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HPC Roundup: Data Direct Networks, Virident, Intel, Ciena

Data Direct Networks introduces Big Data appliances, Virident introduces high performance Flash memory, Intel (INTC) and Ciena (CIEN) plan to update HPC offerings at SC11.

Here’s our review of some of this week’s news in the high performance computing industry:

Data Direct Networks introduces big data appliances.  Data Direct Networks (DDN) launched the SFA 12K series of Big Data appliances, a suite of products designed to accelerate data-intensive applications and consolidate infrastructure to minimize total cost of data storage ownership for Big Data, high-performance computing (HPC), cloud and content-intensive environments.  Three new models of DDN's Storage Fusion Architecture accelerate application processing and enhance data center efficiency.  The SFA 12K-40, when combined with InfiniBand and Fibre Channel connectivity the new appliance will scale file storage systems to 1 Terabyte per second. The SFA 12K-20E features highly-optimized virtualization and x86 co-processing, and the SFA 12K-20 combines best-in-class storage performance with a cost-optimized system configuration to economically deliver over 20 Gigabytes per second and 700,000 Flash IOPS from a single system. “The exponential growth of Big Data is putting significant strain on IT infrastructures and challenging organizations’ ability to successfully ingest, store, process and distribute data,” said Alex Bouzari, CEO and cofounder, DataDirect Networks. “With the SFA12K series’ groundbreaking ability to virtualize applications and store and process within the same appliance, we are delivering ideal storage and compute infrastructure solutions for organizations worldwide.” InsideHPC interviews DDN's Jeff Denworth to introduce the SFA12K.  SFA12K systems will ship in the second quarter of 2012.

Virident launches high performance memory.  Virident Systems announced the release of Virident FlashMAX MLC, a PCIe storage class memory (SCM) solution that offers enterprises unconditional performance and the industry’s highest storage capacity at 1.4 TB in a low-profile form factor. With this addition to the company portfolio it is able to address the growing needs of enterprise for high performance, high capacity flash storage solutions in their data centers. "Flash storage performance varies by type of course, but it is also considerably affected by factors such as application workloads and data sets, and will invariably downgrade as the capacity of the disk gets used," said Mark Peters, senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group. "Virident’s FlashMAX SCM solution, integrated with vFAS software, has been specifically designed to eliminate these variations and deliver consistent performance over time - something that is critical in order for users to gain the maximum benefits from their investments in flash storage.” Virident also announced that it has closed a $21 million series C funding round with strategic investments from Intel Capital, Cisco and others, bringing total funding up to $37 million.

Intel plans for Sandy Bridge HPC boards. reports that next week at the SC11 conference Intel (INTC) plans to mark its re-entry into the high performance computer market with the introduction of new motherboards and chasses its system builder and integrator partners can use to develop HPC offerings. Intel's director of marketing for its Enterprise Platform and Services Division (EPSD) told that Intel will use SC11 to introduce a new series of half-width, dual-socket motherboards with high-performance throughput and large memory that take advantage of the company's release in the first half of 2012 of its new Romley architecture with Sandy Bridge processors.

Ciena 100G innovations at SC11.   Ciena (CIEN) announced the details of its advanced optical networking demonstrations at the upcoming SuperComputer Conference 2011 (SC11) in Seattle. Additionally, for the fourth year in a row Ciena will provide 100G optical infrastructure for SCinet, the high-performance network built for the SC11 conference. Ciena demonstrations can be found at Internet2 and ESnet (booth #1327 and #512), NASA/ICAIR (booth #615 and 2615), BCNET, CANARIE, Caltech, University of Victoria (booth #3445) and the University of Amsterdam (Ciena booth #635). Ciena executives will also be presenting at the conference.

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