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Server system combines processor, storage

Posted: 03 Dec 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Hewlett-Packard Enterprise? HPE? server? Ethernet processor? Intel?

One month after formally parting ways as a separate company, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) has introduced a line of integrated servers. The company said its Synergy systems provide businesses an easy-to-use and flexible combination of processors and storage riding an Ethernet fabric.

Synergy integrates management software that simplifies the process of managing complex systems. Users can dynamically create subsets of processors and disks to run specific jobs as needed.

HPE claims users can deploy a new application on Synergy in three minutes and update an operating system image in as little as 15s. The systems will be available by June.

The systems come in units called frames that house up to five compute or storage modules and one management module. A module can contain a one- or two-socket server or a hard or solid-state drive array. A frame can contain as many as 200 hard drives, 40 in a single module.

Initially systems will use only Intel x86 processors but Synergy is capable of using AMD x86 or ARM processors in the future. Any drive can be associated with any collection of processors and appear as direct-attached or remote storage.

Up to 20 frames can be linked into a single system. The frames use 10Gb/s or 20Gb/s Ethernet fabrics internally over a passive backplane and 10-40GE between frames over optical fibre.

An individual compute module can interconnect with up to 16 fabrics, assigning bandwidth to them dynamically. The frames support Fibre Channel for links to external drive arrays.

Synergy frame

Five compute or storage modules fit into a Synergy frame. (Images: HPE).

Software is the secret sauce

Intel x86 Xeon CPUs

First-generation compute modules use one or two Intel x86 Xeon CPUs.

HPE will offer fixed main memory configurations in the first-generation Synergy compute modules. Future systems will disaggregate main memory, letting users select among various memory modules. Future systems also will support alternative interconnects and memories such as silicon photonics and memristors.

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