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Intel announces new Apache Hadoop platform for big data analysis

Intel on Tuesday made a big play to provide organisations with an open-source, hardware-accelerated, and secure foundation for big data analysis with the announcement of the global availability of Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software.

Hadoop - an open-source, scalable data storage and processing framework - has "emerged as the preferred platform for managing big data," according to Boyd Davis, Intel vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group's Datacenter Software Division. The chip giant's mature Hadoop offering is in its third-generation and includes Intel Manager for Apache Hadoop.

"We want to drive the framework to take advantage of the latest technology. The Hadoop framework has enormous potential. It can do a lot more if we harness the underlying technology," Davis said at a press conference.

"Ideally, Hadoop will be a foundational layer for an organisation that you can build a lot of applications on top of," he continued. "We're not looking to move up the stack, but we think we're a good bet for a lot of organisations to build on our horizontal implementation. We view ourselves as stewards and drivers of open source."

Davis stressed the potential for analysis of big data to "transform society" by enhancing scientific and medical understanding in seeking a cure for cancer, for example. But accelerating data processing, management, and analysis is only half of the Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop offering, he said. Intel has also built its proprietary encryption technology into the platform to provide enterprises and other large organisations with a secure product.

Cisco's vice president and general manager of computing systems, Paul Perez, joined Davis to say that his company sees the growth of big data management and analytics via implementations of frameworks like Hadoop-managed datacenter clusters as being crucial to the ongoing transition to the so-called "Internet of Things."

The Internet of Things describes a world where advanced networking and cloud-based data management combine with widespread placement of connected, sensor-equipped devices and appliances in homes, workplaces, and public spaces to more efficiently manage things like inventories, navigation, "connected homes," and information exchange, while also generating massively more useful, crunchable data in a "virtuous cycle" that improves all of our lives.

Intel will sell annual subscriptions to its Hadoop platform services with variable technical support packages through IT solution providers and managed service providers, Davis said.

Hadoop clusters managed by Intel partners will feature software technologies like Intel Data Center Manager, Lustre, Intel Cache Acceleration Software, and Intel Expressway Service Gateway, as well as the chip giant's Xeon- and Atom-based server products and the company's storage, memory, and networking hardware.