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Oct, 2017

How Intel Xeon Scalable processors support data-center storage?

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Intel Xeon Scalable processors

Data Center Storage benefits are hot-plug capability for NVMe SSDs and software RAID. But it is possible without needing an extra add-in card because Intel has added storage-centric innovations on the processor, chipset accelerators and networking, media and software. In future, VMware may use these technology in vSphere cloud-computing virtualization platform and other OEM can release the new Intel Xeon Scalable processors and high-speed NVMe storage.

Virtual RAID on CPU:

A new software package VROC that combines with Volume Management Device (VMD) processor hardware for RAID volume management.

With this package, storage servers based on the new Intel Xeon Scalable processors can not only connect NVMe drives via a PCIe connection, but also enable NVMe RAID.

There is no need for a third-party RAID controller for RAID enablement. Using a hardware key for activation, this function is integrated into the CPU. This allows for higher speeds along the PCIe bus in a more efficient manner and eliminates the worry of a third-party card failure in the system.

Volume Management Device:

VMD enables hot-swap replacement of NVMe SSDs from the PCIe bus without shutting down the system.

We know that SATA drives offering this but now VMD makes hot-swapping of an NVMe SSD.

LED management provides quick identification of SSD status online to service an SSD. Really helpful in a roomful of server racks.

Connectivity Lanes:

In the data center, storage often involves clustering, and that means networking. So the new Intel Xeon Scalable platform integrates iWARP RDMA Ethernet, allowing one node to quickly get data from another node.

It’s important to have balanced memory and lane connectivity when connecting latest SSDs. To address this requirement, the new Intel Xeon Scalable processors increase both the lane counts and memory channels to increase throughput

Vendor Support:

Intel has shared VMD with its entire storage ecosystem with OEMs/ ODMs and SSD vendor products running on Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

The Intel Xeon Scalable processor family makes more than a powerful addition to your customers’ data center servers. It’s also an important platform for their data-center storage.

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