Intel’s New Xeon E7 Family Targets Big Data
Intel wants to address enterprises' mission-critical, analytics, and big data processing needs with the advent of its new Xeon E7-4800 v3 and E7-8800 v3 x86 chips.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based developer designed the Xeon E7 v3 family to tap into the burgeoning market for speedy in-memory computing, used increasingly to enable digital business strategies and success. The in-memory computing market is projected to reach $13.23 billion in 2018, compared with $2.21 billion in 2013, according to Research and Markets.
Intel leveraged its 2010 acquisition of McAfee to embed some security features into the processors.
"You have seen and will continue to see Intel across the board make more investments here. You'll see the layering of hardware-based solutions with software on the top," Lisa Spelman, general manager of Data Center Marketing, told Enterprise Technology. "We see what's happening in software and see what we can do to make it an engrained feature or a more efficient feature."
The Xeon E7 family, which scales from 2-way up to 8-way designs, includes additional RAS (reliability, availability, and scalability) via Intel Run Sure technology, and is based on the Haswell micro-architecture. They incorporate Intel's Transactional Synchronization Extensions (Intel TSX); this technology delivers transactional memory support in hardware to hasten execution of multi-threaded software through lock elision. As a result, development is faster and coding is simpler, the company said.
"Across the general average benchmark there's core improvement done through architecture and instruction sets, and through the adding of more cores. In previous generations, the highest core count is 15 and in the newest generation it is 18 cores," Spelman said.
Other features include:
- Up to 18 cores, a 20 percent increase in cores versus the prior iteration, and up to 45 megabytes of last-level cache for up to 70 percent more decision support analytic sessions per hour, according to Intel.
- Chips attained 20 new performance records for an average performance improvement of 40 percent over the previous generation.
- Up to six-time increase in business processing application performance for in-memory transactional workloads, due to Intel TSX.
- Support configurations of up to 32 sockets; 8 sockets can support up to 12 terabytes of DDR3 or DDR4 memory.
- Incorporation of Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI) for security and reliability.
- Family includes 12 processor models such as multiple segment optimized processors including two high-frequency versions designed for a subset of database applications. Prices range from $1,224 to $7,175 in quantities of 1,000.
The Xeon E7 v3 family can handle multi-terabytes and petabytes of data. It includes up to one-fifth more cores, threads, cache, and system bandwidth than previous generations, wrote Ron Kasabian, vice president, Data Center Group, and general manager of Big Data Solutions, at Intel, in a company blog.
"In addition, we’ve added an expanded memory footprint to support in-memory analytics—one of the keys to gaining immediate insights from big data. We’ve also added sophisticated technologies like Intel Advanced Vector Extensions to boost simulation performance, Intel Transactional Synchronization Extensions (Intel TSX) to accelerate OLTP performance, and Intel Run Sure Technology to support mission-critical uptime and advanced data integrity," he said.
Today, 17 system manufacturers support Xeon E7 v3 processors. They include Bull, Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, Huawei, Inspur, Lenovo, NEC, Oracle, PowerLeader, Quanta, SGI, Sugon, Supermicro, and ZTE.