Performance Soars for Atos Origin and INRA URGI with Intel® Xeon® Processor 5600 Series

itc_cs_atosoriginvirt_xeon_carousel_preview.jpgSeeing is believing for two European companies that recently learned how the Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series could dramatically improve their data centers' performance.

Atos Origin manages core IT infrastructures for its clients. To help maximize use of data center space and cut power consumption and costs, Atos Origin virtualizes as much of its customers' IT workloads as possible. It runs, on average, 16 virtual machines per physical server powered by Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series with eight cores. To increase its consolidation ratio, Atos Origin evaluated the advanced performance, energy efficiency, and virtualization capabilities of the Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series with six cores. It found performance increased by an average of 30 percent for both Web and database workloads, and by 20 percent for email. Average power consumption was down 20 percent under load and 30 percent more efficient when idle thanks primarily to Intel® Intelligent Power Technology. The evaluation showed that the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series had the potential to increase Atos Origin’s consolidation ratio by up to three virtual machines per core. Built-in Intel® Virtualization Technology improves performance, enabling Atos Origin to extend virtualization to more processor- and I/O-hungry applications. Virtualizing more of the server environment also simplifies management and extends the benefits of virtualization to most workloads.

To carry out more research and attract more funding from the French government and European Union, Europe’s leading biology laboratory, INRA URGI,  wanted to upgrade its computer cluster to make it faster. Like Atos Origin, it turned to the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series, benchmarking it against the previous-generation Intel Xeon processor 5400 series, which was powering its existing computing cluster. INRA URGI also implemented 22 new HP ProLiant* BL460c blade servers powered by 44 Intel Xeon processors 5600 series and plans to introduce another 40 or more by the end of the year. It can now take full advantage of next-generation sequencing, which enables the sequencing of DNA at unprecedented speed. The new cluster also permits more concurrent users, enabling INRA URGI to expand its usage into the wider research community.

“We gained memory bandwidth and an average 50 percent performance improvement,” explained Sébastien Reboux, system administrator for INRA URGI. In the best case, we gained a 70 percent performance improvement.”

For the whole story, read our new Atos Origin and INRA URGI business success stories. As always, you can find these, and many more, in the Reference Room and IT Center.