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Tag: Blade

End Storage Networking Compatibility

by on Apr.13, 2010, under Uncategorized

Riverbed Receives Brocade Data Center Ready Status For End-To-End Storage Networking Compatibility

Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD), the IT performance company, today announced that its WAN optimization solutions have been verified by Brocade Communications Systems Inc. as compatible with the Brocade 7500/FR4-18i Blade, according to the testing requirements of the Brocade Data Center Ready Program. The program is an initiative designed to foster interoperability in multi-vendor Brocade-based data center environments. Full Story…


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Michael Dell is Bullish on Nehalem-EX in Oracle Open World Keynote

by on Oct.13, 2009, under Storage

Michael Dell is Bullish on Nehalem-EX in Oracle Open World Keynote

Nehalem-EX has been in the news quite a bit over the past several months. 

First, in May, Intel described how Nehalem-EX will be at the heart of the next generation of intelligent and expandable high-end Intel server platforms, delivering a number of new technical advancements (Intel Nehalem Architecture, Quick Path Interconnects, 16 threads, 24MB cache, new RAS features like MCA-Recovery, 16 DIMM slots per socket, 128 threads on 8 Socket systems) and boost enterprise computing performance (the greatest gain in generational performance ever seen at Intel.)

Next at IDF in September Intel described how Nehalem-EX would deliver a bigger generational performance improvement than that delivered by the Intel Xeon 5500 processor (including a 3X Nehalem-EX gain in database performance); a large shift in Xeon scalability with over 15 >8S systems anticipated and expandability for the most data demanding enterprise applications, the addition of about 20 RAS capabilities traditionally found in the Intel® Itanium processor family – along with a demonstration of MCA-Recovery. IBM announced their upcoming BladeCenter products that will support 4S Nehalem-EX blades and Super-Micro announced a 1U box, specifically targeted at HPC.  Staying on the HPC theme, Mark Seager from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was also quoted with stating that “Nehalem-EX allows us to invest in science, not the computer science of porting and adapting software to new architectures, but real science.  Nehalem EX is an innovative SMP on a chip solution that provides us access to a “super node” … The result is an astonishing new level of performance.”

And Oracle Open World on October 13th, the drumbeat for Nehalem-EX continued.  Michael Dell in his Oracle Open World Keynote today discussed how Nehalem-EX will provide a true leap in performance, with up to 9x the memory bandwidth and 3x the database performance vs. prior generation.  And he mentioned that Dell’s unique implementation of the memory architecture will allow the most cost effective scaling, with 4S systems up to 1TB of DRAM (64 Dimms x 16GB Memory sticks) enabling customers to run their entire database in system memory.  He also mentioned that standard based systems are driving new efficiencies with applications like Oracle, where Dell’s data shows Oracle apps run better on x86 vs. proprietary architectures, up to 200% better. 

Keep your eyes on the Server Room for more Nehalem-EX news as it comes between now and launch.  And visit the Intel booth at South Moscone Booth #1621 to learn more.



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Inside a “Compliance and Interoperability” Workshop

by on Aug.30, 2009, under Storage

Inside a Compliance and Interoperability Workshop

Do you read the comic strip Dilbert? If so, you know what a work environment based on cubicles looks like. Many of us involved with the Server System Infrastructure (SSI) Forum just finished our first compliance and interoperability (C&I) workshop and, interestingly, cubicles played a key role.

Cubicles are a useful compromise between noise, openness, ease of access and other factors. However, one thing a cubicle is not, is private. Why is that relevant to a C&I event? Let me explain.

Compliance refers to the conformance of a physical device, say a computer or plug-in card, to a written specification. Interoperability refers to the ability of the physical device to connect with other devices and perform according to predetermined tests.

A C&I workshop has elements of testing for specifications and for tests of devices connected together. Depending on the devices under test, testing can be extremely complex process, often involving entirely new-to-the-world components. In fact, multiple entirely new components can be connected together, based on untested specs and using the latest generation of test equipment.

Participating companys most talented engineers work to get their components proven compliant and interoperable. Thats where secrecy comes in: engineers have to be able to work without being concerned about prying eyes.

Privacy is also essential for the tests themselves. Early results may not be positive, but those early results could be damaging to a companys reputation, so they are correctly kept confidential.

How is this privacy achieved? The first C&I workshop was held at an Intel facility. At the lab there are cubicles, per the Intel norm. However, the larger than usual cubicles featured translucent fiberglass panels bolted to the cubicle walls. Also, a sliding lockable door was added to each cubicle.

During the three-day workshop, much was accomplished. Engineers from across the US, Israel and China, representing several blade components, were able to connect their devices together. There were two basic blade systems, one developed by Intel and one by a system OEM. They were developed independently and in parallel, but both were based on specifications provided by SSI.

SSI develops and promotes open specifications for blades and for chassis and power supplies for servers. It currently has almost 40 member companies around the world. SSI has produced 6 blade specs, currently in draft form, to be finalized by the time of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), September 22-24. SSI has also made 3 switch specs from IBM BladeCenter available to SSI members.

There are two focus areas for specification in the traditional server area of SSI, one for electronics bays (chassis) and one for power supplies V with over 40 specs released since the inception of SSI. Current specs are always available on the SSI web site, and specs now in development for the next CPU generation will be available for prerelease access.

<![CDATA[The C&I Workshop is an important first step on a long journey. Workshops will be held at independent test organizations, purpose-built for such activities. Workshops will expand in scope and participation, as we deliver on the promise of interoperability; really the central tenet of SSI.]]>

See you at IDF! Please come to my session, EMTS006, SSI Interoperability Delivered: How Server System Infrastructure (SSI) Specifications Provides Interoperable Components, September 24, at 2:40. I suggest you attend my colleague, Steve Krigs, lab ECTL001, Lab: SSI Server System Infrastructure V Industry Open Blades Standards Compliance and Interoperability, September 23, at 2:05 and 4:15, for a more technical description of C&I tools and methodologies. I also suggest you visit our booth to see our interoperability demo at booth number 520.

Jim Ryan, Chairman, SSI

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