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October 17, 2014

Cray adds latest supercomputer for HPC analytics

Open analytics built on supercomputing architecture.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Supercomputer vendor Cray added a second machine to its server lineup for high performance computing (HPC) analytics workloads.

The Urika-XA platform, scheduled to ship in December, integrates with Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark frameworks.

The Intel server includes up to 36TB of memory, 38TB of solid-state disk storage, 1,500 Xeon processor cores, InfiniBand interconnects and Cray’s own Sonexion storage system.

"The convergence of big data and high performance computing is creating a demand for an open analytics system built on a supercomputing architecture – a solution that allows customers to realise the benefits of advanced analytics techniques, better deal with data complexities, lower TCO and realise faster time-to-value results," said Cray‘s CEO Peter Ungaro.

"With a pre-tested, pre-configured analytics system free from technology lock-in, the Cray Urika-XA is the right product for a growing set of customers who have analytics needs not met by existing solutions."

Dan Vesset, VP of business analytics and big data at IDC, added: "The Cray solution not only combines supercomputing technologies and performance with the Hadoop and Spark ecosystems, it also allows companies to consolidate various analytics pipelines into one platform. It’s a compelling product that should draw the interest of companies in various vertical markets with advanced analytics needs."

One of the listed customers is the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), which are using the system to develop applications in climate science, materials science and healthcare.

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"Our researchers are enthusiastic about the opportunities that the Cray Urika-XA system presents in tackling some of our more demanding data-intensive challenges such as those in materials science," said Galen Shipman, data systems architect and director at ORNL.

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