Feeds

Server start-up says Dell is too hot to be cheap

Single-core bore

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Start-up Azul Systems has made an example out of Dell by pitching the server giant as a seller of hot, pricey gear.

Azul packed a whopping 1,248 processor cores and 800GB of memory in a single, standard server rack and drew just 9.1kW - 137 cores per kW.

Not one to shy away from entering a rival system in a challenge, Azul then stacked a rack full of two-way, 1U PowerEdge 1850 systems from Dell. Stuck with just single core chips, Dell could only muster 84 cores and up to 672GB of memory in the rack. It did, however, beat Azul in one aspect - power consumption. The Dell rack hummed away to the tune of 23.1 kW - or just 3.64 cores per kW.

All told, Azul pumped out 37.7 times better cores/kW than Dell and required 60 per cent less energy than Dell to power 15 times more cores. And we know this because Azul told us so in a press release.

“Azul offers better economics than Dell which is seen in the marketplace as the pinnacle of economic efficiency," said Shahin Khan, chief marketing officer at Azul.

Some of you are probably wondering what the hell an Azul Systems is, while other might ask, "So what?".

To the first item, Azul makes a pretty unique type of server appliance. It starts with the 24-core Vega processor - designed in house - and then links a bunch of the chips together to form up to a 384-way screamer. Which bring us quickly to the second item.

These multicore processor-powered boxes are built to run multithreaded software - in particular Java application servers and other virtual machine-happy apps. Azul claims that this design gives it a major performance edge over more traditional servers.

The company, however, doesn't provide specific performance data publicly. And, as you might note from the Dell comparison, Azul keeps the discussion on power consumption and cores and doesn't say much about raw performance.

Azul is playing on a common theme in the server industry, and that's a move to lower-power parts. At last week's Intel Developer Forum, Intel explained how it would progress far away from screaming hot single-core chips and toward lower-power multicore dynamos. Sun Microsystems and IBM also talk up similar strategies around parts of their server lines.

While many remain hesitant to guarantee Azul as a long-term success, analysts do tend to praise the start-up for pushing servers far in a new direction. Michael Dell may be less forthcoming with such kind words. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
Intel, Cisco and co reveal PLANS to keep tabs on WORLD'S MACHINES
Connecting everything to everything... Er, good idea?
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.