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March 7, 2012

SGI Claims Performance Boost for Big Data

Datanami Staff

As we’ve noted with increasing velocity over the last few months, the high performance computing community is flocking to the big data camp with re-tailored (and sometimes just renamed) products aimed at serving the needs of data-intensive enterprise computing.

Cray was the most recent big supercomputing company to produce a big data hardware announcement worth a turn of the head—and today SGI is furthering its breakout from “just HPC” with processor enhancements they claim should appeal those with big data processing needs.

Still in the wake of their announcement of ready-made Hadoop clusters, today SGI introduced an across-the-board integration of the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family into all of its major HPC server and storage platforms, pointing out how this extends beyond its traditional foothold in technical computing to suit the needs of business intelligence and general “big data” enterprise needs. ;

SGI says their Rackable line will leverage the new processor integration to drive what they claim can be, in some cases, “up to 2X and beyond the performance of the previous generation for high-performance computing (HPC) workloads.” HPC workloads aside, Rajeeb Hazra who manages the technical group at Intel says that this composes data-intensive powerhouse.

SGI claims to have already pushed out the first power-optimized Hadoop cluster within the technical computing market. Now they say that the addition of the new processor family will allow for  ;higher levels of CPU core count density and I/O slot density than previous generation of Rackable servers with the integration of the PCI-E generation 3.0 controller into the socket.

Built entirely on industry-standard hardware and software components, SGI ICE X is the latest generation of the world’s fastest distributed memory platform, and is being adopted by many companies due to its superior performance, standards-based operation, and ease of use. With the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family, ICE X delivers up to 2,304 processor cores — over 22 teraflops of compute power — per rack, easily scaling from 36 to tens of thousands of nodes to address the world’s most challenging compute problems.

According to the company’s president of product marketing, Bill Mannel, the Rackable line, and most notably the ICE X HPC line, will form the perfect workhorse for Hadoop needs as well as for its typical HPC customers.

The company also points to its Modular InfiniteStorage platform—an integrated server and storage system—as ideally suited for data-intensive workloads. According to SGI this will get a performance boost from the Xeon side via each of the two compute engines in the SGI MIS Server product line, which provide dual socket capabilities.  ;

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