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Microsoft sets new data sorting speed record


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As famed (and fictional) NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby once said, "If you ain’t first, you’re last!" That also sums up the attitude for a team at Microsoft Research in Redmond. This week, that team set a new speed record for sorting through a ton of data in just one minute.

The team set the record via the MinuteSort benchmark which is designed to measure "how quickly data can be sorted starting and ending on disk." In this case, the Microsoft Research team came up with a new technique for conquering the MinuteSort benchmark. It's called Flat Datacenter Storage, or FDS.

The Microsoft Research blog states:

The team’s system sorted almost three times the amount of data (1,401 gigabytes vs. 500 gigabytes) with about one-sixth the hardware resources (1,033 disks across 250 machines vs. 5,624 disks across 1,406 machines) used by the previous record holder, a team from Yahoo! that set the mark in 2009.

Microsoft said that this new achievement is "significant because it points toward a new method for crunching huge amounts of data using inexpensive servers." However, we all know that the team is really happy and high-fiving themselves because they beat a record that was set by Yahoo.


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