Slidecast: Cray Rolls Out Urika-XA Advanced Analytics Platform

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urikaIn this slidecast, Ramesh Menon from Cray introduces the Urika-XA Advanced Analytics Platform.

The Cray Urika-XA system provides customers with the benefits of a turnkey analytics appliance combined with a flexible, open platform that can be modified for future analytics workloads. Designed for customers with mission-critical analytics challenges, the Cray Urika-XA system reduces the analytics footprint and total cost of ownership with a single-platform consolidating a wide range of analytics workloads. It also provides superior performance for latency-sensitive analytics with an architecture that is optimized for compute-heavy and memory-intensive workloads, with acceleration through SSDs, parallel file systems, fast interconnects and unique software in the Cray Adaptive Runtime for Hadoop. The Cray Urika-XA also eases the system management burden with a single point of support, a standards-based software stack and compliance with enterprise standards.

The massive explosion of data has created significant challenges for enterprise customers as they face critical decisions on how to extract value from all of that data and determine the ideal tool for the job,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. “The convergence of big data and high performance computing is creating a demand for an open analytics system built on a supercomputing architecture – a solution that allows customers to realize the benefits of advanced analytics techniques, better deal with data complexities, lower TCO and realize faster time-to-value results. With a pre-tested, pre-configured analytics system free from technology lock-in, the Cray Urika-XA is the right product for a growing set of customers who have analytics needs not met by existing solutions.”

The Cray Urika-XA system has been in beta testing for the past few months in both commercial and government customer environments. One of the first customers is the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Researchers and scientists at ORNL will use the system for data-analytic workloads in climate science, materials science and healthcare.


The Cray Urika-XA system features up to 48 compute nodes with integrated SSDs in a single 42U rack, including Intel Xeon processors, an InfiniBand interconnect, and a Cray Sonexion storage system. The software stack for the Urika-XA system includes Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, Cray Adaptive Runtime for Hadoop and the Urika-XA management system.

We are past the point in time where big data is only for the few willing and able to experiment, and quickly evolving to a period where organizations are trying to leverage technology and analysis of this big data across their many mission critical processes,” said Dan Vesset, program vice president, business analytics and big data, IDC. “The Cray solution not only combines supercomputing technologies and performance with the Hadoop and Spark ecosystems, it also allows companies to consolidate various analytics pipelines into one platform. It’s a compelling product that should draw the interest of companies in various vertical markets with advanced analytics needs.”

With the launch of the Cray Urika-XA system, Cray now has two big data analytics solutions in its product portfolio designed to work together or separately, depending on the workload. The YarcData Urika appliance for graph discovery has been renamed the Cray Urika-GDTM system. Cray now offers customers a big data solution for real-time discovery using graph analytics, and an advanced analytics solution supporting Hadoop, Spark and a wide range of analytic applications.

The Cray Urika-XA system will be generally available in December 2014.

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