Element Middleware Cuts Multiprocessor Software Development Time in Half

9/19/2005 - Enea, the world leader in advanced device software, announced ElementTM, a new high-availability middleware solution for telecom, automotive, industrial control, and medical instrumentation applications. Element provides a scaleable out-of-the-box solution that makes it easy for OEMs to outsource their middleware development, cutting development time and cost in half for complex, distributed multiprocessor systems.

“The release of Element represents a fundamental shift in middleware development, from an inefficient, proprietary in-house model, to a cost-effective, commercial off-the-shelf model,” said Terry Pearson, vice president of product management for Element at Enea. “Element makes it easy for OEMs to outsource their HA middleware, slashing development time and cost, and freeing up precious engineering resources for more profitable value-added tasks such as application and service development.”

Element provides a set of services that sit between the operating system and applications. Element provides core services for synchronizing, instrumenting, monitoring, and establishing communications between applications spread across multiple operating systems and processors. It also provides network supervision, fault, shelf, and upgrade management services that make it easy to monitor, repair, configure/provision, and upgrade live systems as they operate in the field.

Element is the first HA middleware solution optimized for distributed embedded systems. Element provides an end-to-end solution that makes it easy for OEMs to combine Linux with real-time operating systems like Enea’s OSE™ in the same system. Element is also the first HA middleware equipped to run on DSPs and network processors as well as 32-bit CPUs. This flexibility greatly simplifies application development, enabling designers to use a common set of services with a single API to partition, distribute, and manage applications spread across multiple processors, blades, and operating systems. Element’s support for emerging standards such as SA Forum and ATCA also makes it easy to integrate with target hardware platforms and legacy applications.

Core distributed services and event logging
Element’s LINK communications subsystem provides the foundation for building complex distributed applications that span multiple devices and operating systems. LINK services make it easy for processes to discover other processes and services, communicate with those processes, advertise service availability, broadcast information to and share information with other processes (publish/subscribe), and monitor other processes for readiness. LINK communications are device and OS independent, providing transparency that enables systems to be scaled and reconfigured without changes to the application code.

LINK’s event logging and interactive inspection services increase visibility into system operation. Event logging enables application processes to log and report event and state information such as slot/service availability, diagnostics and critical network events such as alarm conditions. Developers and network operators can interactively obtain this information using standard Web browsers.

Fault management and in-service upgrades
Element’s HA Framework (HAF) delivers all the services required to build a true non-stop computing platform. The HAF provides full fault management, including monitoring, detection, recovery, and reporting, for every resource in the system. It also employs active heartbeat monitoring and reactive error detection schemes to ensure the health of key hardware and software components at the system, slot and application levels. The HAF also performs in-service upgrades for hardware and software components with minimal disruption to the operational state of the system.

Shelf management
Element provides a comprehensive suite of shelf management services for configuring and monitoring individual slots, blades and chassis. Element works with shelf management controllers to detect and configure blades, track revision numbers, and monitor key blade-level parameters like temperature, voltage and fan speed. Element also supports hot swap, which enables individual blades to be inserted and removed from a live chassis.

Provisioning and SNMP monitoring
Element’s provisioning services make it easy for developers to configure the system for network operation and provision subscriber services in a reliable, deterministic fashion. Enea’s Polyhedra relational database management system provides transactional, real-time, fault-tolerant storage for provisioning data, and arbitrates access among multiple users. Element’s SNMP-based network monitoring services make it easy to gather and inspect statistical data. This data can be utilized on-line for network troubleshooting and optimization, or archived off line for network planning, accounting (subscriber billing), and other purposes.

Element is immediately available for Enea’s memory-protected OSE real-time operating system. Element for Linux is currently undergoing beta trials with selected customers and will be generally available in Q1 2006. Pricing ranges from $75,000 to $600,000, depending on the base configuration.

About Enea
Enea is the leading supplier of real-time operating systems, middleware, development tools, database technology and services for high-availability distributed multiprocessing applications such as telecommunications infrastructure, mobile devices, medical instrumentation, and automobile control/infotainment. Enea’s flagship operating system, OSE, is deployed in 50 percent of the world’s new mobile phones and base stations.

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