SGI Builds Out Big Data Capabilities

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-10-22 Print this article Print

To help enterprises get used to using HPC and Hadoop for big data efforts and to accelerate the adoption of the SGI compute cluster, the vendor has created a Hadoop sandbox that organizations can access online to try out the solution. The sandbox version, which is preconfigured with Red Hat's Enterprise Linux and Cloudera's Hadoop distribution, will be available by the end of the year.

On the storage side, SGI's ObjectStorage offering combines SGI's OEM of Scality's Ring peer-to-peer software and its own Modular InfiniteStorage Server hardware, creating an object-based scale-out storage offering for environments where petabytes of data are being handled. The ObjectStore system creates a shared pool of storage that can support millions of users, offers performance equal to block-based storage and includes the ability to add nodes at any time to increase capacity. The system delivers up to 2.8 petabytes per rack.

SGI officials also will make it easier to index and find infrequently access data that is stored on the company's infiniteStorage Gateway with LiveArc AE, an "appliance edition" of the LiveArc software that will be embedded in the gateway by the end of 2013. LiveArc AE will automatically index metadata and file content, enabling users to quickly search archives via text-free queries to find files, audit trails can keep track of version histories of data and data retention limits can be set, according to SGI officials.

The focus on big data is part of a larger plan by SGI officials to move away from its legacy cloud infrastructure business to focus more time and money on higher-margin efforts, such as HPC, big data and storage. The company announced Oct. 1 that it had bought FileTek, which offers solutions around big data storage virtualization, large-scale data management and archiving.

Titinger said in a conference call with analysts and journalists Oct. 10 that he is pleased with SGI's performance, but admitted that the three-week partial government shutdown could result in the company's revenues for the current fiscal year to fall by 10 percent. SGI has a wide range of government customers, including several military branches and the Department of Homeland Security.


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