Platform Computing Grid-Enables Microsoft Excel

Platform Computing has Grid-enabled Microsoft Excel, allowing for speedy processing of complex Excel spreadsheets by the financial services industry.

The Adapter for Microsoft Excel is now a standard feature of Platform Symphony Suite, which accelerates online and batch operations for financial services applications. The new feature allows for supercharged processing of compute-intensive Microsoft Excel spreadsheets by distributing the calculations through Platform Symphony to any number of internal compute clusters, greatly decreasing calculation time.

Compute-intensive models such as those involved in exotics or derivatives trading have traditionally made program updating an expensive, time-consuming exercise, and reprogramming spreadsheets was not an option for analytics departments deploying hundreds of complex spreadsheets. Platform says that with its Adapter for Microsoft Excel, financial organizations can speed and increase the number of trades by accelerating spreadsheet processing via the Grid. The result is increased trading revenues, profits and lower business risk, Platform says.

Other benefits of Adapter for Excel include improved protection of intellectual property by controlling IP from a single centralized point; immediate program updates; and ease of deployment and set-up, Platform says.

“By allowing users to quickly Grid-enable Microsoft Excel applications without the need to write new code, Platform Computing continues to provide enterprises with business computing breakthroughs that demonstrate tangible benefits and instant ROI,” states Greg Rankich, Microsoft’s HPC solution manager. “We look forward to furthering our relationship as more business-critical applications like Excel move to Grid computing.”

For more information on the Adapter for Microsoft Excel and the Platform Symphony Suite, visit

Informatica Joins Global Grid Forum

Informatica has joined the standards-setting Global Grid Forum (GGF), a move that Informatica says strengthens its initiative to integrate Grid technology into its data integration and business intelligence solutions.

Informatica is incorporating elements of Grid computing in the newest release of its data integration platform, Informatica PowerCenter 7, which leverages server-Grid technology to optimize costs, increase availability and maximize performance for data integration across heterogeneous servers.

Glimmerglass and the University of Illinois at Chicago Develop LambdaGrid Applications

Glimmerglass, a supplier of transparent connectivity solutions, and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago say they have established a partnership to develop a new class of compute-intensive applications running on high-performance computers configured into Grids that are interconnected with fiber optic links.

Glimmerglass is providing a System 300E Layer 1 Fiber Switch configured with Photonic Multicasting to EVL, and the partners are collaborating on Grid-related application research, proofs of concept, technical publications, and presentations. The two will also demonstrate applications of transparent connectivity and Glimmerglass’ Photonic Multicasting technology at the SC 2003 conference in Phoenix next week.

The partnership is focused on the convergence of Grid middleware and lambda networks, leading to the creation of LambdaGrids. Lambdas are wavelengths of laser light used to send parallel streams of data over a single optical fiber. These links are the superhighways over which information between Grid computing nodes flows.

Glimmerglass says System 300E enables “streaming computing,” the streaming of information, whether high-resolution imagery or massive databases, among the elements of a LambdaGrid with little or no latency. Grid developers, such as EVL, will experiment with the Glimmerglass system to dynamically offload large data communications flows over optical networking test beds.

Using streaming computing, Glimmerglass and EVL will investigate the potential benefits of the System 300’s Photonic Multicasting, in which the Glimmerglass system replicates and transmits a lambda stream carrying data to multiple computing resources on the LambdaGrid network. Separate, correlated operations can be simultaneously performed on each lambda stream copy, such as a stereo rendering of image data. The Glimmerglass system can generate and transmit exact synchronized copies of any lambda stream without relying on higher layer protocols, such as TCP/IP or SONET.

As a first application, the partners will use streaming joins to improve distributed intrusion detection systems, which produce so much data that a centralized data warehouse is no longer practical for real-time intrusion detection.

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