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Microsoft Research Introduces Record-Beating MinuteSort Tech 118

Posted by timothy
from the smart-people-with-cool-ideas dept.
mikejuk writes "A team from Microsoft Research has taken the lead in the MinuteSort data sorting test using a specially-devised technology: Flat DataCenter Storage. The figures are impressive — 1401 gigabytes in 60 seconds, using 1033 disks across 250 machines. Not only is this three times as much as the previous record, but also, it uses only one sixth of the hardware resources, according to a blog post about the test from Microsoft. One thing that's interesting about the success is the technology used. While solutions such as Hadoop and MapReduce are traditionally used for working with large data sets, Microsoft Research created its own technology called the 'Flat Datacenter Storage,' or FDS for short. This isn't just academic research, of course. The team from Microsoft Research has already been working with the Bing team to help Bing accelerate its search results, and there are plans to use it in other Microsoft technologies."
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Microsoft Research Introduces Record-Beating MinuteSort Tech

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  • by allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @12:50PM (#40090037)

    "They are pretty much the only one of the large companies that fund this kind of research"
    Bullshit alert.

    "Their work does lots of good for the world."
    For the world? Or for Microsoft?

    Citations needed.

  • Oh Look (Score:3, Insightful)

    by degeneratemonkey (1405019) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @01:44PM (#40090841)
    More irrational Microsoft hatred from the peanut gallery. Interesting accomplishment from Microsoft Research (a group which has produced all kinds of useful advances in computing and software development, and which has very little to do with shipped products like Outlook, IE6, etc.); Average /. luser interpretation? LOL SHILL ARTICLE FROM TEH MICRO$OFT FAGGORTZ YOU SUCK LOL.

    Good to see that a nerd site is inundated with droves of empty-headed group-think religious fanatics!

    When you're done masturbating to your imaginary universe, maybe you'd like to sit down with the likes of Simon Peyton-Jones and discuss some of the finer points of the terrible work he and his peers have been doing.

    Baa-hahahaha. Right.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @01:47PM (#40090877)

    Don't all research houses always 'buy' talent by recruiting qualified candidates? Isn't a university the place where people develop skills and then 'sell' themselves to employers?

  • by rockmuelle (575982) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @02:00PM (#40091093)

    The big difference is that Microsoft Research is one of the last large corporate research labs focused on pure research. That is, research done for the sake of the research, not to drive product development. Research done at MSR doesn't have to be product driven (it has to be in the general space of software and computers, but that's about the only requirement). MSR is well funded by Microsoft and an integral part of the company's culture.

    Sure, IBM, HP, and Intel all have research labs, but their charters have been re-written over the last ten years to focus more on product-centric research. Most research projects at these companies must start with a business plan that shows how the work will be commercialized within 5 years before being approved. This is not the pure research these labs were once known for.

    Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and many other internet companies have some interesting projects (self driving cars, for instance), but these tend to be one-off projects and aren't part of a larger, long lived research organization.

    Another interesting aspect of MSR is that they encourage all MS developers to take a stint in the organization, not just specially recruited Ph.D.s. It's not uncommon for someone to go from working on a product for a few years, take some time in MSR, then go back to product work.

    I've worked directly with many of the research groups mentioned in this post over the last 20 years. Based on my experiences, MSR is truly the last real corporate research group (in the spirit of 20th century PARC/Watson/et al). The others are just part of the product funnels or whims of the founders.

    -Chris

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