Copper: Dell goes out ARMed

May 29, 2012

We’ve been watching the ARM market develop over the past few years as these highly efficient chips that have been driving tablets and cell phones have been finding their way more and more into hyperscale servers.   Well watch no more, today were are sallying forth.  Why now?  Because some of our biggest customers have told us that they felt the time is now to start working with these low powered, highly efficient chips for their servers.

HW + SW = Solution

Today we announced that we will be shipping the new Dell “Copper” ARM servers via a seed unit program to select hyperscale customers worldwide.  But a server does not an ecosystem make so we are doing what we can to help partners and developers get started building out applications for the platform.  Given that two of the key areas where the extreme efficiencies of ARM play particularly well are Web front-ends and Hadoop environments, we have “ARMed” key partners like Canonical and Cloudera with units.

Early days

At this point it is still early days in the world of ARM servers so we designed Copper specifically for developers and customers to create code and test performance, not for production.  To help developers get started we have struck a partnership between the Dell Solutions Centers and Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to provide devs with remotely accessible clusters to develop and collaborate on.  And speaking of developers,  Dells own devs are working to deliver an ARM-based version of our open source infrastructure management software, Crowbar.

Speeds and Feeds

And in case your wondering about the specs of the hardware:

  • Dell Copper servers are a shared infrastructure design, which allows easy deployment and reconfiguration of the sleds.
  • Each ARM server node draws about 15 watts max power, so the total power draw for a full chassis is less than 750 watts.
  • The server nodes discover themselves and interconnect when deployed, so workloads can easily run across the entire 48 nodes.
  • And it’s still powerful, with four ARM server nodes per sled, and 12 total sleds, bringing a total of 48 server nodes to a single 3U C5000 chassis.

Stay tuned for more…

Extra-credit reading

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Hadoop World: Cloudera CEO reflects on this year’s event

November 9, 2011

A few hours ago the third annual Hadoop World conference wrapped up here in New York city.  It has been a packed couple of days with keynotes, sessions and exhibits from all sorts of folks within the greater big data ecosystem.

I caught up with master of ceremonies and Cloudera CEO Mike Olson to get his thoughts on the event and predictions for next year.

Some of the ground Mike covers:

  • How this year’s event compares to the first two and how its grown (it ain’t Mikey Rooney anymore)
  • (2:06) Key trends and customers at the event
  • (4:02) Mike’s thoughts on the Dell/Cloudera partnership
  • (5:35) Looking forward to Hadoop world 2012 and where to go next

Stay tuned

If you’re interested in seeing more interviews from Hadoop World 2011 be sure to check back.  I have eight other vlogs that I will be posting in the upcoming days with folks from Mongo DB, O’Reilly Media, Facebook, Couchbase, Karmasphere, Splunk, Ubuntu and Battery Ventures.

Extra-credit reading:

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Now available: Dell | Cloudera solution for Apache Hadoop

September 12, 2011

A few weeks ago we announced that Dell, with a little help from Cloudera, was delivering a complete Apache Hadoop solution.  Well as of last week its now officially available!

As a refresher:

The solution is comprised of Cloudera’s distribution of Hadoop, running on optimized Dell PowerEdge C2100 servers with Dell PowerConnect 6248 switch, delivered with joint service and support from both companies.  You can buy it either pre-integrated and good-to-go or you can take the DIY route and set up yourself with the help of

Learn more at the Dell | Cloudera page.

Extra-credit reading

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Introducing the Dell | Cloudera solution for Apache Hadoop — Harnessing the power of big data

August 4, 2011

Data continues to grow at an exponential rate and no place is this more obvious than in the Web space.  Not only is the amount exploding but so is the form data’s taking whether that’s transactional, documents, IT/OT, images, audio, text, video etc.   Additionally much of this new data is unstructured/ semi-structured which traditional relational databases were not built to deal with.

Enter Hadoop, an Apache open source project which, when combined with Map Reduce allows the analysis of entire data sets, rather than sample sizes, of structured and unstructured data types.  Hadoop lets you chomp thru mountains of data faster and get to insights that drive business advantage quicker.   It can provide near “real-time” data analytics for click-stream data, location data, logs, rich data, marketing analytics, image processing, social media association, text processing etc.  More specifically, Hadoop is particularly suited for applications such as:

  • Search Quality — search attempts vs. structured data analysis; pattern recognition
  • Recommendation engine — batch processing; filtering and prediction (ie use information to predict what similar users like)
  • Ad-targeting – batch processing; linear scalability
  • Thread analysis for spam fighting and detecting click fraud —  batch processing of huge datasets; pattern recognition
  • Data “sandbox” – “dump” all data in Hadoop; batch processing (ie analysis, filtering, aggregations etc); pattern recognition

The Dell | Cloudera solution

Although Hadoop is a very powerful tool, it can be a bit daunting to implement and use.  This fact wasn’t lost on the founders of Cloudera who set up the company to make Hadoop easier to used by packaging it and offering support.   Dell has joined with this Hadoop pioneer to provide the industry’s first complete Hadoop Solution (aptly named “the Dell | Cloudera solution for Apache Hadoop”).

The solution is comprised of Cloudera’s distribution of Hadoop, running on optimized Dell PowerEdge C2100 servers with Dell PowerConnect 6248 switch, delivered with joint service and support. Dell offers two flavors of this big data solution: Cloudera’s distribution with the free download of Hadoop software, and Cloudera’s enterprise version of Hadoop that comes with a charge.

It comes with its own “crowbar” and DIY option

The Dell | Cloudera solution for Apache Hadoop also comes with Crowbar, the recently open-sourced Dell-developed software, which provides the necessary tools and automation to manage the complete lifecycle of Hadoop environments.  Crowbar manages the Hadoop deployment from the initial server boot to the configuration of the main Hadoop components allowing users to complete bare metal deployment of multi-node Hadoop environments in a matter of hours, as opposed to days. Once the initial deployment is complete, Crowbar can be used to maintain, expand, and architect a complete data analytics solution, including BIOS configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering, and alerting.

The solution also comes with a reference architecture and deployment guide, so you can assemble it yourself, or Dell can build and deploy the solution for you, including rack and stack, delivery and implementation.

Some of the coverage (added Aug 12)

Extra-credit reading


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Hadoop Summit: Chatting with Cloudera’s VP of Product

July 11, 2011

The next in my series of videos from the Hadoop Summit features Cloudera‘s Vice President of product, Charles Zedlewski.  If you’re not familiar with Cloudera you can think of them as the Red Hat of Hadoop world.

I sat down with Charles to learn more about Cloudera, what they do and where they came from.

Some of the ground Charles covers:

  • Cloudera’s founding, what its original goals and vision were and where its founders came from.
  • (1:35) What Cloudera does for customers 1) packages Hadoop and 2) helps them run it in production environments.
  • (3:27)  What channels Cloudera leverages and where they play in the ecosystem
  • (4:11)  Charles’ thoughts on the Yahoo spin-out Hortonworks and how it might affect Cloudera.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

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