staff support.”

Key capabilities in Platform ISF 2.1 include: self-service and chargeback, policy-based automated provisioning of applications, dynamic scaling of applications to meet service level agreements (SLAs) and unification of distributed and mixed-vendor resource pools for sharing. A unique “Active-Active” multiple data center supports higher availability and scalability by leveraging Oracle GoldenGate.

The goal is to manage the heterogeneous applications lifecycle, not just multiple cloud instances.



Ease of use benefits in the new release, which is available now, include account management and delegation based on applications or business processes. Such delegation can occur for such cloud-supported functions as platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and hierarchical applications and their supporting components and services. Also included is self-service hierarchical account and resource management (including Active Directory for 10,000+ users) supporting an unlimited number of organizational tiers.

Business benefits include less downtime for applications, even as they are supported by hybrid resources, SLA-driven shared services, less need for specialized administrators, higher availability and creation of richer applications services catalogs. Use of Platform ISF 2.1 for private cloud activities clearly puts the users in a better position to use, exploit and manage public clouds, and to move quickly to the hybrid computing model. The goal is to manage the heterogeneous applications lifecycle, not just multiple cloud instances, said Jay Muelhoefer, VP Enterprise Marketing, Platform Computing.

A free 30-day trial of Platform ISF 2.1 can be downloaded at www.platform.com/privatecloud. For more information about Platform ISF, visit www.platform.com/privatecloud.

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At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.