Dell Storage Tackles Big Data Analytics

By Pedro Hernandez

Dell sees an opportunity in storage for Big Data analytics. So the company is pulling together its DX Object Storage Platform and RainStor's database for a Big Data Retention bundle offering.

The aim is to simplifying management, lower costs and drive business intelligence value from Big Data analytics setups, said Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager of Dell Enterprise Storage. "Being able to cost effectively capture and store all of the relevant data makes it possible to gain insights that support innovation and business value," said Thomas in a statement.

In a nod to Dell's "fluid data" architecture, Thomas highlights storage management's role in keeping Big Data under control. "The key is having the right data management solution to fluidly move data, tier it, dedupe it, protect it and archive it," he stated.

Dell's answer is Big Data Retention, an offering that integrates with existing analytics platforms. It can act as a front-end Big Data repository, a back-end archive, a stand-alone repository or a Hadoop analytics platform.

On the hardware front, Dell DX Object Storage systems provide a metadata-driven storage platform. Lacking the traditional block and file storage hurdles like LUN and RAID group management, DX Object Storage allows IT shops to quickly add capacity in variable amounts -- as small as 2 TB -- and scale "up to petabytes and to billions of objects," according to the company.

Big Data management specialist RainStor lends its database tech to the effort. RainStor's platform uses compression to keep a lid on runaway storage growth. Earlier this year, the company unveiled its Big Data Analytics on Hadoop product, which leverages its compression technology to optimize capacity and provide in-line access to data kept in Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) environments.

For Big Data Retention, RainStor enables Dell's DX Object Storage systems to act as a single repository for "structured, semi-structured and unstructured data across an unlimited number of data sources, formats and types," said Dell. The result is a massive reduction in required disk space -– not to mention, lower storage costs.

In January, RainStor's vice president of marketing, Deirdre Mahon, told InfoStor, "We're usually 10x better than even columnar databases. Because of the compression, you don't need as many nodes as your data volumes grow, so you can get a major cost reduction."

According to Dell's estimates, the Big Data Retention offering can free up disk space by up to 97 percent. The solution delivers average data compression ratios of up to 40:1, said Dell.

Dell's Big Data retention solution is currently available in the United States.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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This article was originally published on July 23, 2012