DDN to Acquire Nexenta, Citing ‘Holy Trinity’ of AI-5G-IoT

By Doug Black

May 6, 2019

In the scramble for the emerging 5G-“compute everywhere” world to come, high performance storage heavyweight DataDirect Networks (DDN) has added to its recent acquisition of virtualized all-flash storage management vendor Tintri with this morning’s announced acquisition of  software-defined storage (SDS) company Nexenta.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

While DDN originally targeted the traditional HPC world and maintains a strong presence in the Top500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, over the past five years the company has increasingly sold into commercial markets. The Nexenta acquisition is another step in that direction, broadening the company’s market reach into the enterprise, AI/machine learning space. It’s also another indicator that enterprise data centers are taking on the characteristics of HPC systems that require high performance networking and, in DDN’s focus area, storage management fabrics (see “Exponential: Today and Tomorrow’s Expansive AI-Big Data-HPC Landscape” for a [mostly] good-natured discussion of the originator of this observation).

“DDN has made its mark in demanding markets where high performance and capacity scalability are extremely important, such as HPC, life sciences, media & entertainment and more recently in the artificial intelligence and machine learning space,” Henry Baltazar, research VP, infrastructure, at 451 Research, told us. “The addition of Nexenta pushes DDN into the enterprise and midrange storage markets, and it also gives DDN a stronger and more complete storage portfolio, which will make it more competitive in emerging markets, such as cloud storage, persistent storage for containers, and the AI/ML space.”

As of a year ago, Baltazar said, DDN had 50 customers using its gear in AI and ML for applications including natural language processing, image analysis, autonomous driving and quality control. The new division, to be called Nexenta by DDN, adds enterprise-class scale-up and scale-out software capabilities for, in DDN’s words, “hardware-, protocol-, stack/platform-, cloud- and app-agnostic deployments” along with Nexenta’s 3,000 enterprise, telco and service provider customers, 300 partners, 50 patents and nearly 2,000 petabytes of storage capacity.

In an interview last week, James Coomer, DDN VP of products, said the combination of the three companies’ technologies put DDN “in an excellent position to build a set of services, a set of products, a wider DataDirect Networks group of companies, to serve those AI, IoT and 5g markets.”

“We’ve been focusing a lot on the AI markets,” he said, “Tintri brought us our first steps into the enterprise and they’re having an extremely strong enterprise product in that virtualized space…. With Nexenta, we add a third pillar…. Nexenta has purely software defined services and they provide the whole range of data services that are complementary to what DDN has – so they have enterprise class NAS, NFS, SMB, provide S3 and they have block services for their products, in a pretty software-defined way…. In the next couple years, we’ll start to see the emergence of 5G and on the tail of 5G is going to be the realization of the IoT market, and that all falls back into AI – because AI is going to be a vital component in realizing the value of IT in delivering those high value services for all those consumers out there.”

While DDN is aimed at delivering high performance storage at companies “trying to address their most extreme data challenges in AI and HPC,” Coomer said, Nexenta SDS “gives us robust enterprise-class data services for telco and enterprise, so really, the overlap is very small and the complementarity is very large.”

In turn, Coomer sees AI, IoT and 5G also complementing each other – with the need for solutions that support all three.

“In order for IoT to be realized by all the myriad of companies that can provide IoT services,” he said, “they need real time streaming analytics… (and they have a) need for AI to be embedded into that ecosystem. So that sort of holy trinity of AI, IoT and 5G is really what we think we’ve got going for us moving forward: the AI heritage from DDN emerging out of our HPC heritage, and IoT and 5G is Nexenta’s stronghold and strong base.”

In the same pre-announcement interview, Nexenta CEO Tarkan Maner cited Nexenta customers Ericsson, Nokia and other telcos.

“We support with our software-defined storage capabilities very large-scale 5G deployments,” he said, “supporting network virtualized functionality through the infrastructures, delivering very large-scale IoT applications for telcos in multiple companies. Out of 700 operators worldwide, we are almost in 100 of them, moving them to 5G.

“The last 12 months has been a big PoC year,” Maner said, “now this year in 2019, those are moving to big deployments – we are expecting hundreds of terabytes of deployments per telco, globally. So in each country, these telcos are replacing large-scale cloud, so to speak, partnering…with AWS, Google and all the other cloud service providers, creating huge opportunities in the market – and Nexenta opens up those opportunities. Obviously, we do not have large-scale AI/HPC capabilities, that’s where DDN comes in. So (the acquisition) creates a lot of cross-pollination and great opportunities for both companies.”

Coomer and Maner said Nexenta will initially remain a stand-alone business, “but at the end of the day our goal is to create cross-pollination opportunities as we move forward, geographically, vertically, and from a solutions perspective,” Maner said.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

When in Rome: AMD Announces New Epyc CPU for HPC, Server and Cloud Wins

September 18, 2019

Where else but Rome could AMD hold the official Europe launch party for its second generation of Epyc microprocessors, codenamed Rome. Today, AMD did just that announcing key server wins, important cloud provider wins Read more…

By John Russell

Dell’s AMD-Powered Server Line Targets High-End Jobs

September 17, 2019

Dell Technologies rolled out five new servers this week based on AMD’s latest Epyc processor that are geared toward data-driven workloads running on increasingly popular multi-cloud platforms as well as in the HPC data Read more…

By George Leopold

Cerebras to Supply DOE with Wafer-Scale AI Supercomputing Technology

September 17, 2019

Cerebras Systems, which debuted its wafer-scale AI silicon at Hot Chips last month, has entered into a multi-year partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as part of a larger collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Solution Channel

A Guide to Discovering the Best AWS Instances and Configurations for Your HPC Workload

The flexibility and heterogeneity of HPC cloud services provide a welcome contrast to the constraints of on-premises HPC. Every HPC configuration is potentially accessible to any given workload in a well-resourced cloud HPC deployment, with vast scalability to spin up as much compute as that workload demands in any given moment. Read more…

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Intel FPGAs: More Than Just an Accelerator Card

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) acceleration cards are not new, as they’ve been commercially available since 1984. Typically, the emphasis around FPGAs has centered on the fact that they’re programmable accelerators, and that they can truly offer workload specific hardware acceleration solutions without requiring custom silicon. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Rumors of My Death Are Still Exaggerated: The Mainframe

[Connect with Spectrum users and learn new skills in the IBM Spectrum LSF User Community.]

As of 2017, 92 of the world’s top 100 banks used mainframes. Read more…

Better Scientific Software: Turn Your Passion into Cash

September 13, 2019

Do you know your way around scientific software and programming? You think you can contribute to the community by making scientific software better? If so, then the Better Scientific Software (BSSW) organization wants yo Read more…

By Dan Olds

When in Rome: AMD Announces New Epyc CPU for HPC, Server and Cloud Wins

September 18, 2019

Where else but Rome could AMD hold the official Europe launch party for its second generation of Epyc microprocessors, codenamed Rome. Today, AMD did just that Read more…

By John Russell

Cerebras to Supply DOE with Wafer-Scale AI Supercomputing Technology

September 17, 2019

Cerebras Systems, which debuted its wafer-scale AI silicon at Hot Chips last month, has entered into a multi-year partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as part of a larger collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IDAS: ‘Automagic’ HPC With Training Wheels

September 12, 2019

High-performance computing (HPC) for research is notorious for having steep barriers to entry. For this reason, high-tech disciplines were early adopters, have Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

Univa Brings Cloud Automation to Slurm Users with Navops Launch 2.0

September 11, 2019

Univa, the company behind Grid Engine, announced today its HPC cloud-automation platform NavOps Launch will support the popular open-source workload scheduler Slurm. With the release of NavOps Launch 2.0, “Slurm users will have access to the same cloud automation capabilities... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

When Dense Matrix Representations Beat Sparse

September 9, 2019

In our world filled with unintended consequences, it turns out that saving memory space to help deal with GPU limitations, knowing it introduces performance pen Read more…

By James Reinders

Eyes on the Prize: TACC’s Frontera Quickly Ramps up Science Agenda

September 9, 2019

Announced a year ago and officially launched a week ago, the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Frontera – now the fastest academic supercomputer (~25 petefl Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Roundup: IBM Goes to School, Delft Tackles Networking, Rigetti Updates

September 5, 2019

IBM today announced a new open source quantum ‘textbook’, a series of quantum education videos, and plans to expand its nascent quantum hackathon program. L Read more…

By John Russell

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Qualcomm Invests in RISC-V Startup SiFive

June 7, 2019

Investors are zeroing in on the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture and the processor intellectual property being developed by a batch of high-flying chip startups. Last fall, Esperanto Technologies announced a $58 million funding round. Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel Confirms Retreat on Omni-Path

August 1, 2019

Intel Corp.’s plans to make a big splash in the network fabric market for linking HPC and other workloads has apparently belly-flopped. The chipmaker confirmed to us the outlines of an earlier report by the website CRN that it has jettisoned plans for a second-generation version of its Omni-Path interconnect... Read more…

By Staff report

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This