Intel's Xeon E7 v2 Lands On 21 Servers, Including New Powerhouses From Cisco, HP, Dell

OEMs are lining up behind Intel's new high-performance Xeon E7 v2 processor, with Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and nearly two dozen system makers launching servers geared toward big data analytics workloads.

Intel's latest 22-nanometer Xeon chips are based on Ivy Bridge architecture and boast three times the memory, four times the I/O capacity, and a total-cost-of-ownership reduction of as much as 80 percent.

Intel said 21 OEMs will be rolling out enhanced systems targeting data analytics workloads where performance, reliability and a lot of memory are key. Intel, Santa Ana, Calif., said in a statement that big data and advanced analytics will evolve into a roughly $32.4 billion market by 2017.

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Cisco, for its part, introduced three servers based on the new Xeon chip. Its two-socket systems include the C460 M4 rack system and the B260 M4. Cisco's higher-performance B460 M4 server has four sockets and supports up to 6 TB of memory, leveraging the Xeon's in-memory processing capabilities.

HP, meanwhile, unveiled a Xeon E7 v2-powered ProLiant DL580 Generation 8 system that boasts up to 30 times the speed for processing business transactions, leveraging the in-memory processing capabilities of the processor.

And Dell introduced a PowerEdge R920 high-end server, which it said is targeted at data-intense workloads such as ERP, databases and virtualization. Dell's PowereEdge R920 supports up to 6 TB of memory and up to 24 local storage drives.

Robert Brindell, managing director at Kraft and Kennedy, a solution provider based in New York, said HP's ProLiant and Dell's PowerEdge are Xeon powerhouses that have the potential to cut total cost of ownership by packing more IT muscle into one box.

"Applications are getting more I/O- and CPU-hungry. Our own capacity forecasts show a need for more RAM, CPUs and virtualization. Intel and its OEM partners are cutting hardware costs by relying on virtualized infrastructure. We are happy to see the industry move in that direction," Brindell said.

Fred Moore, managing partner at Moore Computing, a St. Louis-based HP SMB partner, said, "For virtualization and big data number-crunching, the Xeon E7 v2 is a 'big hammer' for those companies that need it."

"That ProLiant DL580 is a dog that will hunt," said Moore, who added that he was impressed by the Xeon's specifications -- singling out the advertised four times I/O capacity compared with its predecessor. "With more power comes the opportunity to drive down costs with virtualization," Moore said.