HPE, SGI Partner on 8-Socket Server for Data-Intensive Workloads

HPE's new Integrity MC990 X system will use SGI's UV interconnect technology to address the growing demand for in-memory processing.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise is using high-speed interconnect technology from SGI in a new eight-socket server aimed at handling the growing high-volume Linux workloads that stem from the rise in mobile computing, data volumes and cloud computing.

HPE officials this week unveiled the Integrity MC990 X server, an x86-based addition to the mission-critical system lineup that is powered by Intel's latest high-end chips, can provide up to 6TB of memory and comes with SGI's UV interconnect technology, which the company is licensing.

The new system is a step up from HPE's eight-socket ProLiant DL980 G7 server and complements the company's high-end Integrity Superdome X and four-socket ProLiant DL580 Gen9 system, according to Randy Meyer, vice president and general manager of mission-critical solutions for HPE's server business unit.

"Addressing these higher-volume, high-value workloads with the flexibility of an x86 platform can give enterprises a competitive edge," Meyer wrote in a post on the company blog. "In this environment, the demand for purpose-built compute platforms to power the most demanding business processing and data-intensive workloads is escalating."

HPE offers a range of mission-critical systems based on Intel's Itanium processor platform, but the vendor is increasing the number of high-end servers that are powered by the chip maker's x86 Xeon products. It is part of a years-long trend in the global server space away from other platforms like the RISC architecture and toward x86, which is increasingly becoming more able to handle high-end workloads and which is less-expensive.

According to IDC analysts, demand for x86 systems in the third quarter 2015 grew, with revenues increasing 7.1 percent over the same period the previous year, to $11.5 billion. HPE was the top vendor in this area. The market for non-x86 servers fell again, this time by 5.5 percent. It was supported by IBM's latest mainframe offering.

With the Integrity MC990 X, HPE officials want to offer customers a system that enables them to more quickly and easily analyze the massive amounts of data being generated so they can make real-time business decisions based on what they find, Meyer wrote. The 6TB of memory will enable the system to handle the demands of in-memory database technology, he wrote.

The system is powered by Intel's Xeon E7-8800 v3 processors, and HPE will OEM SGI's UV technology to address customer demands for greater performance, scalability and availability. It also will help HPE more quickly bring the system to market.

The server will be able to handle such mission-critical workloads as online transaction processing and real-time analytics for SAP and Oracle workloads, Cori Pasinetti, senior director of corporate marketing at SGI, wrote in a post on the company blog.

"The business imperative for real-time analytics and modernizing business processing, coupled with the ever growing volume of data, is driving demand for larger in-memory computing solutions," Pasinetti wrote. "Furthermore, the business critical nature of enterprise applications and high cost of downtime requires solutions that are highly resilient."

For HPE, the partnership with SGI means being able to more quickly develop an eight-socket server that has the ability to serve in-memory databases. For SGI, it creates another avenue for the company to get its technology into large businesses.

"The reach of the SGI technology will be greatly extended with HPE's extensive presence in the enterprise for mission critical solutions," SGI President and CEO Jorge Titinger said in a statement. "HPE's selection of SGI technology is a testament to the performance and reliability of the UV platform."

This isn't the first time SGI has partnered with a top-tier server OEM to grow the presence of its technologies in the enterprise space. In July 2015, the company announced that Dell would resell its UV 300H scale-up appliance for SAP's HANA in-memory database technology. The system can scale to eight or more sockets, giving Dell a high-end system to sell that it could use to better compete with such vendors as HPE.