Accelerating Business Intelligence and Insights

By Mike Pearce, Ph.D. Intel Developer Evangelist for the IDZ Server Community

On May 5, 2015, Intel Corporation announced the release of its highly anticipated Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v3 family.  One key area of focus for the new processor family is that it is designed to accelerate business insight and optimize business operations—in healthcare, financial, enterprise data center, and telecommunications environments—through real-time analytics. The new Xeon processor is a game-changer for those organizations seeking better decision-making, improved operational efficiency, and a competitive edge.

The Intel Xeon processor E7 v3 family’s performance, memory capacity, and advanced reliability now make mainstream adoption of real-time analytics possible. The rise of the digital service economy, and the recognized potential of "big data," open new opportunities for organizations to process, analyze, and extract real-time insights. The Intel Xeon processor E7 v3 family tames large volumes of data accumulated by cloud-based services, social media networks, and intelligent sensors, and enable data analytics insights, aided by optimized software solutions.

A key enhancement to the new processor family is its increased memory capacity – the industry’s largest per socket1 - enabling entire datasets to be analyzed directly in high-performance, low-latency memory rather than traditional disk-based storage. For software solutions running on and/or optimized for the new Xeon processor family, this means businesses can now obtain real-time analytics to accelerate decision-making—such as analyzing and reacting to complex global sales data in minutes, not hours.  Retailers can personalize a customer’s shopping experience based on real-time activity, so they can capitalize on opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell.  Healthcare organizations can instantly monitor clinical data from electronic health records and other medical systems to improve treatment plans and patient outcomes.

By automatically analyzing very large amounts of data streaming in from various sources (e.g., utility monitors, global weather readings, and transportation systems data, among others), organizations can deliver real-time, business-critical services to optimize operations and unleash new business opportunities. With the latest Xeon processors, businesses can expect improved performance from their applications, and realize greater ROI from their software investments.

Real Time Analytics: Intelligence Begins with Intel

Today, organizations like IBM, SAS, and Software AG are placing increased emphasis on business-intelligence (BI) strategies. The ability to extract insights from data is a something customers expect from their software to maintain a competitive edge.  Below are just a few examples of how these firms are able to use the new Intel Xeon processor E7 v3 family to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Intel and IBM have collaborated closely on a hardware/software big data analytics combination that can accommodate any size workload. IBM DB2* with BLU Acceleration is a next-generation database technology and a game-changer for in-memory computing. When run on servers with Intel’s latest processors, IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration optimizes CPU cache and system memory to deliver breakthrough performance for speed-of-thought analytics. Notably, the same workload can be processed 246 times faster3 running on the latest processor than the previous version of IBM DB2 10.1 running on the Intel Xeon processor E7-4870.

By running IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration on servers powered by the new generation of Intel processors, users can quickly and easily transform a torrent of data into valuable, contextualized business insights. Complex queries that once took hours or days to yield insights can now be analyzed as fast as the data is gathered.  See how to capture and capitalize on business intelligence with Intel and IBM.

From a performance speed perspective, Apama* streaming analytics have proven to be equally impressive. Apama (a division of Software AG) is an extremely complex event process engine that looks at streams of incoming data, then filters, analyzes, and takes automated action on that fast-moving big data. Benchmarking tests have shown huge performance gains with the newest Intel Xeon processors. Test results show 59 percent higher throughput with Apama running on a server powered by the Intel Xeon processor E7 v3 family compared to the previous-generation processor.4

Drawing on this level of processing power, the Apama platform can tap the value hidden in streaming data to uncover critical events and trends in real time. Users can take real-time action on customer behaviors, instantly identify unusual behavior or possible fraud, and rapidly detect faulty market trades, among other real-world applications. For more information, watch the video on Driving Big Data Insight from Software AG. This infographic shows Apama performance gains achieved when running its software on the newest Intel Xeon processors.

SAS applications provide a unified and scalable platform for predictive modeling, data mining, text analytics, forecasting, and other advanced analytics and business intelligence solutions. Running SAS applications on the latest Xeon processors provides an advanced platform that can help increase performance and headroom, while dramatically reducing infrastructure cost and complexity. It also helps make analytics more approachable for end customers. This video illustrates how the combination of SAS and Intel® technologies delivers the performance and scale to enable self-service tools for analytics, with optimized support for new, transformative applications. Further, by combining SAS* Analytics 9.4 with the Intel Xeon processor E7 v3 family and the Intel® Solid-State Drive Data Center Family for PCIe*, customers can experience throughput gains of up to 72 percent. 5

The new Intel Xeon processor E7 v3 processor’s ability to drive new levels of application performance also extends to healthcare. To accelerate Epic* EMR’s data-driven healthcare workloads and deliver reliable, affordable performance and scalability for other healthcare applications, the company needed a very robust, high-throughput foundation for data-intensive computing. Epic’s engineers benchmark-tested a new generation of key technologies, including a high performance data platform from InterSystem*, new virtualization tools from VMware*, and the Intel Xeon processor E7 v3 family. The result was an increase in database scalability of 60 percent,6, 7 a level of performance that can keep pace with the rising data access demands in the healthcare enterprise while creating a more reliable, cost-effective, and agile data center. With this kind of performance improvement, healthcare organizations can deliver increasingly sophisticated analytics and turn clinical data into actionable insight to improve treatment plans and ultimately, patient outcomes.

These are only a handful of the optimized software solutions that, when powered by the latest generation of Intel processors, are enabling tremendous business benefits and competitive advantage. From the highly improved performance, memory capacity, and scalability, the Intel Xeon E7 v3 processor family helps deliver more sockets, heightened security, increased data center efficiency and the critical reliability to handle any workload, across a range of industries, so that your data center can bring your business’s best ideas to life. To learn more, visit our software solutions page and take a look at our Enabled Applications Marketing Guide.

1 Intel Xeon processor E7 v3 family provides the largest memory footprint of 1.5 TB per socket compared to up to 1TB per socket delivered by alternative architectures, based on published specs.

2 Up to 6x business processing application performance improvement claim based on SAP* OLTP internal in-memory workload measuring transactions per minute (tpm) on SuSE* Linux* Enterprise Server 11 SP3. Configurations: 1) Baseline 1.0: 4S Intel® Xeon® processor E7-4890 v2, 512 GB memory, SAP HANA* 1 SPS08. 2) Up to 6x more tpm: 4S Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8890 v3, 512 GB memory, SAP HANA* 1 SPS09, which includes 1.8x improvement from general software tuning, 1.5x generational scaling, and an additional boost of 2.2x for enabling Intel TSX.

3 Software and workloads used in the performance test may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Previous generation baseline configuration: SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3 x86-64, IBM DB2* 10.1 + 4-socket Intel® Xeon® processor E7-4870 using IBM Gen3 XIV FC SAN solution completing the queries in about 3.58 hours.  ‘New Generation’ new configuration: Red Hat* Enterprise LINUX 6.5, IBM DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration + 4-socket Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8890 v3 using tables in-memory (1 TB total) completing the same queries in about 52.3 seconds.  For more complete information visit http://www.intel.com/performance/datacenter

4 One server was powered by a four-socket Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8890 v3 and another server with a four-socket Intel Xeon processor E7-4890 v2. Each server was configured with 512 GB DDR4 DRAM, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5*, and Apama 5.2*. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products.

5 Up to 1.72x generational claim based on SAS* Mixed Analytics workload measuring sessions per hour using SAS* Business Analytics 9.4 M2 on Red Hat* Enterprise Linux* 7. Configurations: 1) Baseline: 4S Intel® Xeon® processor E7-4890 v2, 512 GB DDR3-1066 memory, 16x 800 GB Intel® Solid-State Drive Data Center S3700, scoring 0.11 sessions/hour. 2) Up to 1.72x more sessions per hour: 4S Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8890 v3, 512 GB DDR4-1600 memory, 4x 2.0 TB Intel® Solid-State Drive Data Center P3700 + 8x 800 GB Intel® Solid-State Drive Data Center S3700, scoring 0.19 sessions/hour.

6 Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information go to www.intel.com/performance

7 Intel does not control or audit the design or implementation of third party benchmark data or Web sites referenced in this document. Intel encourages all of its customers to visit the referenced Web sites or others where similar performance benchmark data are reported and confirm whether the referenced benchmark data are accurate and reflect performance of systems available for purchase.