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Silicon Mechanics Big Data Server Takes on IT Big Guns

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Silicon Mechanics is offering a high performance server powered by four Intel Xeon E7-4800 v2 processors. The Rackform iServ R456 server also supports up to two Graphic Processor Units (GPUs) with one of the options being the NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPU accelerator that Silicon Mechanics added to its catalog at the end of April.

The Intel E7-4800 v2 processor family has 8 SKUs and compared to the first generation of the E7 chips, the second generation processors include up to 50 percent more cores, support up to 25 percent more shared cache and have up to 3 times more memory capacity. The Rackform iServ R456 is initially configured with 4 Intel Xeon E7-4820 v2, 2.0GHz 8-core processors, but can be configured to include any of the Xeon E7-4800 processor family up to the E7-4890 v2, 2.8GHz, 15-core processor.

With four E7-4890 processors, the server would have 60 cores and with 96 DDR3 DIMM slots and using 32GB DIMMs, the system maxes out at 3TB RAM memory capacity. This is 1TB less than the E7-4800 v2 powered NEC Express 5800/A2000 server and half of what IBM's x3850 and IBM x6 servers make available, both of which were released earlier this year.

This high-end R456 server, like the HP ProLiant DL580 Gen8 server and the NEC and IBM servers mentioned above, are all targeted for workloads in medium to large enterprises that are looking for high performance hardware to work with analytics, large-scale transaction processing, big data, data warehousing, and business intelligence applications.

One observation about the system's configuration is that, according to Intel, the E7 processor family can support up to 1.5TB of memory per socket, yet Silicon Mechanics limits the configuration to 3TB. Still, with the R456 server machine topped out with the higher end CPUs with 37.5MB of L3 cache, maximum memory, and including GPU accelerators the server would still be a candidate for processing large data sets and in-memory databases.

The R456 server is a 4U rack mount server with an integrated dual-port 10GbE adapter, 8 PCIe 3.0 expansion slots, 24 hot swappable 2.5inch SAS / SATA and can be configured with a variety of RAID options including RAID 0/5/6/10.

The Nvidia Tesla K40 GPU accelerators were designed to provide high performance compute capabilities and Silicon Mechanics K456 supports up to 2 of the 12 GB GPU accelerators. The Nvidia Tesla K40 GPU features Nvidia GPU Boost technology, which converts power headroom into a user-controlled performance boost for greater acceleration of various HPC workloads.