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August 16, 2015

Top 5 Big Data hardware vendors

Crunching data with the top 5 Big Data hardware vendors.

By James Nunns

While cloud is seen as a great enabler to Big Data and analytics capabilities you often need some hardware to run your operations and crunch those numbers.

To help identify the best out there, CBR has compiled a list of the top five.

1. IBM

Big Blue has been in the game a long time and it’s no surprise that it offers some of the best hardware around.

Whether it is the Power servers or its z Systems, the company has plenty to offer to businesses that are looking to get to grips with their data.

Its Power 795 system for example offers 6 to 256 POWER7 processor cores with clock rates at a max 4.25 GHz along with system memory of 16TB and 1-32 I/O drawers.

This is designed particularly for high resiliency with critical information such as financial, customer data and enterprise resource data in mind.

The company’s PureSystems offer the elasticity of cloud combined with an appliance. With a PureData System a foundation node with 24 active cores and 24 on standy along with 256GB active memory with 256GB standy. In addition to this it offers 160TB of Flash storage.

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2. HP

HP, like IBM has been in the hardware game for a long time and knows what it’s doing.

With a number of options available, the company has also branched out into the supercomputer market. Which if you are aiming for top level capabilities could well be for you.

In October 2014 the company launched its Apollo 8000 and 6000 servers, with a 4000 and 2000 coming out earlier this year for the lower end.

In what would obviously be no small investment, the 8000 allows you to choose up to 144 x 2P HP ProLiant Servers per rack with accelerator PCIe and throughput options.

A ProLiant XL740f Gen9 Server would offer for example 2 Intel Xeon Phi 7120D Coprocessors per tray. With up to 72 servers, combined with up to 144 Coprocessors.

HP’s ConvergedSystem has options that are aimed at both SAP HANA and Microsoft. The 900 system for SAP HANA offers an HP ProLiant DL380p Gen8 Server, Integrity Superdome X with Intel® Xeon® E7-2890 v2 2.8GHz processors (2 CPU/15 cores per CPU) and 12 TB memory with 48 x 32 GB DIMMs per blade (8 blades).

3. EMC

Working with the likes of VCE, Pivotal and its other partners has given the company a wide range of products for companies to choose from.

The VCE VBlock and VxBlock systems are designed to deliver converged infrastructure with the latter offering flexibility with a number of different supported network virtualisation technologies, disks and other areas. You can pick and choose what you want.

The 740 vxBlock offers a choice of VMAX 100K/ 200K/ 400K to enable the right scale point and performance. Customers can scale-out performance with up to 512 Cisco blade servers and 5,760 EMC storage drives.

The company is aiming to acclerate the adoption of converged infrastructure and cloud based computing models as it believes they can reduce the cost of IT and improve time to market.

4. Cray

While the company may not have the top ranked supercomputer, its pedigree in the market is well known.

Designed for running some of the most demanding systems in the world, the company’s products allow users to store and analyse vast amounts of data.

Its Urika-XA Extreme Analytics Platform is open and pre integrated with Hadoop and Spark frameworks so your analytics aren’t locked-in.

In a dual rack you have access to 96 compute nodes and 192 processors which are supported by 3,072 cores and 12TB RAM and 412TB total storage.

Cray is the one company that doesn’t specifically offer a converged infrastructure product.

5. Oracle

If you look past the questionable sales tactics and CSO rants then what you have in Oracle is actually a very powerful and successful company that has plenty to offer.

The company’s Big Data Appliance offers a pre-integrated full rack configuration with 18 of its Sun x86 servers and 18 x compute/storage nodes.

Per node you will get 2 x 18-Core 2.3GHz Intel Xeon processors and 8 x 16GB DDR4 memory, which is expandable to a maximum 768GB per node.

The company has made it flexible so that it can workloads on Hadoop and NoSQL systems.

Oracle’s Exadata system aims to offer the best of both worls with software and hardware engineered together to provide high performance.

It offers two servers each with two x86 18-core processors and 256GB of memory that is expandable up to 768GB. The storage servers have 4 PCI Flash cards each with 1.6TB raw Exadata Smart Flash Cache.

These five are among some of the biggest hardware vendors in the market but there others are making significant bid data hardware plays, these include: Teradata, Cisco, Intel, Fujitsu, Dell, Lenovo.

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