Softricity, IBM Go for Grid Services, Replication

Software upgrades from Softricity Inc. and IBM aim to help enterprises deploy and better manage applications that are distributed across a computing grid.

Software upgrades from Softricity Inc. and IBM aim to help enterprises deploy and better manage applications that are distributed across a computing grid.

Softricitys SoftGrid Enterprise Edition Version 3.1 application management platform improves management of disaster recovery operations by giving administrators immediate access to virtualized applications regardless of location. The software, due this summer, also provides automatic replication to any backup site, company officials said.

SoftGrid transforms locally deployed Windows applications into virtual services that can be centrally managed, configured and delivered as a utility to servers, desktops and laptops.

Version 3.1s Application Portability feature reduces excessive use of network bandwidth when virtualized applications are deployed via a CD or manually keyed in. A new Application Replication capability keeps applications current between live sites and backup sites running SoftGrid servers. By September, a new self-provisioning capability within SoftGrid should be available, officials said.

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To safeguard utility computing environments, Boston-based Softricity next spring will release patented data protection technology in the form of a separate time-based, conditional-access server.

Randy James, CIO of Americo Life Inc., said Softricity software is helping to keep applications within his centralized Citrix Systems Inc. server farm from "trampling one another." The next step is disaster recovery.

"Today, our strategy for backing up PCs for disaster recovery purposes is using [Symantec Corp.s] Ghost or some disk-imaging-type software," said James, in Kansas City, Mo. "If we didnt have enough servers in a disaster scenario and we needed to recover or deploy applications that are still desktop-based ... that adds another place where Softricity really helps because the applications are completely isolated from one another and theres nothing loaded on the servers except client software."

Separately, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., last week made available Version 8.2 of Tivoli Workload Scheduler for Virtualized Data Centers, which lets a single administrator schedule batch and real-time events in enterprise applications that are distributed across multiple platforms in a computing grid. By sharing information in real time, a customer could shorten design cycles by 10 to 15 percent, IBM said.

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