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May 20, 2009

NEI's New E-1800 R2 and E-2900 R2 Computing Platforms Based on Intel's Xeon 5500 Processor

By Richard Grigonis, Executive Editor, IP Communications Group


When Intel (News - Alert) recently launched the Intel Xeon 5500 processor (formerly code-named “Nehalem”) for servers and workstations, cloud computing enthusiasts jumped for joy, owing to the Xeon 5500’s remarkable computing power, energy efficiency and flexibility. After all, the Xeon 5500 is said to be capable of delivering up to 2.25 times the computing performance for the same amount of power as Intel’s previous Xeon 5400 series. This also carries over into working in a cloud service providers virtualization layer (also 2 times the performance of the Xeon 5400).
 
To further save power and get more “bang for the buck”, the Xeon 5500 has onboard intelligence enabling it to boost performance when processing demands increase (it’s called, appropriately enough, Turbo Boost) and it can throttle back on power consumption when nothing much is happening – this variable energy utilization feature is called Intel Intelligent Power Management Technology.
 
In particular, for server-based environments, the processor has a power control policy engine (the Intelligent Power Node Manager) that can adjust platform power on-the-fly to attain optimum performance-power ratio for each server and maintain a certain energy threshold as more servers are and the rack density increases. Moreover, the Xeon 5500 uses 50 percent less power when “idling” than previous processors, and it can run at higher temperatures, which means that datacenters need less air conditioning and – you guessed it – less power.
 
In a world of immense databases that do nothing but grow in size, performance must be increased by loading as much information as possible into memory that’s easily accessible by the CPU, rather than having to retrieve the data from a distant disk array across a storage network. That’s why the Xeon 5500 uses the combination of an integrated memory controller and Intel’s Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) to achieve up to 3.5 times the memory bandwidth as the previous generation of processors, which makes it suitable for accessing high-speed Solid State Disks (SSDs).
 
And now, NEI, a provider of application platforms, appliances and support services for software developers, OEMs and service providers worldwide, has announced two new enterprise communications platforms based on the Intel Xeon 5500 processor. The E 1800 R2 and E 2900 R2 are built for medium-density applications. They enable customers to create a wider variety of high-performance, low-power unified enterprise communications, call center and storage solutions. When coupled with NEI’s lifecycle management approach to handling equipment, these high-availability platforms will be able to maximize uptime and achieve a very low total cost of ownership.
 
Key features of the E-1800 R2 and E-2900 R2 include full support of up to five PCI card slots which can be configured as five PCIe or three PCIe and two PCIx cards and up to eight drives. These platforms offer a standard, scalable 1U (1.75-inch high) and 2U (3.5-inch high) rackmount solutions that software developers can customize to match medium-density storage and I/O requirements. The E 1800 R2 and E-2900 R2 are designed to maximize reliability, uptime and utilization and feature on board RAID, hot swap drives and redundant hot-swap power supplies. With up to 96 GB of DDR3 ECC registered memory, the platforms also features hot-swap SATA or SAS (News - Alert) drive support and up to two dual quad-core Xeon 5500 series processors for maximum performance and density. Both systems support Microsoft Windows products and ACE Linux and feature standard two-year limited warranties.
 
Evaluation units of the E-1800 R2 and E 2900 R2 are available now. Base configuration pricing starts at $2,450. NEI offers customers a variety of lifecycle services, technical support plans and maintenance programs to ensure high availability, rapid response, effective troubleshooting, fast parts replacement and 24-hour support.
 
 
 

Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC (News - Alert)�s IP Communications Group. To read more of Richard’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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