Biometrics software and services firm Aware has launched a scalable cluster computing platform called Astra that the company says is optimized for performing large-scale identity-related security tasks, including biometric search and deduplication, biometric authentication, and identity analytics.Aware notes that because Astra distributes comparison operations and data across multiple computing nodes, it can perform rapid searches of very large biometric databases and execution of high volumes of biometric authentications.”Astra's algorithm independence extends Aware's modular software design approach to large-scale computing tasks within the biometrics realm and beyond,” said David Benini, VP of Marketing at Aware.”By leveraging open source infrastructure to achieve scalability, we help ensure that the platform is sufficiently reliable and well-supported to withstand the demands of consumer-oriented security applications as they grow.”Although Astra is designed to be algorithm-independent, it can also work with other Aware products, including Nexafingerprint, face, or iris biometric search and match SDKs, Inquire text search and analytics SDKs, and Biometric Services Platform, says the firm.Aware will be providing more information about Astra and other software products in its booth at the connect:ID 2015 event taking place March 23-25 in Washington, DC.