By 2020, there will be billions of interconnected devices, exchanging and processing tremendous amounts of data. It is difficult for most of us to fathom how much information technology, and the way we react and interact with it, is going to change. What will our lives be like in this world?

For researchers at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), the question is not only how will we live, but how will we process all that data. Computer processing is quickly reaching a physical limitation that cannot be overcome with conventional methods. The possibilities provided by memory-driven computing could be the key to transforming the massive amounts of data generated by enterprises into useful information for decision makers. Researchers at HPE have developed a new method based on memory-driven computing they call The Machine.

This smart person’s guide on The Machine explains what it is and how it may usher in a new era for IT. We’ll update this guide as more details are available about The Machine.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s smart person’s guides

Executive summary

  • What is The Machine? It’s a research project from HPE that uses memory-driven computing to find better ways to process huge amounts of data.
  • Why The Machine matters: The ability to process vast amounts of data efficiently is vitally important to success in the era of big data and the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Who The Machine affects: Any enterprise, organization, or government generating or collecting vast amounts of data from the billions of interconnected devices and sensors.
  • When is The Machine happening: The research project is happening now.
  • How do I get The Machine? There are several open-source projects available if you would like to participate in the research.

SEE: Free ebook: Executive’s guide to IoT and big data (TechRepublic)

What is The Machine?

The Machine is a memory-driven computing device developed by researchers at HPE. The project takes advantage of certain properties inherent in a system built with huge amounts of byte-addressable non-volatile memory. The research leverages the open-source community to discover new and better ways to process data.

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Why The Machine matters

The era of big data and IoT is creating vast amounts of raw data that must be processed before it can be useful. As more and more data is generated, enterprises may find that conventional CPU-driven computing becomes overwhelmed. A new approach is required, and HPE believes The Machine and memory-driven computing is the answer.

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Who The Machine affects

Any enterprise, organization, or government generating or collecting vast amounts of data from the billions of interconnected devices and sensors created by the IoT will have to find a way to process that data. The Machine attempts to find a new, more efficient, way to transform data into useful information.

In addition to finding new ways to process data, The Machine research has provided HPE with new insights and ideas with regard to products currently under development, including byte-addressable non-volatile memory, photonics, and security.

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Competitors to The Machine

As a concept device in its prototype stage of development, The Machine is essentially still a research project. However, if the research is successful and HPE develops a commercially viable version of The Machine, the most obvious competition will be from Watson, IBM’s supercomputing platform.

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When The Machine is happening

The project is currently in its prototype stage, but HPE has several open-source projects available that use the principles of The Machine and memory-driven computing for processing data and is looking for more input from programmers and developers.

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How to get The Machine

The Machine is currently in the prototype stage, but there are open-source projects available if you would like to help with the research. Demonstrations for lab projects designed for The Machine will be presented at the Hewlett Packard Discover 2017 conference in Las Vegas, June 5 – 8.

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