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The Data Stack

20 Posts authored by: mitchk

Today, Red Hat launched its new OS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, which unleashes a whole new set of scalable performance and reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) capabilities in the Intel Xeon processor 7500 series.  This new combination of Red Hat OS and Intel Xeon processors delivers mission-critical capabilities in an open, high-volume architecture that offers substantially lower TCO than proprietary, RISC-based systems.


The pressure to reduce IT cost in the enterprise continues to stay high.  Invest in new technologies, Intel Xeon processors and RHEL 6, in fact - to reduce IT cost.  Cost incurred to maintain legacy and older technologies at IT outweighs the savings you enjoy from the new technologies we ship today.


Intel Xeon processors combined with RHEL 6 is simply one example of that.



Delivering the performance scalability you need: 

Intel Xeon processor 7500 series combined with RHEL 6 significantly reduce the cost of holding on to legacy UNIX/ RISC platforms.  Server systems shipped with Intel Xeon processors 7500 series equip 2, 4, 8, or more processors each with up to 8 cores in a single server chassis as small as 2U rack mount or in blade form factor.  4-processor, 4U rack mount servers shipped today may have up to 32 cores and up to 1TB of RAM.  Now that’s serious scalability!  RHEL 6 is specifically engineered to take advantage of such scalable performance using techniques like NUMA optimizations while minimizing the power consumption of the servers using advanced power management technologies between Intel Xeon processors and RHEL 6.



Intel Xeon processor 7500 series and RHEL 6 deliver the RAS you need: 

With such a scalable performance, such servers are likely used to handle large sets of corporate data, in many cases, very mission-critical.  Advanced reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features in Intel Xeon processor 7500 series go hand in hand with RHEL 6, avoiding high cost penalty of system down time.  Using technologies such as Machine Check Architecture (MCA), Correctable Machine Check Interrupt (CMCI), Advanced Error Reporting (AER), off-lining CPUs, a system's uptime is significantly increased.


Driving OpEx and CapEx down by consolidation: 

Advanced RAS, large core and memory count, and advanced virtualization technologies also allows data centers to consolidate server infrastructure.  In addition to the aforementioned RAS capabilities which protect now multiple instances of virtual servers hosted on a single node server, virtualization performance improvements and other improvements have been implemented into RHEL 6.  Technologies like Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) eliminates chunk of virtual I/O performance bottleneck while allowing isolation of I/O traffic improving security of a virtualized environment.  Application certification on virtualized environment is also automatic as any application certified on RHEL is automatically certified on KVM - Red Hat’s hypervisor.


Delivering the advanced security you need: 

While virtualization and cloud infrastructure are becoming key strategies for data centers, Intel and Red Hat collaborate to improve computing environment security.  As more data traveling across network is encrypted, Intel Xeon processor 5600 boosts performance in handling encrypted data with Advanced Encryption Standard  New Instructions (AES-NI) with the help of RHEL 6.


In summary, RHEL 6 unleashes advanced features Intel Xeon processors have, delivering additional value to data centers.  RHEL 6 is offered under the same subscription model as the previous offerings from Red Hat thus migration to this new technology should be a very straight forward process for many.

OSCON is just days away. A team of us from Intel are preparing for the event. Intel has too much to offer in the open source space so we just have to pick and choose the most relevant topics for the anticipated audience while painfully cutting out tons of attractive stuff.


Out of the spectrum of repertoires Intel has, we picked subjects around MeeGo and servers.The burst in numbers and choices we have for client and mobile technologies, application availability, and data variation and volume puts us in pressure to deliver the most powerful, efficient, and reliable server platforms.   I, a member of Data Center Group, as usual am focused on messages around servers and data center technologies. Please do find time to stop by and find me to have conversations on servers in open source space, addressing above said opportunities and challenges, on top of browsing our server presence such as: 


  • A technical session “RAS for Intel® Xeon® processors” by Tony Luck 
  • A technical session “Open source compliance meets supply chain management” by Andy Wilson 
  • Demo at Intel exhibit “Novell SLES 11 SP1 and Intel Xeon processor RAS"
  • Demo at Intel exhibit “Red Hat RHEL 6 virtualization and RAS" 
  • Chalk talk at Intel exhibit “Novell – Intel Xeon processor 7500 & SLES SP1, Platespin" 
  • Chalk talk at Intel exhibit “Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization – virtual I/O and KVM" 
  • Chalk talk at Intel exhibit “Intel Xeon processor RAS”  
  • Chalk talk at Intel exhibit “Oracle MySQL" 
  • Chalk talk at Intel exhibit “Oracle OpenSolaris"


and much more...

Products going EOL – forced to pay more for services or forced to upgrade to the current rev of platforms – with fee, performance suffers, inefficient servers, uncertainty in roadmap, cost continues to go up…very common feedback from customers using proprietary RISC/UNIX platforms.  Everybody understands this and vendors from OEMs to SIs and VARs are offering services to provide the most efficient ways to migrate.  For this particular problem, Intel is the platform of choice.  It’s a win-win, customers obtain higher performance, efficiency, and better cost structure in server investments, and service providers make money off the services provided.  This will continue as long as the problem is there and the team of Intel and Red Hat are committed to continue providing a solution in this space.



Especially with greater roadmap uncertainty, customers’ urgency was more on Oracle/Sun SPARC/Solaris platforms, so we worked with customers to immediately start tackling on the problem and get the customers to performance increase and cost saving mode instead of trapped in stagnating performance and cost increase mode.


Red Hat’s Solaris to RHEL Strategic Migration Planning Guide worked well to provide a framework to get the migration project going.



The same Intel and RHEL principle also applies to AIX environment.  Increasingly customers are interested and started moving from AIX to Intel/RHEL.  Like it was for Solaris, Red Hat is now making the AIX to RHEL Strategic Migration Planning Guide available for download.


Intel is teaming up with Red Hat to deliver migration guidance via workshops.  We are scheduling to visit the following cities in the upcoming weeks.  Please contact your Intel and/or Red Hat sales teams for more details and how to register for the workshops.



Dates                          Location

July 20, 2010            Dallas, TX

July 21, 2010            Las Vegas, NV

August 12, 2010       Washington, DC

Get ideas, answers and inspiration on how to build and better manage Linux in your data center.  What can Linux really mean for your enterprise? To find out, join technical experts from Novell and Intel for a day of hard-hitting demonstrations and interactive discussions covering topics such as: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 1; Virtualization and cloud computing; and mission-critical computing with Intel® Xeon® processor 7500 series.


The tour begins May 18th and runs from 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in each city. Register today for the Linux Day seminar in your area:


Location / Date:

New York, NY (May 18)

Irvine, CA (May 19)

Philadelphia, PA (May 20)

Detroit, MI (May 25)

Chicago, IL (May 26)

Columbus, OH (June 2)

Waltham, MA (June 3)

Tampa, FL (June 8)

Minneapolis, MI (June 9)

San Francisco, CA (June 10)

Atlanta, GA (June 10)

Salt Lake City, UT (June 15)

Seattle, WA (June 15)

Washington, DC (June 16)

Toronto, ON (June 17)

Denver, CO (June 22)

So, what is it really like to move a workload from RISC to Intel-based platform?  Here is a very simplified example of SAP ERP 6.0 and IBM DB2 running on a legacy Sun SPARC platform migrated to RHEL with IBM System x3650 M2 with Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. 


We believe the exercise described in the paper applies to various instances of SAP not just limited to the version this experiment used. 

The migration seminars we hosted at different cities late last year had very positive feedback and we had requests from customers to re-run.  Thank you to those who attended the seminars.  And to respond to the popularity, we are going to Atlanta…again…and will host another RISC/UNIX migration seminar together with friends from Red Hat and Dell. 


Register today! 

Come and learn about the steps to take to migrate UNIX/RISC environment to RHEL/Intel. 


Date:  January 20, 2010



Seasons 52
By the Perimeter Mall
90 Perimeter Center West
Dunwoody, GA 30346
Phone: (770) 671-0052


Get the information you need to start planning for migrating from RISC/UNIX to Red Hat/Dell/Intel to lower your TCO

  • Proven best practices to ensure smooth migration, planning and implementation
  • A illustrative roadmap showing the estimated timeframe and costs for your migration
  • Effective migration plan for you and your IT staff



Registration link in case above hyperlink does not work:

For those of you or those you know of, who are struggling to justify escape from RISC platforms, here are four example scenarios of migration, each achieving powerful TCO reduction.  Please share with your colleagues, customers to get the migration conversation going.


RISC to Intel® Xeon® process or migration: High and fast ROI for SMBs

Oracle on Sun Fire T1000 with Solaris to Oracle on RHEL, Dell T610 with Intel® Xeon® processor X5570, achieving $710,000 savings over three years, 155% ROI, 3 month payback. 



Migrating from Sun RISC to Intel® Xeon® processor: Flatten TCO, achieve unprecedented ROI

Oracle on Sun Fire 15K with Solaris to MySQL on RHEL, Dell T610 with Intel Xeon processor X5570, delivering $3.5M savings over three years, whopping 15,037% ROI, 3 months payback. 



Fast TCO. Quick and painless ROI.

MySQL on Sun T5440 with Solaris to MySQL on RHEL, Dell M710 with Intel Xeon processor X5570, presenting 70% TCO reduction over three years, ROI of 456%.



Oracle On Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

Oracle on Sun T5440 with Solaris to Oracle on RHEL, Dell R900 with Intel Xeon processor 7460, delivering almost $1 million savings over three years, ROI of 992%, 3 month payback. 



Come talk to  Intel, ask questions, and obtain the latest information on RISC migration and  virtualization, from your computer without travelling. 

Intel is participating in Red Hat Virtual Experience 2009 ( on December 9.  This is a  virtual tradeshow you can visit through your browser.  Intel has a booth in the Exhibit as well as  participating in the Virtual Experience panel discussion, introducing the latest  technologies, ideas, around virtualization and migration from RISC/UNIX to  Intel/RHEL. 



     Exhibit:  8:00 AM – 6:00 PM  EST

          - Come  chat with, ask questions to Intel experts on server platforms, virtualization,  RISC migration

          - Watch  videos, download whitepapers and product briefs on Intel server platforms,  virtualization, and RISC migration


     Virtualization Experience panel - Making Impacts in the Datacenter  with Server Virtualization:  12:00 PM –  1:00 PM EST

          - Intel’s  Mitch Shults is joining other experts from the industry and discuss the impact  of virtualization in data centers



See you at the Intel booth!        

It is not late to register for a joint webinar delivered by Red Hat, Intel, and Dell.

This webinar delivers how to plan and execute your migration from SPARC/Solaris to Dell/Intel/Red Hat, a popular content also delivered in seminars the companies did in North America in October.

  • A clear roadmap showing the estimated timeframe and costs for your migration
  • Effective training for you and your IT staff
  • Proven best practices to ensure a smooth implementation
  • Join Red Hat, Intel, and Dell on December 2 2009 at 2pm ET to see how these open source pioneers can help you move from a RISC/UNIX environment to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


Register here.

Just completed 8 city roadshow with Dell and Red Hat, talking to customers face to face over lunch about how a migration should be planned and done from UNIX/RISC to RHEL/Intel/Dell. 


I had opportunities to attend two of the seminars in different cities, meeting few different customers.  Customers came to our seminar to look for a template to quickly develop a plan that could also be approved quickly and get the project going to counter the enormous management pressure they get to do more with less. 


Most of the customers I had conversations with were from medium size business. 

One customer clearly said, it is no brainer, there is no reason to advocate to purchase new AIX/Power or Solaris/SPARC machines any more. 

The other customer said, much of the knowledge accumulated to manage UNIX servers can immediately applied for migration activities while he saw the needs to get the UNIX administrators trained on RHEL through the training programs offered by Red Hat. 

Consistently, there were the nuance that customers needed to act now, for a short term result. 


For those who needs to get going on planning, Red Hat has put together a very good migration guide. The document helps you start thinking about and resourcing your migration.   Register, to get started.  Also, a lighter version to get an idea. 


Please contact RHEL, Dell, or Intel representative for the next steps, and if you don’t have such resource, let me know.  I’ll help dispatch one to you. 


Just wrapped up Oracle Open World…sitting at SFO, waiting for a flight back home.

The event from a Nehalem-EX perspective was a success. Hit important points and accomplished what we had to deliver.



Hit #1:  Michael Dell, in his key note, delivered Nehalem-EX message beautifully.  2.5x performance improvements coming from 9x memory bandwidth…compared to currently sold technology.  Thank you, Michael.


Hit #2:  Dell placed Nehalem-EX demo at its Exhibit at Moscone West.  I missed seeing it in person but the Dell friends came to me reporting that the demo attracted a lot of attention from the audience.  Thank you again, Dell.


Hit #3:  My Nehalem-EX demo at Intel booth was also a success.  The pre-production system ran throughout the event with 64 logical processors fully active with 1TB of Samsung DDR3 memory, running SPECjbb, stressing all the CPUs, cores, and threads.  Occasionally, I injected double-bit error to show off the MCA-Recovery function.  Windows 2008 R2 reported nicely that the system encountered a critical error but the system still running at full speed.  If not with MCA-Recovery function, I would have had blue screen each time I ran that error injection script and would have had to wait for few minutes to have the server come back up online.


Also, I really liked the demographics of the audience this time.  Compared to the other events I went to this year, I had more conversations with the folks who actually purchase equipments, those who test new equipments at IT shops, and those from Oracle starting to realize that hardware choice does matter when selling Oracle software.  Many people specifically asked when Intel starts shipping Nehalem-EX and which specific OEM models would use Nehalem-EX.  I hope my responses to those folks were legitimate.  ;-)  I also hope Oracle sales folks now have true confidence that the Oracle software stack runs best on Intel, specifically, Nehalem-EX.


Oracle Open World is said to be the largest IT event.  I believe that.  You don’t get to have lunch at the middle Mission St tarmac very often.  You don’t get to see four digit hotel bills very often for just couple night stay. Despite the fall storm hitting the peninsula dumping loads of water and gust knocking trees down on Tuesday, Intel booth continuously had heavy flow of traffic.  I admire the Intel team putting together our presence and admire the whole industry supporting the event. I also personally learned a lot from the event, meeting people, exchanging knowledge.  Three day booth duty is a tough one but worth it.


Oh, and to wrap the whole trip up…

Hit #4:  cleared the wait list and getting home earlier with an earlier flight…

AND…I wish today was Friday…



Looking for an excuse to sneak out of the office for a RISC migration seminar?  Here's one for you which you can't resist.  How about a seminar associated with a spectacular lunch at a great Greek restaurant in the city of San Francisco

Dell, Red Hat, and Intel are hosting a RISC migration seminar over lunch, during Oracle Open World next week. 

Register here for the seminar held at the Kokkari restaurant, 12pm, Wednesday, October 14.  It is not too late.  Small number of seats still available. 

Don't miss this opportunity to learn when and how the migration should be done and ask questions to Dell/ Red Hat/ Intel team members present on site.  I am hoping the hosting members do their job not just busy enjoying lunch. 

The webinar the Red Hat - Intel team delivered on Sep 23rd is now available for download for those who missed listening in real time.

96% of the webinar guests thought the content was good or better,

91% of the guests thought the content met expectation, and

in general, the audience has requested more of technical "how to's" of UNIX/ RISC to RHEL/ Intel migration.


See this video from IDF 2009, San Francisco.


Sean Maloney demonstrates new features coming with the next generation Intel Xeon processor for 4S+ server configurations, Nehalem-EX.  Sean focuses on the unique scalability and RAS capabilities newly introduced into the platform.


Paul Ottelini on Monday said it is the democratization of data.  With the capabilities, Intel Xeon processor based servers are ever more relevant to any type of workload a data center would support.  The economics of standards based Intel architecture platforms will in effect provides another choice for data center operators to run the most demanding and mission critical workloads where expensive and legacy proprietary architectures like RISC are no longer the sole choice.  This choice proposition is very powerful as the cost reduction is the foremost concern that needs to be tackled by data center operators and IT managers.


Nehalem architecture brought the performance and efficiency.  Nehalem-EX will bring, on top of that, the RAS capabilities and increased variation of OEM system designs.  In addition, ISVs will be ready to have hardware features reflected into the software products.  It is a game changer, turn of the industry, where Intel is providing data centers with opportunities to standardize ALL the workload, including the most mission critical, to Intel Xeon processor based infrastructure.



Register and mark your calendar.  On Sep 23, 10am EDT (New York) / 14:00 GMT / 16:00 CEST (Paris), Red Hat and Intel team will host another webinar, guiding you through the steps to take to migrate your enterprise workload from UNIX/RISC to RHEL/Intel.  The "why" and economics of the migration is now quite evident.  This webinar presents "how" a migration should be carried out.  The time is scheduled best for audience in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, but also works well for those on the east coast of Americias.

In the mean time, Red Hat has written this migration whitepaper that walks you through methodologies of a migration.

Happy migration!  and drive your data center cost down!

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