Summary:

Known for its supercomputing storage capabilities, DataDirect Networks is introducing a box for running Hadoop jobs, and a company executive sees the Hadoop hardware trend continuing.

DDN Hadoop appliance_ hScaler hi res 2.25.13
photo: DataDirect Networks

DataDirect Networks, a hardware vendor with roots in providing storage for high-performance computing, is introducing a Hadoop appliance for enterprises, adding another notch to the trend of going with hardware for big data deployments.

DataDirect built hScaler to meet the speed and performance needs of those customers while offering ease of use for enterprise customers keen on Hadoop. Speed aside, hScaler stands out because it does away with direct-attached storage and incorporates RAID architecture instead. It lets users scale computing and storage resources independent of one another, precluding the chore of swapping out a server when a disk fails, as my colleague Derrick Harris has written.

The hScaler appliance, which runs with the Hortonworks Data Platform, can move fast with InfiniBand storage capable of operating at 40 gigabytes per second. In a sample configuration, 504 terabytes of storage are possible in a rack. The rack is four times as dense as a conventional data center rack, requiring less spending for cooling and square footage.

Because they aim to speed up and simplify Hadoop deployments, appliances such as hScaler are catching on, and DataDirect Chief Technology Officer Jean-Luc Chatelain expects the trend to continue. Greenplum, Oracle, Teradata and other companies sell appliances capable of running Hadoop jobs. For the sake of taking advantage of easy and quick data analytics processing, Chatelain sees the Hadoop hardware trend only getting bigger.

Appliances could be useful for enterprises looking to run Hadoop jobs, as employees can save time and focus more on building applications. Big data veterans will talk about innovative uses of Hadoop and other big data technologies at the GigaOM Structure:Data conference on March 20-21 in New York.

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