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In its bid to carve out a niche in the high-end server market, PC and systems vendor Dell this week announced its highest performing server to date.
The new, four-socket PowerEdge R920, scheduled for worldwide availability later this year,offers big improvements on previous four-socket servers from the company, and is “designed to handle extremely demanding, mission-critical workloads like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce and very large databases - including in-memory databases,” according to a blog post by Brian Payne, senior product planning manager for Dell’s PowerEdge server portfolio.
Initial tests of the PowerEdge R920 against Linux benchmarks for four-socket servers, he added, show that it’s capable of running SAP applications 71 percent faster than any of Dell’s other four-socket servers, and offers “nearly the same performance”, in an SAP environment, as previous generation 8-socket servers from other vendors - but at a much lower cost, when you factor in both the cost of acquiring the server and the comparatively higher enterprise application licensing costs associated with eight-socket servers.
And when it comes to analytics, the PowerEdge R920 can handle more than twice the throughput to process larger Oracle OLAP [online analytical processing] datasets, with twice the reduction in latency.
That’s down in part to the inclusion of Intel’s new E7 v2 multicore processors, along with a number of other storage and memory features including 8 PCIe Express Flash drives, a H730P PowerEdge RAID controller that doubles cache size and has the ability to maximise the performance of available solid-state drives, up to 6 terabytes of memory and up to 24 local storage drives.
To ensure performance monitoring does not interrupt applications running on the server, Dell has also given users the option of doing this externally. As Payne explains: "We know our customers want as much CPU performance as they can get for their applications. With that in mind, we've integrated agent-free out-of-band monitoring to free up those critical cycles for greater performance benefits."