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EMC launches Isilon NAS with Hadoop integration

EMC has updated its Isilon scale-out NAS appliance to provide integration with the HDFS protocol

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EMC has launched its latest Isilon Network Attached Storage (NAS) offering, introducing native support for the open source analytics platform Hadoop, based on Apache.

The company claims that uptake of Hadoop in the enterprise has been hindered, because early adopters have had to rely on makeshift storage infrastructures that are not optimised for Big Data exploration, inhibiting the shared data access needed for robust analysis.

The integration of Hadoop's Distributed File System (HDFS) protocol with EMC Isilon scale-out NAS “removes the integration complexities of disparate open source components and hardware”, meaning that customers can now take advantage of the benefits of Big Data analytics without having to deal with multiple vendors.

The integration also eliminates the single point of failure inherent with traditional open-source Apache Hadoop, the company said.

EMC plans to combine the new Isilon NAS offering with its own open source analytics system Greenplum HD, claiming that this will also help to reduce the complexities associated with Hadoop deployments.

“The integrated Isilon solution enables customers to plug Hadoop-derived insight directly into a structured data analytics workflow without moving the data,” said Luke Lonergan, chief technology officer of Greenplum.

“This improves collaboration and speeds data analytics for our customers, enabling them to uncover new insights quickly and efficiently to maintain their competitive edge.”

EMC claims that Isilon is the only NAS storage platform to integrate native HDFS as a protocol, providing access to enterprise data protection, storage and accelerated data movement over a wide array of industry standard protocols (NFS, CIFS, FTP, HTTP).

Although originally designed for aiding large search services, Hadoop is increasingly finding a home within enterprises, particularly where data sets are too large for traditional relational databases, or in cases where the organisation collects lots of data but doesn't know yet what analysis needs to be done on that data.

JPMorgan Chase uses the technology for fraud detection and risk management, and eBay is using the technology to build a new search engine for its auction service.

Despite being active for six years, Hadoop only reached version 1.0 at the end of 2011. However, the technology has already gained a lot of commercial support. Startups Cloudera, Yahoo-spinoff Hortonworks and MapR all offer commercial distributions of the software, IBM has incorporated Hadoop into its InfoSphere BigInsights data analysis package, and Microsoft has a copy of Hadoop running on its Windows Azure cloud service.

“Hadoop will be a game-changer in unstructured data analytics once enterprise customers are convinced that adoption can simplify their infrastructure and architecture without compromising data security or management capabilities,” said Sam Grocott, vice president of marketing at EMC Isilon.

“We’ve taken the guesswork out of Hadoop deployment by bringing together the strengths of Isilon’s enterprise scale-out NAS storage systems with the Hadoop ecosystem.”


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