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HP Builds New Servers for Big Data

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted November 15, 2012


HP today is announcing a new ProLiant server family that has been specifically engineered for Big Data needs.

The HP ProLiant SL4500 server platform can provide up to 240 Terabytes of Big Data capacity in a 4.3 U server chassis. The system can be scaled up to a nine-chassis configuration that delivers up to 2.16 Petabytes of capacity. Each chassis has 12 DIMM slots that can provide 192 GB of node memory.

The SL4540 can be configured with core 2.4 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2400 processors, while the SL4545 can be configured with AMD Opteron 4200 series 8 core 3.3 GHz processors.

Jim Ganthier, VP, Marketing and Operations, Industry Standard Servers and Software at HP, explained to ServerWatch that the new SL4500 series was designed from the ground up for the density and scale that Big Data requires.

Part of the density that the SL4500 is able to achieve is due to the HP Smart Array technology.

"HP doesn't just buy off-the-shelf components, we have engineers that design our own storage sub-systems," Ganthier said.

Smart Array includes HP's Smart Analytics, which provide algorithms that monitor data traffic looking for patterns. With those patterns the system is able to optimize the system to increase performance. The system also leverages HP's predictive rebuild technology.

hp sl4500 Ganthier explained that an HP ProLiant system knows what is going on between the CPU and storage traffic. If there is any degradation, the predictive rebuild technology can direct storage traffic to the best location before drives go down.

AppSystem

While the new SL5400 is a server system built for Big Data, out of the box, it is not yet what HP refers to as an AppSystem. The HP AppSystem approach includes pre-configured and packaged hardware as well as software for specific application needs. HP currently has AppSystems available for Data Warehouse, Vertica Analytics and Microsoft Lync.

"We will be offering AppSystems in the future," Daniel Bounds, Director, Product Marketing, Hyperscale Business Group at HP, told ServerWatch.

Bounds added that the AppSystem is something that is pre-built, tested and verified by HP and application partners. What HP wanted to do first was to give customers the choice of their own  Big Data vendor, whether its Cloudera, Hortonworks or someone else.

"For now we're announcing the platform," Bounds said. "But watch this space, you'll be seeing a lot of AppSystems utilizing this platform in the future."

HP is not alone in coming to market with a purpose-built platform for Big Data. Earlier this year, Oracle released its Big Data machine, a solution that includes Cloudera Hadoop software.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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