New processors open new era of IT technologies

Last week, Intel introduced to the public in Russia and other CIS countries a family of processors Intel Xeon E5-2600. They are more powerful and reliable and, importantly, are very economical in terms of energy consumption. Their presence opens a new era in the field of IT technologies and means that the cloud technology is getting closer.

These processors are primarily designed for servers, data centers (DPC) and supercomputers. The emergence of this class of devices is not accidental. According to the regional director of Intel in Russia and other CIS states Dmitri Konash who spoke at the event, the market of IT-technology is developing so rapidly that, according to forecasts, by 2015 there will be 15 billion devices connected to the Internet, and over 3 billion of active users.

It is estimated that at this rate of growth every Internet user will daily create over four gigabytes of traffic. This, in turn, will lead to the fact that the volume of stored data will increase annually by nearly 50 percent. In short, in the near future, server administrators may face serious problems.

The original way out of the situation was proposed a while ago - the so-called cloud server. The cloud (or, as it is also called, scattered) data processing is a processing technology, in which computing resources and power are provided to the user as a web service. Simply put, with this approach most of the information is stored on servers in the Internet and cached temporarily on the client side, for example, personal computers, game consoles, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Clearly, this technology involves the creation of virtual servers, also known as cloud servers. They play the role of intermediaries between the actual computers and software involved in cloud computing (called middleware control). In order for the cloud server to work without glitches, the real servers need powerful processors. These are a family of devices from Intel Xeon E5 - a group of new generation processors.

What are their characteristics? First, they can include up to eight cores (clock frequency of 2.9 GHz each) and up to 768 gigabytes of memory. This makes their productivity 80 percent larger than the Intel Xeon processor 5600 of the previous generation. In addition, they support a set of commands Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel AVX), which doubles the speed of the various demanding applications.
The latter is very important. Traffic is steadily increasing, and current servers must provide not only high-speed computing, but also quickly transfer the data to support the work of the most demanding applications and increase the capacity of data centers. There is another know-how. Processor Intel Xeon E5-2600 solves this problem by using technology Intel Integrated I / O and Intel Data Direct I / O. They allow the Ethernet-controllers and adaptors of Intel to route traffic of I/O subsystem directly in the cache of the processor, reducing the amount of data to system memory and reducing energy consumption and latency of I/O subsystem.

Everything in the new processors is aimed at making the servers more timely, reliable, and, last but not least, energy conserving, because energy shortages in the world are increasing at the same rate as the Internet traffic. In addition, the introduction of platforms containing these processors will reduce the actual number of computers involved in the creation of the cloud of virtual servers. This means that the cloud technology will enter into our lives at an increasingly faster pace.

However, this is something for the future, albeit not too far. Today, such calculations are mainly used by academics. They were the first to appreciate the capabilities of the new technology. Vladimir Antsypovich, General Director of Hydromet Data Center, said: "Roshydromet started developing the next step of modernization. In preparation for this project energy-efficient computing cluster was installed based on the architecture of "RSK Tornado" and the new server processors Intel Xeon E5- in 2690.

This supercomputer that has peak performance 35TFLOPS, allowed to increase the total capacity of our data center more than twofold. At the pilot stage of the operation the new cluster of Roshydromet has become a tool for the Russian meteorologists for the further development of operational techniques to improve the accuracy, timeliness and detail of weather forecasts. "

Kirill Bogachev, technical director of Rock Flow Dynamics, gave a high evaluation of the design as well. His company is engaged in the modeling of exploration and development of oil and gas. According to Mr. Bogachev, modeling using platforms with the new processors is done three to four times faster. "Growth in the number of cores and a significant expansion of the channel with memory sharing in systems based on Intel Xeon E5 can achieve almost ideal scaling factors and the calculations significantly improve the competitiveness of our software," said Kirill Bogachev in his report.

It looks like the scientists and technologists are quite happy with the new design from Intel. Incidentally, they are not alone. According to technical director of Studio Main Road | Post Michael Yassin, "Specialists of Studio Main Road | Post have developed creative solutions and created large-scale visual effects for the new film directed by Janicke Fayzieva,"August. Eighth," recently shown in Russia. The level of visual effects and computer characters for the film was so high that the company had to expand its data center based on the Intel Xeon processor 5680 and implementation of server solutions of RAC Group of Companies.
Because of this collaboration, all the results have been obtained without restrictions, on time and achieved the highest quality visual effects. However, we are currently working on a number of new film projects - e.g., "Stalingrad" by Fyodor Bondarchuk - where the grand scale of visual effects will require the use of even more computing power to implement them.

Therefore, we tested the computational efficiency of the servers based on the new processors Intel Xeon E5-2600, and achieved 18 percent performance boost over previous generation of server processors Intel. It gives us great optimism about the prospects for the use of servers based on the new processors Intel Xeon E5 for the best results in our work."

It should be noted that experts from the RAC Group of Companies, a longtime partner of Intel, immediately offered to upgrade its architecture "RSK Tornado" for energy-efficient and compact solutions in high-performance computing and data processing centers (DPC). This new solution of RAC is nothing but the world's first implementation of advanced liquid cooling system in conjunction with the new processors Intel Xeon E5-2600 (the highest-performance model Intel Xeon E5-2690 is used) and on server motherboards Intel.

With the advantages of liquid cooling, each processor core can operate normally in the high frequency of 3.3 gigahertz (that is, increasing the operating frequency by 400 MHz from the nominal due to the technology Intel Turbo Boost, implemented in the processor). This provides additional performance for customers. The system itself is stable and works without disruptions.

Without a doubt, this Intel development opens a new era in the field of IT-technologies that has started on March 15, 2012.
Anton Evseev


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov