Top-tier server makers Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell and Lenovo are refreshing and adding new servers to their portfolios that are powered by Intel's newest Xeon E5 processor family.
Intel officials unveiled the Xeon E5-2660 v4 "Broadwell" chips March 31, promising as much as 44 percent better performance over the "Haswell" predecessor, improved server utilization, virtualization and security in processors that are made via the 14-nanometer manufacturing process (Haswell chips are 22nm), offer up to 22 cores (to Haswell's maximum of 18) and are aimed at scale-out cloud environments.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is refreshing its ProLiant servers with the new processors. At the same time, HPE officials are introducing the company's new Persistent Memory technology in some of the systems. The company first said the Persistent Memory was coming to some of the ProLiants earlier this week during a meeting with journalists, but officially launched it March 31.
With the first product in the Persistent Memory portfolio—the 8GB NVDIMM (Non-Volatile DIMM)—HPE officials are offering a technology they said brings together the performance of DRAM and the persistent, non-volatile capabilities of storage to speed up workloads such as databases, big data analytics and online transaction processing by removing storage bottlenecks. It's based on the industry standard NVDIMM-N technology.
The NVDIMMS—which can keep data even when the power goes out—combine 8GB of DRAM and 8GB of NAND flash storage. When there is a power outage, the flash memory can act as a backup for the DRAM. In addition, HPE also offers a Smart Storage Battery for backup power.
The goal of Persistent Memory is to enable businesses to get more value from their data, according to Peter Schrady, senior vice president and general manager of HPE's ProLiant servers and enterprise and SMB segments. The 8GB NVDIMM will be available in May, initially on the ProLiant DL360 and DL380 Gen9 systems powered by Intel's new chips.
Dell officials upgraded its PowerEdge 13th generation systems with the new Intel processors. The chips give the refreshed servers performance boosts of more than 20 percent when combined with new air-cooling technology from the OEM and more than 12 percent enhanced memory. The new capabilities will enable Dell to meet the growing demands for more performance to keep up with the changes being brought about by such trends as mobility, data analytics, social networking and the cloud, officials said.
"Customers are driving the rise of the software defined data center, using workload-oriented solutions that are increasingly compute-centric," Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, vice president and general manager of Dell Server Solutions, said in a statement.
The PowerEdge systems being upgraded with the new Intel Xeon chips are the R730, R730xd, R630, T630, M630, FC630, C4130 and C6320.
Lenovo announced new and upgraded servers that offer the latest Xeon processors. The lineup includes one- and two-socket rack and tower systems, integrated blade servers and high-performance computing (HPC) systems, covering workloads for smaller businesses to larger enterprises. The enhanced systems offer up to 44 percent better CPU performance, 22 percent more cores, 12 percent faster memory, up to 23 percent faster performance for Hadoop, and up to 30 percent faster encryption than their predecessors.
The systems being refreshed include the two-socket System x3650 M5, x3550 M5, ThinkServer RD450, RD350, ThinkServer TD350, Flex x240 M5 and NeXtScale nx360 M5.
In addition, Lenovo is bringing its XClarity systems management software to all of its dual-processor servers. XClarity includes such capabilities as automated discovery, monitoring, configuration and updating, and now includes a new option for mobile management that enables anytime access from mobile devices, officials said.
At the same time, officials introduced the new 1U (1.75-inch) single-processor System x3250 M6 rack server that is powered by Intel's Xeon E3-1200 v5 processors, and is aimed at such workloads as email, file and print, remote office applications and retail point-of-sale.
Lenovo in 2014 jumped to the number-three spot on the list of the world's largest server vendors when it bought IBM's x86 systems business for $2.3 billion. The company has been using a combination of in-house development and partnerships with other companies to expand its reach in such areas as the data center and the cloud. Most recently, Lenovo this month announced partnerships with Nexenta (open-source software-defined storage) and Juniper Networks (converged and hyperconverged infrastructure).