10 Hadoop Hardware Leaders - InformationWeek

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Data Management // Hardware/Architectures
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4/24/2014
09:06 AM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
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10 Hadoop Hardware Leaders

Hadoop is known for running on "industry standard hardware," but just what does that mean? We break down popular options and a few interesting niche choices.
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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
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4/24/2014 | 1:03:34 PM
You're probably not looking at hardware if you're thinking cloud
I agree it would be interesting to look at cloud deployment options for Hadoop, but that belongs in a separate collection without the word "hardware" attached. Cloud capacity is undoubtedly the hands-down winner where price-for-performance and Hadoop are concerned. Few if any enterprises can buy, provision, and run at Amazon or even Rackspace or IBM SoftLayer economies of scale.

If you're looking at hardware, I'd submit it's not because you think you can achieve a lower TCO than renting virtual racks from AWS. You're choosing to deploy on premises because that's where your organization wants to keep its data (for security, regulatory or other reasons) and it has the people and data-center capacity to explore the opportunity. Maybe you experimented with Hadoop in the cloud, but now you're ready to build an on-premises cluster. This collection is for you.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
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4/24/2014 | 10:27:15 AM
X86 has a lock... for now
Talking to execs at Clouder and Hortonworks, it's pretty clear that Hadoop is 99.9% deployed on x86 today, with Intel providing the vast majority of the CPUs. Given those reports, it was interesting to read yesterday that IBM is planning to run Hadoop on its next-gen Power8 chips. That will no doubt require a few tweaks to the Hadoop software, which IBM can certianly do with its own BigInsights distribution, but I wonder if anybody will follow suit?

The whole idea with Hadoop is to rely on the software to gain power and redundancy by harnessing many low-cost servers. The entry price for a Power server quoted above is $7,500, whereas low-end X86 rack servers start at $2,500. Having many CPUs, not fewer, more powerful CPUs, is the design point of Hadoop software. I'm sure we'll see a good debate as IBM tries to give Hadoop a blue hue.
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