Think Big in 2014
  The SGI Newsletter        December 2013  
Think Big in 2014
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Unlocking Big Value from Big Data

By: Bill Dunmire, Sr. Director Product Marketing

Today's enterprise is inundated in data. From Internet traffic, sensors, and credit card activity, to social media, video monitors and more, data is arriving in volume, with velocity, and of variety far greater than ever experienced. What has forward-looking businesses and government agencies focused on "Big Data" is the insight that can be derived through analytics. Marketing can better understand buying behavior to secure more customers. Manufacturing can better understand product performance to improve quality. Finance can better identify fraud to prevent loss. Physicians can utilize genetic profiles to treat patients more effectively. From competitive advantage and topline growth to saving lives, the potential gains surrounding Big Data are far reaching — but also present new challenges: how to derive value at greater speed, scale, and efficiency.

Designing an enterprise-class data analytics solution begins with enterprise-class infrastructure. The type of infrastructure that best meets the needs of the business generally depends, however, on two principle metrics: data relationships and time to value.

Relationships Matter
Let's begin with relationships. Are they sufficiently understood so that a data set can be broken into chunks and analyzed in parallel across a computer cluster? Say for example, ranking the top selling products over a given time period. Will parsing the data into an organized structure add value such as to facilitate further, ongoing analysis? Or should data be analyzed all at once versus in chunks in order to discover hidden relationships?

Time to value equates to speed of analysis. Do business needs allow hours to days for results? Will reducing to minutes add value? Or are real-time results (microseconds) the desired objective?

With these two metrics defined, the appropriate High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure for Big Data analytics can now be designed. For analysis in chunks and hours to results, a Hadoop cluster is ideal. To provide organizational structure and accelerate data analysis, deploy a cluster utilizing a NoSQL database. And for knowledge discovery and immediate time to value, utilize a robust shared memory system.

Building on expertise developed over two decades delivering several of the world's fastest supercomputers, and many years' experience helping customers efficiently manage high volume data environments, SGI enables business and government agencies to perform Big Data analytics with faster and greater insight, provide extreme capacity and scale needed for Big Data storage, and lower costs.

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Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE: JBL) will serve as SGI's primary manufacturing services and supply chain management provider

The transition to Jabil will be implemented as a "manage in place" model, which utilizes existing SGI facilities and personnel to foster continuity of supply and best practices. Jabil will purchase SGI's primary manufacturing facility, located at 100 N. Cashman Dr. in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and certain other manufacturing assets for approximately $6 million in cash. SGI expects that approximately 130 of its manufacturing personnel in Chippewa Falls will transfer to Jabil. No other workforce transfers or reductions are contemplated as a result of the transactions, which are expected to close in February 2014.

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