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SGI and Extreme Networks partner on big data and Hadoop solutions

Extreme Networks has won a contract with SGI, a high performance computing (HPC) and big data storage vendor, to be their networking partner supplying switching, routers and support services in order to drive SGI’s Hadoop solutions.

Hadoop is a free, open source Java-based programming framework, overseen by the Apache Foundation, which supports the processing of large data sets in a distributed computing environment. It increases resiliency, data speeds, and is a key enabler of technology vendor’s big data analytical solutions in the search, advertising and unstructured data arena.

Under the new agreement, SGI will use Extreme Networks’ Summit X670 fixed Ethernet switches, with 10/40GbE capabilities, as part of its SGI node Clusters for Hadoop. The integrated solution is designed to help customers harness valuable ‘big data’ information and rapidly improve the speed at which data can be analysed.

Through the partnership, SGI expects its various customers, ranging from research and educational establishments to government and financial industries, to be empowered to handle and maintain the massive amounts of data they process. Hadoop will enable its customers to generate reports that incorporate billions of stored data within one night, versus the weeks that conventional databases take - this is the power of Hadoop and its distributed computing model. The new arrangement will also simplify the management of files, images, sound and video, opening the possibility for quick data retrieval when the information is most needed.

News Analysis: Big Data and Hadoop
Big data delivers knowledge capital and bottomline benefits to enterprises, re-shaping the way customer information is analysed and consumed. It can allow banks to understand customer sentiment by mining unstructured social media data and potentially improve customer targeting and service. With the recent launch of data-centric and compute solutions under the Hadoop 2.0 update, the big data industry is expected to reach $24bn by 2016, according to research firm IDC’s ‘Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2012–2016 Forecast’.

The information available in unstructured data resources has long been known, but getting at it has always been the problem until the development in recent years of Hadoop and ‘big data’ analytical techniques and services. It is this on-going revolution that SGI, and Extreme Networks as its networking solutions partner, are responding to in the expectation of more and more business coming their way.

According to Bill Mannel, general manager of compute power for SGI: “As businesses continue to tackle the big data phenomenon, they face the challenge of how to unlock value at greater speed, scale and efficiency. This is why we are applying the expertise we learned in designing and building the world’s fastest high-performance supercomputers to our Big Data Analytics solutions, [potentially] allowing customers to increase return on investment (ROI) on their big data investments as they scale.”

Backing up the big data trend and the need to accommodate it, Steve Conway, IDC Research vice president for high performance computing and data analysis, commented that, “the combined SGI and Extreme Networks [Ethernet] solution is designed to alleviate bottlenecks in traditional networks and facilitate better and faster decisions for business users.” It is this reliable, low latency performance that customer are after in order to turn big datasets into actionable insights.

By Neil Ainger