Emulex Blogs

What do you get when you cross an Ivy Bridge?

Posted September 10th, 2013 by Mike Jochimsen

Ivy Bridge is the code name that Intel has been using for the new line of Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2600 v2-based server platforms announced today. This marks refinement over the Sandy Bridge platform line introduced back in 2012 and represents a “tick” in the Intel “tick-tock” release cycle with a die shrink to 22nm and enhanced support for PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 as two of the major enhancements.

One of the major intersections with Emulex technology is PCIe 3.0 support.  Our LightPulse® family of Gen 5 Fibre Channel adapters supports PCIe 3.0, which provides up to twice the bandwidth capability over the previous PCIe 2.x standard. Coupled with the adapter improvements over Emulex’s previous generations of LightPulse adapters, Ivy Bridge-based servers with Emulex Gen 5 FC adapters provide a screaming advantage.

Why should you care? Well, as today’s CPU hungry and performance intensive applications become more pervasive, you will have no choice but to care for some of the following reasons:

  1. Mission-critical data growth – Mission-critical applications continue to grow, driving the growth of relational databases such as Oracle and SQL Server. Even though these databases are not getting the media attention of my next topic, big data, the fact remains that businesses run on their front and back office applications like CRM, supply chain and financial management.
  2. Big data – Yeah, this one can be twisted just about any way to include any data collected, but the three Vs (velocity, volume and value) apply. Any data that is coming in quickly in high volumes with high value to a company is big data. Whether it is the mission-critical operational data above, or satellite geo-location data, or Foursquare restaurant “check in” data that indicates today’s hot spot, it’s the value that makes this data “big” to a company. This represents potentially the largest source of data growth in the enterprise today and has spawned a new generation of data repositories (Hadoop, NoSQL databases, etc.) to manage it.
  3. Virtualization – Not new, but becoming more pervasive. As analyst reports of the percent of applications virtualized and the density of virtual servers continue to indicate both numbers are growing, the load that virtualization puts on the server, network and storage continues to grow. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) takes this one step further by putting an even larger load on the server and network.
  4. Private and hybrid  cloud – Perhaps this represents the ultimate in virtualization as cloud computing adoption is moving from corporate science project to real world. While it might still be the early adopters who are converting their IT infrastructure from discrete application computing to private cloud shared computing, the early indications are that it is happening. This potentially takes the virtualization density numbers to the stratosphere and seeks to squeeze every gigatransfer and CPU cycle out of a server that it can.

What is the ecosystem of providers doing to address this? We are making our stuff faster, better performing and less resource demanding, of course. Intel addresses this challenge with the Intel Xeon Processor E5-2600 v2-based server platforms, Emulex with its latest generation of Gen 5 Fibre Channel adapters, the server OEMs with refreshed offerings including both Intel and Emulex products, and the storage community with hybrid and all flash arrays designed to consume more data in less time with less impact on wait time.

By crossing this Ivy Bridge, we get a tick in the server platform performance which, in conjunction with Emulex I/O adapters and storage performance due to flash, provides the next evolutionary step in high performance computing for the enterprise customer.

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