When I go to San Francisco, I head over to the west side of town to peer through the closed gates of the hidden campus of Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) dreaming of catching a glimpse of the magic. Recently Arik Hesseldahl, from All Things Digital, accomplished my dream and had a peek behind the curtains of what makes ILM run. Arik interviewed ILM’s CIO, Kevin Clark and then toured the ILM data center. Continue reading
IBM recently announced a new addition to their BladeCenter family – the IBM BladeCenter GPU Expansion blade. This new offering provides a single HS22 with the capability of hosting up to 4 x NVIDIA Tesla M2070 or Tesla M2070Q GPUs each running 448 processing cores each. Doing the math, this equals the possibility of having 4,928 processing cores in a single 9u IBM BladeCenter H chassis. That means you could have 19,712 processing cores PER RACK. With such astonishing numbers, let’s take a deeper look at the IBM BladeCenter GPU Expansion blade.
A white paper released today by Dell shows that the Dell M1000e blade chassis infrastructure offers significant power savings compared to equivalent HP and IBM blade environments. In fact, the results were audited by an outside source, the Enterprise Management Associates (http://www.enterprisemanagement.com). After the controversy with the Tolly Group report discussing HP vs Cisco, I decided to take the time to investigate these findings a bit deeper. Continue reading
Intel officially announced today the Xeon 5600 processor, code named “Westmere.” Cisco, HP and IBM also announced their blade servers that have the new processor. The Intel Xeon 5600 offers:
- 32nm process technology with 50% more threads and cache
- Improved energy efficiency with support for 1.35V low power memory
There will be 4 core and 6 core offerings. This processor also provide the option of HyperThreading, so you could have up to 8 threads and 12 threads per processor, or 16 and 24 in a dual CPU system. This will be a huge advantage to applications that like multiple threads, like virtualization. Here’s a look at what each vendor has come out with:
The B200 M2 provides Cisco users with the current Xeon 5600 processors. It looks like Cisco will be offering a choice of the following Xeon 5600 processors: Intel Xeon X5670, X5650, E5640, E5620, L5640, or E5506. Because Cisco’s model is a “built-to-order” design, I can’t really provide any part numbers, but knowing what speeds they have should help.
HP is starting off with the Intel Xeon 5600 by bumping their existing G6 models to include the Xeon 5600 processor. The look, feel, and options of the blade servers will remain the same – the only difference will be the new processor. According to HP, “the HP ProLiant G6 platform, based on Intel Xeon 5600 processors, includes the HP ProLiant BL280c, BL2x220c, BL460c and BL490c server blades and HP ProLiant WS460c G6 workstation blade for organizations requiring high density and performance in a compact form factor. The latest HP ProLiant G6 platforms will be available worldwide on March 29.” It appears that HP’s waiting until March 29 to provide details on their Westmere blade offerings, so don’t go looking for part numbers or pricing on their website.
IBM is continuing to stay ahead of the game with details about their product offerings. They’ve refreshed their HS22 and HS22v blade servers:
7870G4U – HS22, Xeon 4C E5640 80W 2.66GHz/1066MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 2.5in SAS
7870GCU – HS22, Xeon 4C E5640 80W 2.66GHz/1066MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 2.5in SAS, Broadcom 10Gb Gen2 2-port
7870H2U -HS22, Xeon 6C X5650 95W 2.66GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 2.5in SAS
7870H4U – HS22, Xeon 6C X5670 95W 2.93GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 2.5in SAS
7870H5U – HS22, Xeon 4C X5667 95W 3.06GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 2.5in SAS
7870HAU – HS22, Xeon 6C X5650 95W 2.66GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 2.5in SAS, Emulex Virtual Fabric Adapter
7870N2U – HS22, Xeon 6C L5640 60W 2.26GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 2.5in SAS
7870EGU – Express HS22, 2x Xeon 4C E5630 80W 2.53GHz/1066MHz/12MB, 6x2GB, O/Bay 2.5in SAS
7871G4U – HS22V, Xeon 4C E5640 80W 2.66GHz/1066MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 1.8in SAS
7871GDU – HS22V, Xeon 4C E5640 80W 2.66GHz/1066MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 1.8in SAS
7871H4U – HS22V, Xeon 6C X5670 95W 2.93GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 1.8in SAS
7871H5U – HS22V, Xeon 4C X5667 95W 3.06GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 1.8in SAS
7871HAU – HS22V, Xeon 6C X5650 95W 2.66GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 1.8in SAS
7871N2U – HS22V, Xeon 6C L5640 60W 2.26GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 3x2GB, O/Bay 1.8in SAS
7871EGU – Express HS22V, 2x Xeon 4C E5640 80W 2.66GHz/1066MHz/12MB, 6x2GB, O/Bay 1.8in SAS
7871EHU – Express HS22V, 2x Xeon 6C X5660 95W 2.80GHz/1333MHz/12MB, 6x4GB, O/Bay 1.8in SAS
I could not find any information on what Dell will be offering, from a blade server perspective, so if you have information (that is not confidential) feel free send it my way.
According to IBM’s System x and BladeCenter x86 Server Blog, the IBM BladeCenter HS22 server has posted the best SPECweb2005 score ever from a blade server. With a SPECweb2005 supermetric score of 75,155, IBM has reached a benchmark seen by no other blade yet to-date. The SPECweb2005 benchmark is designed to be a neutral, equal benchmark for evaluting the peformance of web servers. According to the IBM blog, the score is derived from three different workloads measured:
- SPECweb2005_Banking – 109,200 simultaneous sessions
- SPECweb2005_Ecommerce – 134,472 simultaneous sessions
- SPECweb2005_Support – 64,064 simultaneous sessions
The HS22 achieved these results using two Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor X5570 (2.93GHz with 256KB L2 cache per core and 8MB L3 cache per processor—2 processors/8 cores/8 threads). The HS22 was also configured with 96GB of memory, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux® 5.4 operating system, IBM J9 Java® Virtual Machine, 64-bit Accoria Rock Web Server 1.4.9 (x86_64) HTTPS software, and Accoria Rock JSP/Servlet Container 1.3.2 (x86_64).
It’s important to note that these results have not yet been “approved” by SPEC, the group who posts the results, but as soon as they are, they’ll be published at at http://www.spec.org/osg/web2005
The IBM HS22 is IBM’s most popular blade server with the following specs:
- up to 2 x Intel 5500 Processors
- 12 memory slots for a current maximum of 96Gb of RAM
- 2 hot swap hard drive slots capable of running RAID 1 (SAS or SATA)
- 2 PCI Express connectors for I/O expansion cards (NICs, Fibre HBAs, 10Gb Ethernet, CNA, etc)
- Internal USB slot for running VMware ESXi
- Remote management
- Redundant connectivity