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back to article EMC denies big server biz plans ... but IS building servers

EMC has always maintained that it is not is in the server business, but now it is developing servers – albeit to go into its arrays and run application software inside VM containers. At EMC World in Las Vegas, the company once again strongly refuted suggestions that it was entering the general server business. In fact, it is …

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Holmes

Inevitable, really

Convergence of the datacenter stack is basically inevitable. Hardware is becoming commoditized, so that Cisco and EMC are basically building computers dedicated to a single purpose out of the same hardware and, in some cases, the same basic operating system. Since both companies already have expertise in building computers, why not expand that expertise into general-purpose computing and integrate the general-purpose product lines with the special-purpose ones, driving overall sales?

In theory, the customer could even benefit from this sort of arrangement, especially given the pain involved in configuring SAN connectivity--how much better would it be to have kit pre-configured and validated to work with your storage vendor's equipment? The next logical step is for Cisco to start making storage gear and EMC to start making storage switches.

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HDFS on Isilon

EMC announced some time ago that their Isilon clusters could provide native support for the Hadoop File System and in their presentation they showed the cluster replacing the name node of the Hadoop system but still using the hadoop compute nodes to do the compute but they would now be getting data off the cluster instead of from local disks. The idea being to remove the load times onto a Hadoop system and to reduce the capacity needed.

The big question though was why not simply replace all the compute nodes with the Isilon nodes too?

One has to think that building an Isilon based Hadoop cluster would be quite easy for EMC and assuming they could get the pricing right it could be a very interesting solution.

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Sounds like the acquisition of Isilon is already changing EMC thinking.

An Isilon node is a server. An Isilon "Accelerator Node" with no storage is a *nix box with access to coherent cache across all nodes & blazing fast disk via the Infiniband backend. I'd love to install my bioinformatics processing software directly on that box.

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