IBM Spectrum Symphony

High-performance grid services for distributed computing and big-data analytics

Parallel Computing and Application Grid management solution: IBM Platform Symphony

IBM Platform Symphony software delivers powerful enterprise-class management for running a wide variety of distributed applications and big data analytics on a scalable, shared grid. It accelerates dozens of parallel applications, for faster results and better utilisation of all available resources.

The Challenge

Grid computing is not all the same

For many enterprises, grid computing is the ideal solution to handle jobs like analysing big data. And for grid-enabled applications, maximising performance and scale is the key. But some grid products impose architectural limitations, requiring a particular operating system or specific developer tools. With restrictive economic pressures, companies want better ways to improve IT performance, reduce infrastructure costs and expenses, and meet the demand for faster answers.

The Solution

Faster answers, fewer new costs

IBM® Platform™ Symphony software helps you control the massive compute power available in your current and future technical computing systems to address your most challenging and complex problems. You can achieve breakthrough results in business and research activities. You can address challenges in parallel application development and deployment, and in technical computing infrastructure management. Platform Symphony software can deliver faster, better quality results–even while using less infrastructure.

And, with the flexibility to adapt when priorities change, Platform Symphony can reallocate over 1,000 compute engines per second to different workloads depending on policies and priorities you define. This translates into better application performance, better utilisation and an ability to respond quickly to business-critical demands.

The Advanced Edition of Platform Symphony includes an Apache Hadoop-compatible MapReduce implementation optimised for low latency, reliability and resource sharing that has been demonstrated in an audited benchmark to deliver on average four times the performance of open source Hadoop.

For clients running diverse application workloads, Platform Symphony supports sophisticated multi-tenancy enabling different workloads to dynamically share resources according to policy. Whether you are running service-oriented jobs, batch jobs, MapReduce jobs or even multiple instances or versions of each, Platform Symphony allocates resources so that service levels are met while preserving security isolation between tenants. Depending on your needs or preferences, Platform Symphony can run on-premise, in the cloud utilising IBM Spectrum Computing Cloud Service, or as part of a hybrid deployment.

The Benefits

Fast service-oriented computing infrastructure

The Specifics

Flexibility and scalability are built in

Platform Symphony is most often used with programmatic (API-driven) workloads. Whereas a batch scheduler can schedule jobs in seconds or minutes, Platform Symphony can schedule tasks in milliseconds. Because of this difference, Platform Symphony can be described as supporting online or near-real-time requirements. Well documented APIs enable fast integration for applications written in C, C++, C#, .NET, Visual Basic, Java, Excel COM, R and various popular scripting languages.

Platform Symphony clients and services can be implemented on different operating environments, languages and frameworks. Clusters can also comprise nodes running multiple operating systems. Platform Symphony can manage many different types of hosts in the same cluster and control what application services run on each host.

Product Editions









Low Latency HPC SOA        
Agile Service & Task Scheduling        
Dynamic Resource Orchestration -      
Standard & Custom Reporting - -    
Desktop, Server & VM Harvesting - -    
Data Affinity - - -  
MultiCluster Management - - -  
Hadoop MapReduce   - -  
GridSync - - -  
MTS & Recursive Application Logic - - -  
Hosts / Cores 2 hosts 240 cores 5k hosts, 128k cores 5k hosts, 128k cores
Application Managers - 5 300 300
Application Service Controller - - -  
Desktop Harvesting (US) - -    
Server & VM Harvesting (US) - -    
GPU Harvesting (US) - -    
Co-Processor Harvesting (US) - -    
Platform Analytics (US) - -    
Elastic Storage - -    
Cloud Service - -    

Add On Products

  • - IBM Platform Analytics

    IBM Platform Analytics is an advanced analysis and visualisation tool for analysing massive amounts of IBM Platform LSF and IBM Platform Symphony workload data. It enables you to correlate job, resource and license data from multiple clusters for data-driven decision-making.

  • - IBM Platform Application Service Controller

    The Application Service Controller extends the IBM® Platform™ Symphony grid to provide a shared-service backbone for a broad portfolio of distributed software frameworks. By enabling a wide variety of applications to share resources and coexist on the same infrastructure, the Application Service Controller helps organisations reduce cost, simplify management, increase efficiency and improve performance.

  • - IBM Platform Co-processor Harvesting

    IBM Platform Co-processor Harvesting software for IBM Platform Symphony helps unleash the power of Intel® Phi® co-processors, enabling organisations to leverage these high-performance co-processors in distributed Platform Symphony applications and share co-processor resources more efficiently among applications, users and departments.

  • - IBM Spectrum Computing Cloud Service

    The IBM® Spectrum Computing™ Cloud Service running on IBM SoftLayer® infrastructure delivers a versatile, application-ready cluster in the cloud for organisations that need to quickly and economically add computing capacity to their Platform Symphony cluster.

  • - IBM Platform Desktop Harvesting Software

    IBM Platform Desktop Harvesting software for IBM Platform Symphony can harness idle cycles from desktops and add them to the grid. By automatically adapting resources to meet demands for compute and data intensive distributed applications, run times are reduced and service levels are improved, without additional capital spending.

  • - IBM Platform GPU Harvesting Software

    IBM Platform GPU Harvesting software for IBM Platform Symphony helps unleash the power of general-purpose GPUs by harvesting idle cycles. Automatically adapting resources to meet demands can reduce run times, improve service levels and help eliminate additional capital spending.

  • - IBM Platform Symphony Developer Edition

    IBM Platform Symphony Developer Edition, available for download at no charge, enables you to rapidly develop and test applications without the need for a production grid. Once applications are running in this edition, they can run at scale on a Platform Symphony grid.

  • - IBM Platform Symphony Server/VM Harvesting

    IBM Platform Symphony Server/VM Harvesting software can harness idle cycles from a variety of server and VM environments. By automatically adapting resources to meet demands, run times are reduced and service levels are improved, without additional capital spending.

    You need to preserve investments you've made in your server and virtualisation environments.

Complementary Products

  • - IBM InfoSphere BigInsights

    IBM InfoSphere BigInsights brings the power of Hadoop to the enterprise with a wide array of value added capabilities not available in competitive big data offerings. Platform Symphony helps accelerate heterogeneous workloads while bringing true multi-tenancy to IBM BigInsights environments.

  • - IBM Algorithmics

    IBM Algorithmics are a leading provider of enterprise market and credit risk management solutions for the Financial Services market place. Core analytic functions in IBM can be accelerated by IBM Platform Symphony to deliver better quality decisions faster and more cost effectively.

  • - Elastic Storage

    To get the best performance out of your IBM Platform Symphony and Big Data applications, or to transparently share file system data between clusters or data centres, Elastic Storage removes storage bottlenecks ensuring that resources are fully utilised and that applications run as quickly and reliably as possible.

  • - IBM Intelligent Cluster

    Intelligent Cluster leverages decades of IBM experience to reduce the complexity of deployment with pre-integrated, delivered, and fully-supported solutions that match best-in-industry components with optimised solution design.

  • - IBM Platform Process Manager

    Platform Process Manager simplifies the design and automation of complex processes, capturing and protecting repeatable best practices. Platform Process Manager can be used to automate workflows of IBM Platform Symphony and Platform LSF jobs on a shared grid infrastructure.

Contact us:

Technical support

ISC High performance. The HPC Event. July 12-16, 2015. Frankfurt, Germany