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Intel makes big data push with launch of Apache Hadoop distribution

26 Feb 2013
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Intel has revealed a major push into the big data analytics market, releasing its own version of the Hadoop database and partnering up with a number of analytics firms, including Pentaho and Teradata.

Open source Apache Hadoop is a collection of database software, including a distributed file system that can handle large amounts of unstructured data storage, unlike traditional relational databases, and MapReduce that processes the data. Different versions of such Hadoop databases are referred to as distributions.

The Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop will offer organisations performance boosts and improved security features on other Hadoop distributions, according to Intel.

Intel AES Instructions in the Xeon processor will provide the Intel Distribution with complete encryption. Intel said this would allow organisations to securely analyse their datasets using the Hadoop Distributed File System without compromising performance.

Meanwhile, Intel claimed the Xeon processor platform would lead to new levels of analytic performance in the Hadoop database.

The addition of the Intel Manager for Apache Hadoop software will also simplify the deployment, configuration and monitoring of new applications for system administrators.

Intel has also developed Active Tuner for Apache Hadoop software that will automatically configure the performance of each application.

Boyd Davis, vice president of the Intel Architecture Group, said Intel would not be trying to lock down customers with the release, keeping with the open source ethos of the Apache Software project.

In a webcast, Davis highlighted the work Intel has been doing to improve the performance of MapReduce and the security of the distributed file system.

"We have the most intimate knowledge of computation performance with our leadership in the Xeon processors, and we are the number one vendor in solid state discs. In combining these technologies we will produce the best results for the Hadoop cluster," he said.

"The solution will be sold with Intel support, services and technology collaborations."

Davis said support would either be offered to customers for 24 hours, seven days a week, or for eight hours, five days a week.

One ‘technology collaboration' Intel announced today was with analytics firm Pentaho.

Through an OEM licensing agreement, Intel will integrate the entire range of software applications in the Pentaho Business Analytics platform into the Intel Hadoop Distribution, including data mining, interactive reporting, analysis, data discovery, dashboards and predictive analytics.

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