Archive for the 'Westmere EP' Category

Xeon E5-2600 OS CPU To Core / SMT Thread Mapping On Linux. It Matters.

Ages ago I blogged about the Intel topology tool and mapping Xeon 5500 (Nehalem EP) processor threads to OS CPUs on Linux. I don’t recall if I ever blogged the same about Xeon 5600 (Westmere EP) but I’ll cover that processor and Xeon E5-2600 in this short post.  Fist, Xeon 5600.

The following two screen shots are socket 0 and socket 1 from a Xeon 5600 server. Socket 0 first:

Now, socket 1:

So, based on the information above, one would have to specify OS CPUs 0,1,2,3,4,5 if they wanted thread 0 from the first 3 cores on each CPU (c0_t0). I never liked that much. That’s why I’m glad Sandy Bridge presents itself in a more logical manner. As you can see from the following two screen shots, specifying affinity for thread 0 of cores on socket 0 is as simple as 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7. First, socket 0:

And now, socket 1:

Lest this come off as simple tomfoolery, allow me to show the 2x difference in siphoning off a fifo when the data flows socket-local versus socket-remote:

Be aware that this level of disparity will not necessarily be realized when a server is booted SUMA (nor even when BIOS NUMA is enabled but the grub boot string includes numa=off). I’d test the difference and blog that here but that would just be tomfoolery :-)

Exadata Database Machine X2-2 or X2-8? Sure! Why Not? Part II.

In my recent post entitled Exadata Database Machine X2-2 or X2-8? Sure! Why Not? Part I, I started to address the many questions folks are sending my way about what factors to consider when choosing between Exadata Database Machine X2-8 versus Exadata Database Machine X2-2. This post continues that thread.

As my friend Greg Rahn points out in his recent post about Exadata, the latest Exadata Storage Server is based on Intel Xeon 5600 (Westmere EP) processors. The Exadata Storage Server is the same whether the database grid is X2-2 or X2-8. The X2-2 database hosts are also based on Intel Xeon 5600. On the other hand, the X2-8 database hosts are based on Intel Xeon 7500 (Nehalem EX). This is a relevant distinction when thinking about database encryption.

Transparent Database Encryption

In his recent post, Greg brings up the topic of Oracle Database Transparent Data Encryption (TDE). As Greg points out, the new Exadata Storage Server software is able to leverage Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI) found in the Intel Integrated Performance Primitives (Intel IPP) library because the processors in the storage servers are Intel Xeon 5600 (Westmere EP). Think of this as “hardware-assist.” However, in the case of the database hosts in the X2-8, there is no hardware-assist for TDE as Nehalem EX does not offer support for the necessary instructions. Westmere EX will—someday. So what does this mean?

TDE and Compression? Unlikely Cousins?

At first glance one would think there is nothing in common between TDE and compression. However, in an Exadata environment there is storage offload processing and for that reason roles are important to understand. That is, understanding what gets done is sometimes not as important as who is doing what.

When I speak to people about Exadata I tend to draw the mental picture of an “upper” and “lower” half. While the count of servers in each grid is not split 50/50 by any means, thinking about Exadata in this manner makes understanding certain features a lot simpler. Allow me to explain.

Compression

In the case of compressing data, all work is done by the upper half (the database grid). On the other hand, decompression effort takes place in either the upper or lower half depending on certain criteria.

  • Upper Half Compression. Always.
  • Lower Half Compression. Never
  • Lower Half Decompression. Data compressed with Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) is decompressed in the Exadata Storage Servers when accessed via Smart Scan. Visit my post about what triggers a Smart Scan for more information.
  • Upper Half Decompression. With all compression types, other than HCC, decompression effort takes place in the upper half. When accessed without Smart Scan, HCC data is also decompressed in the upper half.

Encryption

In the case of encryption, the upper/lower half breakout is as follows:

  • Upper Half Encryption. Always. Data is always encrypted by code executing in the database grid. If the processors are Intel Xeon 5600 (Westmere EP), as is the case with X2-2, there is hardware assist via the IPP library. The X2-8 is built on Nehalem EX and therefore does not offer hardware-assist encryption.
  • Lower Half Encryption. Never.
  • Lower Half Decryption. Smart Scan only. If data is not being accessed via Smart Scan the blocks are returned to the database host and buffered in the SGA (see the Seven Fundamentals). Both the X2-2 and X2-8 are attached to Westmere EP-based storage servers. To that end, both of these configurations benefit from hardware-assist decryption via the IPP libarary. I reiterate, however, that this hardware-assist lower-half decryption only occurs during Smart Scan.
  • Upper Half Decryption. Always in the case of data accessed without Smart Scan. In the case of X2-2, this upper-half decryption benefits from hardware-assist via the IPP library.

That pretty much covers it and now we see commonality between compression and encryption. The commonality is mostly related to whether or not a query is being serviced via Smart Scan.

That’s Not All

If HCC data is also stored in encrypted form, a Smart Scan is able to filter out vast amount of encrypted data without even touching it. That is, HCC short-circuits a lot of decryption cost. And, even though Exadata is really fast, it is always faster to not do something at all than to shift into high gear and do it as fast as possible.

Will Oracle Ever Release Sun Servers Based On Westmere EP and Nehalem EX Processors? Yes.

Oracle has announced the release of several new x86 servers based on the Westmere EP and Nehalem EX processors. This is a really short blog entry, because the website is so loaded with information I haven’t much to add:

Oracle Real Application Clusters Does Not Scale?
I’d like to single out an interesting benchmark. This Oracle Sun x4470 SAP SD benchmark result highlights Real Application Clusters scalability and a result in 6U worth of rack space that beats the recent HP Proliant DL980 G7 result with Microsoft by 15%. The DL980 G7 is an 8U server.

Yes, It Runs IBM DB2, Too.
Lest we forget, people do deploy IBM DB2 on Solaris. To read more follow the link:

Updated Options for Deploying IBM DB2 on Solaris x86-based Servers

Intel Xeon 5600 (Westmere EP) vs AMD Opteron 6100 (Magny-Cours)

AnandTech has a significant amount of fresh coverage of the AMD 6100 (Magny-Cours) versus the Westmere EP. It is an interesting read:

Intel Xeon 5600 (Westmere EP) versus AMD Opteron 6100 (Magny-Cours)

It’s getting quite wordy now that it takes some three syllables to express how many cores there are in some processors. We’ve gone beyond hex-core and oct-core to dodeca-core. Hmmm…


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All content is © Kevin Closson and "Kevin Closson's Blog: Platforms, Databases, and Storage", 2006-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Closson and Kevin Closson's Blog: Platforms, Databases, and Storage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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