NEC is leveraging Intel's new mainstream Xeon E5-2660 v3 "Grantley" processors to power four new models of its Express5800 Series servers.
The new systems, announced Sept. 17, come in rack, modular and blade form factors, and also now share a common design with NEC's Storage Series with systems released in September and onward. In addition, the servers will offer more network ports and will support various network cards to help address the growing demand for faster I/O speeds to address the growing number of virtual machines that are running on physical machines, according to company officials.
To also help with server performance, the systems are using 12G bps SAS RAID controllers and hard drives, which will improve storage I/O performance by as much as 40 percent.
Intel launched the new Grantley chip family Sept. 8, with company executives saying the 22-nanometer processors—based on the "Haswell" architecture—will offer up to 18 cores and DDR4 memory, and will address a wide range of workloads, from big data, cloud computing and software-defined environments.
Most system OEMs are rolling out new or enhanced systems based on the Xeon E5-2600 v3 chips.
According to NEC officials, the chips will enable their new servers to offer a 40 percent performance increase over previous models.
The new rack-mount servers, the Express5800/R120f-2M and 1M, have four network ports, twice the number of their predecessors. The B120f blade system has two 10GBASE-T ports and can expanded up to eight ports, while the modular E12f-M also has four ports, double the number of the previous model. In addition, the modular system comes with two PCI slots for such features as RAID cards, an InfiniBand adapter or PCI-Express solid-state disk (SSD) adapter, giving the server great flexibility for such environments as virtualization or high-performance computing (HPC).
The new common design guideline for the Express5800 servers and Storage Series will improve usability for system administrators dealing with growing workloads and a broad range of platform products, according to NEC officials. The new design guidelines for the servers and storage systems include color for the hot-swappable parts, product information—such as the type of hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD) and capacity—on the front of the hardware, mono-color LED use only, and a unified design of icons.