Intel Xeon Scalable Processors (Purley) Unveiled - Intel and VMware touting roughly 2.5x the performance and 4x as many VMs versus the Xeon of 4 years ago

Posted by Paul Braren on Jul 11 2017 (updated on Jul 25 2017) in
  • CPU
  • VMware
  • Intel-Xeon-Scalable-wafer-cropped

    Today was a big announcement day for both Intel and VMware. But before I leave you wondering any longer, yes, those big claims assume Intel Optane / 3D XPoint Inside.

    VMware Video

    First up, we have The VMware Storage YouTube Channel posting this short video by Lee Caswell, VMware VP of Products, Storage & Availability.

    vSAN Ready for New Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family

    VMware Virtual Blocks

    Next came this great summary, rightfully boastful of Day 0 Support of this new processor family:

    • vSAN Hits Another Gear with New Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family
      by Michael Haag:

      vSAN has been extensively tested with Intel’s latest innovations. When deployed together, along with new Intel® Optane™ SSDs and new server platforms, customers can enjoy up to 2.5x more VMs per cluster versus previous generations of vSAN and Intel Xeon processors. These results came from extensive testing by a 3rd party, Evaluator Group, to demonstrate the lower costs possible and faster return on investment (ROI). View notes below on the details of the figure or read the full report here.


      In the figure above, the left 3 charts are based on previous generation of servers using Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4. The 3 results on the right show the performance benefits of moving to the Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, new generation of SSDs, and VMware vSAN 6.6.

    then, just 2 hours later, a summary post at VMware Blogs:

    • Intel Purley Platform Day 0 Readiness for vSAN
      by Biswapati Bhattacharjee:

      Intel Purley is launched today and you can read about it in Intel website here.

      With that, we also include new “vSAN ReadyNode Generation” in our vSAN VCG listing. If you go to vSAN VCG, you will find a new entry “Gen3 – Xeon Scalable” in addition to the previous generation. If you need to deploy vSAN on Purley, select this ReadyNode platform.

      Below is the box where you select it in vSAN VCG:

      Purley Day 0 Server Platform Available for vSAN Deployment

    Intel Press Release

    We have similarly big claims by Intel:

    • Intel Unveils Powerful Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, Bringing Next-Generation Business and Consumer Experiences to Life
      Click to listen now.

      Intel Data Center Platform Offers Industry’s Highest Levels of Performance, Biggest Data Center Advancement in a Decade


      Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors are uniquely architected for today’s evolving data center and network infrastructure — offering businesses the industry’s highest energy efficiency and system-level performance averaging 1.65x higher performance over the prior generation. In growing workloads like AI, Intel Xeon Scalable processors deliver 2.2x performance3 over the prior generation.
      Designed to support an expanding range of existing and emerging data center, and network workloads, including cloud computing, high-performance computing and artificial intelligence.
      Features the richest suite of platform innovations and several integrated performance-boosting technologies including Intel AVX-512, Intel Mesh Architecture, Intel QuickAssist, Intel Optane SSDs, Intel Omni-Path Fabric and more delivering up to 4.2x more virtual machines (VMs) versus a 4-year-old system leading to 65 percent TCO improvement.

    Closing Thoughts


    I'm hoping to get some time to get a taste of what Optane can do with VMware vSphere soon, and plan to share those findings with you. Not benchmarks mind you, but tips based on first-hand experiences, such as:

    • which NVMe driver is best, and where to get it
    • which Optane firmware, and how to install each, and how to easily get a sense of the speed it offers.

    See also at TinkerTry


    Jul 14 2017 Update


    Jul 15 2017 Update


    See also