Seizing on the buzz around cloud computing, Ontario-based Platform Computing Inc. has announced a new software product for managing private cloud environments. In a release on the product, called Platform ISF, the firm said it is “the first end-to-end cloud management product for enterprises to build and run their private clouds.” Platform ISF will be made available on a limited basis this month, with general availability planned for the fall, the company said.
Platform, which specializes in grid and cloud computing software, made the announcement at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Technology Management Conference in New York. Interviewed at the conference, Martin Harris, Platform’s director of product management, said that Platform ISF creates shared infrastructure from physical and vertical resources: “We have built a paradigm so that you can define your operation’s specific requests and demands, and match them with the most appropriate resources.”
Asked what makes Platform ISF unique, Harris said that the shared computing infrastructure it creates delivers application environments according to workload-aware and resource-aware policies. Other benefits include a faster response to business needs and more aggregation, resulting in higher utilization and lower costs, he said.
Platform ISF is a technology-agnostic platform that supports any collection of hardware, operating systems and virtual machines, the company said. It also supports third-party system management tools for security and provisioning, allowing organizations to leverage existing resources while conforming to corporate standards. “Platform ISF enables applications to run on shared infrastructure driving higher server utilization and ROI across clusters, grids and clouds,” said Platform CEO Songnian Zhou in a statement. “Using Platform ISF, businesses can deploy and run applications faster, cheaper and more flexibly.”
Private cloud computing received a boost recently in a June 2009 report from Gartner, titled “Private Cloud Computing: The Steppingstone to the Cloud.” 
“Appropriate investments in private cloud computing will make it easier for enterprises to gradually use public cloud services as needed, if and when the services mature,” said Tom Bittman, a VP and analyst at Gartner, in the report. “Because public cloud computing is years from fulfilling many enterprise needs, it is likely that IT organizations will spend more money through 2012 on private cloud computing investments than on offerings from cloud providers.”
The popularity of cloud computing was clear at the Sifma conference, where three presentations were devoted to the topic, and numerous vendors emphasized cloud computing products at their exhibits. 
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