Intel Xeon E5 v3 Aims to Be a Leading Indicator

by Sean Michael Kerner

Intel pulls the wraps off its latest server silicon, promising dramatic improvements in performance, security and monitoring capabilities.

Intel today officially launched the third generation of its Xeon E5 server platform with the E5-2600 and E5-1600 v3 product families. The new processors introduce a number of enhanced capabilities to servers

"The Intel Xeon E5 v3 is the first to use DDR4 memory, providing a 40 percent increase in bandwidth," Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel, Intel Xeon E5 v3said during an event launching the new processors.

The new Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 2.0 (AVX2) release also debuts in the third generation Xeon E5. AVX2 provides up to 256 bits per clock cycle on integer heavy workloads. On the storage side, Intel Data Direct I/O and the Intel Storage Acceleration Library have also been enhanced.

Bryant said that servers admins can now allocate a portion of the memory cache for direct access out to storage.

"With this new family we can now allocate up to 50 percent of the cache for storage data," Bryant said. "That improves the I/O performance and improves memory bandwidth."

The Storage Acceleration Library improvements accelerate data de-duplication, error checking and erasure coding.

"Generation over generation in the storage space we're delivering a 2x improvement per core on hashing for data de-duplication.

For networking, Intel's Quick Assist technology has been enhanced, which enables more rapid offload and acceleration of network security capabilities.

"With the Xeon E5 v3, we have demonstrated a 30x improvement in OpenSSL crypto operations," Bryant said. "OpenSSL encrypts two-thirds of the world's websites, there is a very clear value proposition."

With the new 1.7 release of the Intel Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) with the Xeon E5 v3, support for 40 Gigabit Ethernet has been included. Bryant noted that packet processing throughput has improved by 25 percent, generation over generation.

Another big new feature landing in the Xeon E5 v3 is a cache monitoring capability.

"So data is passed from the processor up to the orchestration layer which can watch and identify where contention is occurring in the system and take action," Bryant said. "The cache monitoring feature is providing a leading indicator of performance issues to come rather than today's lagging indicator of an irate customer calling the IT help line."

Overall Intel will be offering the new Xeon E5 v3 chips in multiple different configurations, with 26 different options for the E5-2600 and six different options for the E5-1600.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

This article was originally published on Monday Sep 8th 2014
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