Xeon 'Grantley': 12 New Servers With Intel's Fastest Chip Yet

The New Grantley Processors: Intel And Friends' Big Server Introduction

Historically, the release of a new Intel server processor means a raft of new server introductions, and last week's Intel Xeon processor E5-2600/1600 v3 product family release was no exception. All the major server vendors, and many not-so-major vendors, have prepared their lines to take advantage of the new processors, which provide up to 18 cores and 45 MB of last-level cache per socket.

New with the processors are cache-monitoring technologies, and platform telemetry sensors and metrics to help improve data center efficiency.

Turn the page to see how an even dozen server vendors are adopting the new E5 processors.

Amax Xeon E5 Upgrades Include Cloud, Hadoop Solutions

Fremont, Calif.-based system builder Amax has integrated its server platforms, including its cloud and Hadoop cluster solutions, with the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 family.

Amax server platforms with the new processor family include the CloudMax Cloud Server, a 2U, dual-socket server with up to 12 3.5-inch drives and four internal SSDs; the PHAT Data two-node server with dual processors used as a reference architecture for Hortonworks' HDP distribution; the StorMax I/O-optimized storage servers and high-density storage servers; the OCP (Open Compute) Winterfell Nodes; and the memory-optimized or density-optimized Amax on-premises server appliances for custom solutions.

Cisco Intros M-Series Modular Server, UCS Mini

Cisco refreshed its UCS server line with two major additions. The first is the new Cisco M-Series modular servers featuring a new Cisco 2U chassis that fits up to eight compute modules, each with two independent Intel Xeon E3 servers. Up to 16 servers share four SSDs and dual 40-Gbit Ethernet connectivity in 2U of rack space.

Cisco also unveiled the UCS Mini, which uses the existing B-Series blade chassis and blades, but replaces the expensive Cisco Fabric Extenders with the new Cisco UCS 6324 Fabric Interconnect, which provides network connectivity for up to eight Cisco UCS blade servers and seven direct-connect rack servers.

Cray Supercomputer Refresh

Seattle-based supercomputer developer Cray said its next-generation Cray XC supercomputers and Cray CS cluster supercomputers, including both air-cooled and liquid-cooled models, will feature the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 chips.

The Cray XC supercomputers target high-performance computing (HPC) applications, while the Cray CS cluster supercomputers target large, complex technical applications.

Dell Focus On Server Flash Storage

Dell touted flash storage and ease of management in its new 13G (generation 13) server line. One new model has a tier of 18 1.8-inch SATA SSDs paired with a tier of eight 3.5-inch spinning drives that takes advantage of the Microsoft Storage Spaces to manage the tiers. The company also added a common connector that allows SATA, SAS and PCIe flash, and spinning drives to be easily added depending on requirements.

On the management side, Dell introduced ZeroTouch autoconfiguration and iDRAC QuickSync, which Dell called the first NFC-enabled technology for updating servers by tapping a smart device to the server.

Equus Goes For Higher Performance

Minnetonka, Minn.-based custom server builder Equus Computer Systems upgraded its server line with the new E5-2600 v3 processor line, giving them a performance boost of up to 70 percent over previous generations, the company said.

The company's latest 1U and 2U rack-mount servers, along with a tower server, now support DDR4 memory, new encryption and other security capabilities, and new power and cooling features for technical computing, communications, storage and networking applications, Equus said.

HP: 21 New Platforms Planned

Hewlett-Packard plans to introduce 21 new platforms on the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 chips as part of the rollout of its ProLiant Gen9-based family through fiscal year 2015. The company is marrying the higher performance of the new processors to RESTful APIs, a modular architecture to increase configuration flexibility, and HP's OneView infrastructure management application for both physical resources and clouds.

HP also is tying the new ProLiant Gen9 servers to accelerated delivery services that include significantly faster provisioning, as well as a four-times boost in business outcome performance.

IBM Focus On Security, Efficiency

IBM's new Xeon E5-2600 v3-based M5 server line is heavy on security, efficiency and reliability for mission-critical applications, the company said. They include IBM's Trusted Platform Assurance for protecting the servers from low-level malware attacks, as well as encryption with centralized key management. Reliability was enhanced with new built-in proactive diagnostic tools.

New in the IBM System x M5 server line are the System x3650 M5 2U, two-socket rack servers; the System x3550 M5 1U, two-socket rack servers; the System x3500 M5 5U, two-socket tower or rack server for business-critical workloads; the Flex System x240 M5 for mainstream virtualization and enterprise applications; and more.

Lenovo Acts Like It's Not Acquiring IBM's Servers

Lenovo showed it is pushing ahead on its ThinkServer line despite the pending acquisition of IBM's server business by unveiling two new rack-mount and one new tower server that use the ASHRAE A4 control standard to run at 113 degrees Fahrenheit continuously, which significantly cuts cooling requirements.

They also feature the company's AnyRAID solution, which connects any RAID adapters to the server backplane; AnyFabric to allow choice of networking fabric; and AnyBay technology to allow the use of any SAS, SATA or PCIe drives. They also feature an M2 connector for miniature-boot SSDs.

NEC Touts 40 Percent Performance Boost

NEC Corp. of America launched two new models of its Express5800 Series of industry-standard rack-mount servers, featuring the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 chips. They feature high-speed DDR4 memory, along with 12-Gbps SAS RAID controllers and hard drives to increase performance by about 40 percent over previous models, the company said.

Included with the servers, which operate in ambient temperatures as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius, is NEC's on-board EXPRESSBUILDER system setup utility that supports Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V automatic setup, as well as the EXPRESSCOPE Engine 3 for operational management support.

Radisys Targets SDN, NFV Applications With New Line

Hillsboro, Ore.-based wireless infrastructure solution developer Radisys said it supports the Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 series processors to meet performance demands for processor-intensive software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) applications. The upgraded portfolio of blade and rack-mount servers, targeting its telecom equipment manufacturer customers, is paired with Radisys' solutions and expertise in LTE, deep packet inspection and security.

SGI Targeting Highest Performance

SGI unveiled new versions of its SGI ICE X, SGI InfiniteData Cluster and SGI Rackable servers based on the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 product family.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based company also claims to have achieved world records in performance for Intel's newest processor, including for the SPEC MPI2007 benchmarks on the company's SGI ICE X supercomputer.

The E5-2600 v3-based SGI ICE X and SGI Rackable servers are available for order, while the new InfiniteData Cluster servers are slated to be available for order this fall.

Supermicro Targets Performance, Energy Efficiency

Supermicro, San Jose, Calif., released its line of X10 Server Building Block Solutions, featuring the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600/1600 v3 family. New from Supermicro are 1U and 2U Ultra SuperServer solutions with enterprise-class performance and hot-swappable NVMe storage; the 6U MicroBlade high-density server, which fits up to 28 hot-swappable MicroBlade modules; the 2U and 4U TwinPro and TwinPro2 hot-plug node servers; the 4U FatTwin high-density, hot-plug node servers; new server and storage blades or 7U SuperBlade system; 1U and 2U data-center-optimized servers, and more.

Most of the new servers include 94 percent to 96 percent efficient power supplies to help customers cut power requirements.