No Workload That Xeon Cant Handle

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2011-04-05 Print this article Print


"There is no workload in the world today ... that Xeon can't handle," he said.

However, Itanium is losing some support from software makers. Oracle officials announced last week that it will no longer develop software for the Itanium platform, joining Microsoft and Red Hat. Analysts and rivals such as HP said the move was made in hopes of shoring up Oracle's struggling SPARC/Solaris hardware business.

Analysts said Intel's Xeon E7 portfolio is a significant step as its looks to grab more high-end workloads.

"Intel extends its performance franchise even further into what was legacy RISC/Unix territory with this announcement, and Linux and Windows workloads get a platform that improves performance significantly without requiring any system redesign, ensuring a rapid flow of product into the market," Forrester Research analyst Richard Fichera said in a blog post April 5.

In the fourth quarter 2010, both Gartner and IDC saw x86 server revenues grow more than 20 percent while revenue for Unix servers-squeezed between x86 systems and IBM's strong System z mainframe revenue growth-fell. Gartner analysts said Unix revenue dropped almost 19 percent during the quarter.

"The challenge for Unix vendors in 2011 is to limit migrations and to try to encourage new investment in these platforms," Adrian O'Connell, a research director at Gartner, said in a statement at the time.

Skaugen touted the 19 OEMs who will roll out up to 35 new and upgraded systems based on the Westmere EX chips. Not only will top-tier server makers like Dell, HP and IBM offer new servers, but also SGI, Oracle, Cisco Systems, Lenovo, Fujitsu and Cray, which has been a significant customer of Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices.

Dell refreshed three of its six four-socket PowerEdge servers, which are designed to compete for high-end workloads that often run on RISC/Unix systems, according to Brian Payne, executive director of Dell's PowerEdge server line. The three systems with the new Xeon E7 chips include the PowerEdge R910 and R810 rack servers, and M910 blade system.

In an interview with eWEEK, Payne touted the performance of the systems with the new Intel chip. He pointed to a 38 percent performance improvement in an Oracle application server and database in the R910 with a 10-core Xeon E7-4780 chip, for example.

"The CPU capabilities we're seeing in the four-socket space are impressive," Payne said.


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