When Compaq introduced its first Intel-based ProLiant server in 1989, who could have imagined how this would change the server industry?  Today’s announcement of ProLiant and BladeSystem servers based on Intel® Xeon® E7-2800 and E7-4800 processors brings the vision of PC economics to the enterprise to new heights.

 

For years companies and their mission critical workloads have been trapped inside expensive, lower performing RISC-based platforms.  But with IT budgets shrinking and the cost, risk, dependence of maintaining and replacing RISC environments increasing, companies need an alternative.

 

The question of migrating mission critical workloads has always been a matter of trust – will anything be as reliable as RISC?  HP and Intel answer with a resounding YES.  New HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers based on Intel® Xeon® E7-2800 and E7-4800 processors provide balanced scaling (up to 4 TB/10 cores/20 threads per processor), greater efficiency (Intel® Intelligent Power and Scalable Memory Buffer),  and increased resiliency (DDDC and HP Memory Quarantine).  All this for a fraction of the cost companies now pay for their RISC environments.

 

If we consider HP’s recent acquisition of Vertica, the integration of new HP ProLiant Intel-based servers with Vertica software significantly increases the ability to analyze massive amounts of data simply, quickly and reliably, resulting in “just-in-time” business intelligence.

 

While cost may be the motivating factor for migrating RISC environments, this announcement proves HP and Intel are committed to delivering on the promise of bringing PC economics to the enterprise with innovations that continually increase the scalability, efficiency and resiliency of your environment.

 

Visit HP.com to learn more about what HP is doing to scale-up to new heights.

Notice anything different about today’s Intel® Xeon® processor announcements?   Well, if you hadn’t noticed, the processor numbers are different.  Yes, the numbers are normally different with each processor generation, but I'm talking about the new format or construct.   So why do this?  The reality is the current system needed better reflect key processor capabilities and, after many years of use, was starting to run out of numbers.  With broader product choices for different IT manager needs, from data centers to high-performance clusters to small business servers…flexibility, clarity, and multi-year stability were key new number system objectives.

 

So now you're probably saying, "oh great, now I have to relearn new numbers".   As a member of the Intel team that developed the new numbers, I understand this fair sentiment.  However, there is a “but wait”….  In short, more meaning has been built into the Intel® Xeon® processor number and understanding this meaning will help you choose the right processor.  Now, of course, one needs more product information than just the number in selecting a processor for a server or workstation deployment, but it plays a valuable role.

 

Let’s take a look at an example.

 

New Number Construct- Detailed.png

It breaks down into:

 

1.  Brand (no change here).

2.  Product line (there are three...E3, E5, E7).

3.  Product family.

4.  Version (v2, v3, etc.).

 

The ‘product family’ actually encodes further meaning.  The first character tells how many processors are natively supported in a system, the second character, ‘socket type’, signifies processor capability, and the third & fourth are ‘SKU numbers’ which, along with the whole number, represent a collective group of capabilities a given price.  So, in the above example, it’s the ‘E7’ product line.  The ‘4’ in the 'product family' means it supports four processors natively in a system, and the ‘8’ is the socket type.  A ‘socket type’ of ‘8’ supports a higher general level of system capability, for example more memory and I/O, than a ‘socket type’ of ‘2’.  A given 'socket type' digit does not change over time....meaning the follow-on to the Intel Xeon processor E7-4800 v2 product family would be the Intel Xeon processor E7-4800 v3 product family.  The '8' didn't change.  All that changed was the version number (‘v2’ to ‘v3’).

 

So, where is the ‘version’ reference in the products launching today?  Well, for the first processor generations using the new numbers, there won’t be a ‘version’ reference.  This begins with the second version or ‘v2’.  Additionally, beginning with ‘v2’, Intel Xeon processors with a common version reference will share a common microarchitecture.

 

The new number system was rolled out today with the Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8800/4800/2800 and E3-1200 product families. All future Intel® Xeon® processors will adopt this new numbering.

 

Are the numbers so easy, a caveman could understand them?  Maybe not.. .but hopefully the processor number provides key information to help in the purchase process.  Let me know your thoughts.

I have grown up around small businesses all my life. From my father’s sandwich shop, to hamburger joint, to local restaurant. I have seen firsthand the types of challenges that small businesses face: long hours, high employee turnover, demanding customers, and lots of bookkeeping!

 

We have seen leaps and bounds in the computing industry over the past several decades and its impact on small businesses has been substantial. My father has come a long way from the days when he would ring up customers on an old-fashioned cash register. But what is next? And what types of IT challenges can computers, and namely servers, solve for small businesses?

 

Today Intel is introducing the new Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1200 product family – the ideal entry level server for small businesses. The server is typically the core of a small business’ IT, and servers based on the Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 product family are designed to increase business responsiveness, enhance business protection, and deliver 24x7 dependability, all at costs comparable to a desktop.

 

With up to 30% better performance than prior generation servers, Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 product family runs business-critical applications faster, enabling improved employee productivity. And with Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, you get an even greater burst of speed automatically when your server needs it most.

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Security continues to be a real and costly threat, with the average cost of lost business due to a data breach in the US in 2010 at around $4.5 million. The built-in security capabilities of the Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 product family enable small businesses to secure their data with encryption acceleration technologies like Intel AES-NI, and secure startup of the operating system with Intel TXT. And, Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) provides continual protection from loss due to a hard drive failure or data corruption, and should it happen, sends an automatic alert so hard drives can be swapped out quickly and the business can stay up and running. These are just a few of the new features available with the Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 product family.

 

Sometime in the next two weeks, Dell will refresh their entry level servers with these new processors. These servers will deliver substantial performance gains for running business-critical applications, provide system management capabilities designed to ease maintenance, and expand system scalability – all this to meet the needs of your business today, with headroom to support business growth of tomorrow.

 

What are your security concerns; do you feel these new features will help meet your needs?

We’re really, really excited about the launch of our new Intel Xeon Processor E7 family.

 

We’re adding capability and performance that I’ll detail,  but the bigger story is the new innovation these systems are enabling at ISV’s,  along with the great customer implementation examples!

 

Our new Xeon E7 family continues the story we started  approximately a year ago, with the launch of the Nehalem  (7500 Series) processor, of allowing IT solutions to deliver incredibly  fast answers to the toughest business questions, all at costs below proprietary  RISC systems, without compromising the reliability that IT managers expect.

 

The new Xeon E7 delivers up to 10 cores with 20 threads of Intel Hyper Threading technology,  30MB of last level cache, and supporting up to 32GB DIMMs—25 percent more  cores, threads and cache than the Xeon 7500 series with up to 40% more  performance, at the same maximum rated power (TDP) of the Xeon 7500 series!  Systems can scale from two to eight sockets  with up to 256 socket systems from OEMs using node controllers.  It also supports new Advanced Encryption  Standard instructions (AES-NI), additional RAS features, and Intel  Virtualization Technology and Trusted Execution Environment.

 

Xeon_e7_feature_map.png

 

Since most Mission Critical solutions involve data, let me  tell you about some of the exciting  innovation that our software partners are doing with these new Xeon  systems:

 

  • Microsoft SQL Server R2 2008 is not only an  enterprise class database, it also integrates a high performance  Business Intelligence (BI) component in the software stack, offering both  complete online transaction processing (OLTP) and on line analytics (OLAP) in a  single license. It then couples this capability with Microsoft Power Pivot and SharePoint  Server to put this capability literally into the hands of individual business  departments.

 

  • IBM has delivered enterprise-class  database solutions based on IBM DB2 data management software which is now  available on affordable Xeon processor based servers.  IBM DB2 purescale, an optional feature of DB2, delivers nearly unlimited capacity, continuous availability and application  transparency, for transactional databases running on IBM eX5 servers based on Xeon processors.

 

  • SAP has a new innovative High-Performance Analytic  Appliance (SAP HANA) on the Xeon 7500 series.   SAP HANA is an in-memory  appliance that stores entire data sets in main memory instead of saving to  disk. It allows organizations to instantly analyze all available data from  multiple sources, so companies can gain insight into business operations in  real-time.

 

  • The Oracle  Exadata Database Machine is an integrated, optimized solution for hosting  Oracle database and delivering OLAP and OLTP. The X2-8 combines scale up (2 Sun  8S-64core) Xeon processors for a high performance, highly available database  grid, along with 14 Xeon based storage servers.

 

Now the real world jazz starts when customers take Intel’s  new technology, and pair it with this ISV software to deliver real world  solutions.

 

Anixter, a global distributor  of communication and security products, wire, cable, fasteners and other parts,  maintains a complex inventory of 425,000 parts. They deployed mission critical solutions for VAT taxes, e-Invoice, and  PCM product and parts information, on IBM System X5 servers running IBM DB2  pureScale. According to Bernie O’Connor,  “Performance  is very impressive and so is the resilience of the cluster. If a server  goes down DB2 pureScale recovers in seconds.”

 

The United States Customs and  Border Protection (CBP) is part of the Department of Homeland Security and are  modernizing its environment and have chosen the Oracle  Exadata Database Machine built on Intel Xeon processor 7500 series.  CBP is the largest Exadata user in the US  with 15 Exadata machines in operation. They found the Oracle Exadata machines  were one quarter (25%) of the cost of their aging SMP mainframe, and ran 10X  faster (do you think they painted flames on the sides of the cabinet?—probably  not).

 

 

These are just two stories.   For more checkout the Mission Critical page on the IT center

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