Intel’s Ivy Bridge Energizes Server Appliances

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    Intel’s Ivy Bridge Energizes Server Appliances

    Recently, Intel has released updated versions of their popular Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v2 series of CPU for dual processor servers.  It is important to note that the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 series (formerly codenamed Ivy Bridge) provide more than just a die shrink of previous generation Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 series CPUs.

    Naturally, the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 series CPUs, with its 22-nanometer architecture, will bring performance improvements to Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 series CPUs, yet the real news here is not all about performance —especially when one considers the benefits that the smaller chip die design can bring to the data center and server appliances.

    One case in point is the new digital random number generator (DRNG) incorporated in the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2s. The new DRNG brings a true entropy-based hardware source for high quality random number generation to server platforms without the need for a 3rd party add-in controller. This, in turn, helps enhance security capabilities to servers, replacing software-based RNGs or pseudo RNG, and provides a more secure method of generating encryption keys.

    In the past, servers placed in secure environments would incorporate a dedicated hardware RNG, adding costs and further complicating design. Intel’s inclusion of a DRNG allows better security to be directly incorporated at the CPU level in the server and allows most any server appliance using the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 to become part of a security-focused infrastructure. With this new feature, companies like UNICOM Engineering are able to create appliances and applications that offer a much higher level of security, while also reducing costs.

    Another advantage offered by Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 CPUs is reduced power consumption compared to previous generations of Intel Xeon processor CPUs, which, in turn, also reduces the heat generated by servers. This helps in reducing required data center cooling loads and energy costs, and also extends server life. With density increasing in the data center and energy costs on the rise, consolidation of servers and leveraging virtualization is becoming a key component of future-proofing data center operations.

    Along with reduced power consumption and better security, the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 series also offers enhanced scalability by removing many of the limitations found in the previous generation Intel Xeon E5-2600 series architecture. For example, new  Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 series CPUs, which are designed for mid-range servers, offer as many as 12 cores per socket, up from 8 cores per socket in the previous generation. The Intel Xeon procdessor E5-2600 v2 CPUs make it possible to increase processing density in a server rack by as much as 50% — all without generating additional heat and power use — while extending service life.  To help keep these extra cores fed with data, minimum memory speed has also increased from 1600 MT/s to 1866 MT/s.

    One of the best parts about the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 CPUs is that they are drop-in compatible with most existing Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 series motherboards with just a simple BIOS update. Designed for ease of migration, they share the same socket, heatsink design, and thermal design power (TDP) ranges as the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 series CPUs they replace.

    So what's the final score? The latest Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 series of CPUs now offered by Intel is a worthy successor to the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 series name, offering more performance and features while consuming less power.  Its ease of being integrated into existing server designs provides for a minimally disruptive approach to increasing server performance of existing designs.  With all this going for it, there are few reasons not to make the switch and being using this latest architecture today.