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HPE Welcomes The Machine to the World of Big Data

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted May 16, 2017


HPE has been talking about its next-generation server project called "The Machine" for years with little tangible hardware to show off - but that changed today. HPE now has a prototype of The Machine, which HPE hopes will herald in a new era of Memory-Driven Computing.

"We believe Memory-Driven Computing is the solution to move the technology industry forward in a way that can enable advancements across all HPE The Machineaspects of society," Mark Potter, CTO at HPE and Director, Hewlett Packard Labs, said in a statement. "The architecture we have unveiled can be applied to every computing category — from intelligent edge devices to supercomputers."

The Machine prototype has 160 terabytes (TB) of memory that can be accessed as a single system, though it's not actually one single physical box. Rather the 160 TB of memory is distributed across 40 physical system nodes that are connected with a high-performance fabric.

Impressive Ability to Scale

Perhaps even more impressive than the 160 TB of memory in The Machine prototype is the capacity of the system to scale. HPE predicts it can scale the system up to a staggering 4096 yottabytes. One yottabyte is defined as one septillion bytes of data.

"The secrets to the next great scientific breakthrough, industry-changing innovation, or life-altering technology hide in plain sight behind the mountains of data we create every day," Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said in a statement. "To realize this promise, we can’t rely on the technologies of the past; we need a computer built for the Big Data era."

The interconnect fabric makes use of photonic optical links including HPE's new X1 photonics module to achieve low latency and high throughput.

The Machine also makes use of Cavium's ThunderX2 ARMv8 system on a chip (SoC), with a Linux-based operating system running on top.

"Cavium shares HPE’s vision for Memory-Driven Computing and is proud to collaborate with HPE on The Machine program," Syed Ali, President & CEO of Cavium Inc, said in a statement. "HPE’s groundbreaking innovations in Memory-Driven Computing will enable a new compute paradigm for a variety of applications, including the next generation data center, cloud and high performance computing."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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