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Big Data, Meet the New Cray Supercomputer

Cray announces a new solution that blends features of its product lines into a single platform for data analytics.

Big data needs a lot of processing power, and Cray Inc. believes it has just what it takes.  Its latest supercomputer solution, announced today, can accommodate up to 1,728 Xeon processor cores, 35 TB of SSD storage, and 22 TB of memory.  It also includes an analytics framework and open source software optimized for big data workloads.

The company says its hardware, the Urika-GX, is "the first agile analytics platform” that combines supercomputing technologies with an “open, enterprise-ready software framework for big data analytics."

Included with the Urika-GX are pre-integrated software such as the Hortonworks Data Platform (which includes Hadoop and Apache Spark), the Cray Graph Engine (to help solve large and complex graph analytics problems), OpenStack (for management), and Apache Mesos for dynamic configuration.

The company claims its Cray Graph Engine, which it says is designed for fast, complex iterative discovery, typically outperforms other graph solutions by 10 to 100x. "The Cray Graph Engine can run in conjunction with open analytics tools such as Hadoop and Spark, enabling customers to build complete end-to-end analytics workflows and avoid unnecessary data movement," according to the company’s press release.  

As data professionals know, scalability is important to handling big data workloads.  Cray says its new supercomputer can scale from one to thousands of processors without degrading performance and can handle multiterabyte datasets with billions of objects.

Peter Ungaro, Cray’s president and CEO, noted "Customers have asked us to blend the unique features of our product lines into a single platform for data analytics. We took the Aries system interconnect from our supercomputers, the industry-standard architecture of our clusters, the scalable graph engine from the Urika-GD appliance, and the pre-integrated, open infrastructure of our Urika-XA system and combined them into one agile analytics platform. The Urika-GX gives our customers the tool they need to overcome their most advanced analytics challenges today, and the platform to bridge to tomorrow."

Availability will come later this year (likely in the third quarter) in three initial enterprise-accessible configurations: 16, 32, or 48 nodes on an industry-standard 42U, 19-inch rack.  Larger configurations are expected to follow this year.  More information is available at

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