MIT’s RAM-free clusters chew through big data sets cheaply

A common problem with “big data” analysis, according to MIT, is that the data sets are often too large to fit in RAM on a server or cluster. A team of researchers associated with the university has attempted to solve that problem for some workloads by doing away with RAM entirely.

Instead, the researchers’ experimental cluster, called BlueDBM, uses a network of solid-state storage controlled by field-programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs, to cut both costs and power consumption for …

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