XenServer 7 released

XenServer 7 was released earlier this week bringing improvements in performance, scalability and security.

Most significant capabilities introduced:

  • Direct Inspect: takes full advantage of the Intel EPT virtualization extensions to permit a true agentless anti-malware solution
  • GPU support for NVIDIA GRID Maxwell M10 and the latest Intel Iris Pro virtual graphics
  • RAM: 5TB per host, with a corresponding bump to 1.5TB per VM
  • Host CPU count has been increased to 288 cores
  • Guest virtual CPU count has increased to 32
  • Disk scalability has also increased with support for up to 255 virtual block devices per VM and 4096 VBDs per host, all while supporting up to 20,000 VDIs per SR
  • Active Directory performance to support very large AD forests with a resulting improvement in login times

You can get the new version at the XenServer download page.

Read more at xenserver.org

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Huawei Achieves 1 Terabits Per Second over 1040km

huawei-logoHuawei, in partnership with belgian company Proximus, have achieved speeds of up to one terabits per second over super-channel optical cable, the equivalent of sending 33 HD movies in just a second.

Proximus/Huawei’s transmission speed was conducted over a 1,040km fiber link using an advanced “Flexgrid” infrastructure with Huawei’s Optical Switch Node OSN 9800 platform.

The companies claim their approach increases the capacity on a fiber cable by compressing the gaps between transmission channels. “The technique increases the density of the transmission channels on fiber, making it around 150 per cent more efficient than today’s typical 100Gbps core network links,” they said.
Read the Press Release and an article at The Register.

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Google Cloud Platform price reductions

google-cloud-engineGoogle announced this week that following last year’s commitment that Google Cloud Platform prices will follow Moore’s Law, will reduce prices of virtual machines by 5 to 30%.

Under the new pricing model, cloud compute instances will be cut anywhere from 5 per cent to 30 per cent in US, and similar in Europe and Asia.

google-pricing

Google is also offering a new option for standard VM instances ‘Preemptible VMs’, the new allowing users to set up a standard one-node VM for $0.015 per hour. The service will utilize idle compute nodes during low-activity hours, a feature that Google credits with helping to keep the cost of the service down.

Read the announcement on  Google Cloud Platform Blog.

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Dell launches 100Gbps capable switch

dell-logoDell introduced on Thursday the Dell Networking Z9100-ON switch based on the “Tomahawk” network ASICs from Broadcom wich is offering 32 ports of 100GbE in just 1RU with multi-rate capabilities. The Z9100-ON provides 32 ports of 100GbE, 64 ports of 40GbE, 64 ports of 50GbE, 128 ports of 10GbE, or 128 ports of 25GbE all within a single RU switch for unprecedented choice and flexibility.

dell-Z9000-ON

The Z9100 is designed for cloud, HPC and Web 2.0 applications that require a range of options in switching rates in high-density environments and excels in Big Data analysis and where high performance, low latency requirements exist. The fabric switch offers up to seven times the density per RU versus a competing switch.

The new switch is not only capable of running Dell’s own OS9 network operating system (which came from its Force10 Networks acquisition a few years back) but also can be equipped with the ONIE open network operating system installer and can be used to load Cumulus Linux from Cumulus Networks and Switch Light from Big Switch Networks.

Additionaly, Dell anounced two additional open networking switches, the S3048-ON and the S4048-ON, providing 1/10/40GbE.

Read the Press Release.

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Broadcom Introduces StrataDNX™ Switch SoCs for Carrier and Data Center Networks

broadcom-logoThe Broadcom® StrataDNX products are the world’s first to provide 800 Gbps packet processing per device at a high interface bandwidth while integrating a scalable multi-terabit switch fabric, hierarchical traffic manager, external packet buffer memory and advanced packet processing. This unique combination enables equipment makers to deliver network equipment with a higher port density, lower power consumption and greater subscriber scale in a smaller physical system size.

The 28 nanometer (nm) StrataDNX switch family offers the following device options:

  • BCM88370 – A single-chip switch delivering 800 Gbps Ethernet for compact carrier Ethernet and data center top-of-rack switches
  • BCM88670 – A 720 Gbps packet processor and traffic manager with DNX fabric interfaces for carrier Ethernet switch router, data center chassis, and enterprise campus applications
  • BCM88770 – A high density switch fabric device providing 3.6Tbps throughput per device enabling over 100Tbps switching capacity in a single stage system when combined with BCM88670

The StrataDNX family supports pre-standard implementation for 25 and 50 Gigabit Ethernet, enabling direct connectivity to the Broadcom BCM56960 Tomahawk switch SoC, the industry’s first high- density 25/100 Gigabit Ethernet switch for cloud-scale networks.  In addition, the devices support port speeds of up to 400 Gbps, enabling the world’s largest interconnect pipes and roadmap to 400 Gigabit Ethernet. Integrated accelerators for carrier service management provide visibility and control for carrier networks and distributed data centers traversing a wide area network (WAN).

Broadcom’s new switch SoCs are ideal for optical transport, carrier Ethernet, edge and core routers, data center cloud and enterprise campus market segments.

Read the announcement on the Broadcom Blog.

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Parallels Acquires 2X Software

parallels-logoParallels began operations in 2000 and has contrated on helping service providers to stand up virtual servers for their clients and bundling apps for consumption-as-a-service by its well known Plesk management system. It has more than 900 employees in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

The company has just acquired 2X Software, a provider of application virtualisation, remote application delivery, and mobile device management solutions.

Their portfolio of virtualization products is now completed by the X2’s remote access products (2X Remote Application Server – RAS) and mobile device management (2X Mobile Device Management – MDM). The new range of products that Paralels can provide to their customers positions them as a viable alternatove to Citrix and VMware.

Parallels and 2X are both privately held, so there’s no mention of the price paid for the company.

Read the Press Release and an article at The Register.

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VMware launches vSphere 6

VMware LogoVMware announced yesterday the new version of its virtualization platform, and the first major release of the flagship product in more than three years.

vSphere 6 is packed with 650-plus new features and innovations that will empower users to virtualize applications with confidence by delivering increased scale and performance, breakthrough availability, storage efficiencies for virtual machines (VMs), and simplified management for the virtual data center.

Scaling and Performance updates:

  • Configuration maximums are increased across the board with many areas experiencing 2X, 3X or even 4X scale improvements

vmware-6-maximums

  • Superior 2D and 3D graphics for your VMs with NVIDIA GRID vGPU
  • Instant Clone technology lays the foundation to rapidly clone and provisions VMs up to 10x faster than what is possible today
  • vMotion enhancements that span the boundaries of virtual switches and vCenter Servers and over long distances with up to 100ms round trip time
  • Fault Tolerance for larger virtual machines with support for up to 4-vCPUs

Read the announcement on VMware Blog and the Press Release.

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IBM shows PowerPC microserver for Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope

IBP_power_logoIBM has revealed more about a PowerPC microserver that will help to analyze data gathered by the square kilometre array (SKA), the colossal radio telescope to be built across South Africa and Australia.

Once operational, the SKA is expected to generate around an exabyte – a million terabytes – of data each day. Even sorting this amount of data is going to need plenty of computing power, but also power efficeint.

The microserver is based on a Freescale T4240 chip with 12 phisical cores (24 virtual) and running Fedora 20. The power consumption is around 16W.

The T4240, with 24 virtual cores, is the flagship of the Freescale’s QorIQ T series. It is based on four Power Architecture® e6500 cores and supports:

  • frequencies up to 1.8 GHz
  • AltiVec technology SIMD engine
  • three DDR3/3L RAM controllers
  • integrated multiple 1Gbps and 10Gpbs Ethernet connections
  • four PCI Express 2.0/3.0 controllers
  • hardware acceleration and advanced system peripherals

Read more about the new IBM microserver at The Register and about the T4240.

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IBM z13 mainframe launched

ibm-logoIBM announced on Tuesday a new high end mainframe – the IBM z13 wich delivers the latest mainframe technology.

The z13 system culminates a $1 billion investment, five years of development, exploits the innovation of more than 500 new patents and represents a collaboration with more than 60 clients.

IBM’s new mainframe provides unprecedented new capabilities, including:IBM-z13

  • z13 is the first system able to process 2.5 billion transactions a day – equivalent of 100 Cyber Mondays every day of the year. z13 transactions are persistent, protected and auditable from end-to-end
  • z13 is the first system to make practical real-time encryption of all mobile transactions at any scale. z13 speeds real-time encryption of mobile transactions to help protect the transaction data and ensure response times consistent with a positive customer experience
  • z13 is the first mainframe system with embedded analytics providing real-time insights on all transactions. This capability can help guarantee the ability of the client to run real-time fraud detection on 100 percent of their business transactions

Impromevents versus its predecessor, zEC12:

  • Up to 10% faster uniprocessor performance
  • Up to 40% system capacity performance improvement
  • 141 cores to configure (versus 101 on zEC12)
  • 231 capacity settings (versus 161 on zEC12)
  • Up to 10 TB RAIM memory to improve transaction response times, lower CPU costs, simplify capacity planning, and ease deploying memory-intensive workloads
    z/Architecture® enhancements designed to enable performance improvements in Linux, Java™, and DB2
  • Enhanced cache design which is designed to provide twice as much second level cache and substantially more third and fourth level caches compared to the zEC12, helping to avoid untimely swaps and memory waits while maximizing the throughput of concurrent workloads
  • The newest generation of FICON features, FICON Express16S 10KM LX and FICON Express16S SX, are designed to support a link rate of 16 Gbps with reduced latency for large read/write operations and increased bandwidth

Read the press release, product page and product datasheet.

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Amazon launches new compute intesive C4 Instances

awsAmazon announced the availability of C4 instances type, announced since last November.

Interestingly, the new C4 instances are based on a Intel Xeon E5-2666 v3 (code name Haswell) processor custom optimized for EC2, that runs at a base speed of 2.9 GHz, and can achieve clock speeds as high as 3.5 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost.

There are 5 instance types, ranging from 2 virtual cores (on phisycal with HyperThreading enabled) and 3.75 GB of memory to 36 virtual cores and 60 GB of RAM:

aws-C4-instances

Intel® Xeon® Processor (E5-2666 v3) is based on the Intel Haswell micro architecture that is a notable improvement on its predecessors. It is better at predicting branches and more efficient at prefetching instructions and data. It can also do a better job of taking advantage of opportunities to execute multiple instructions in parallel. This improves performance on integer math and on branches. This new processor also incorporates Intel’s Advanced Vector Extensions 2. AVX2 supports 256-bit integer vectors and can process 32 single precision or 16 double precision floating point operations per cycle.

More info at Amazon and The Register.

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