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Feature Story

PRIMEQUEST Feature Story

High reliability and performance are the very essence of mission critical servers. Many people in fact believe the myth that only UNIX servers are qualified for mission critical server use – but that is not true.
This article explains why PRIMEQUEST, with the Intel® Xeon® processor E7 family, delivers top-class performance and reliability - comparable to high-end UNIX servers - but with much lower operational costs.

Performance Upgrade 

PRIMEQUEST 1800E2 with 80 cores (eight E7-8870 CPU chips) has 16 percent higher performance than an HP Superdome with 128 cores (64 Itanium2 9050 CPU chips). So much extra performance that even if HP Superdome-2 doubles its performance from the Superdome using Intel Itanium2 9050, the PRIMEQUEST’s performance superiority would not be overtaken.

SPECint_rate2006(Base) Comparison
*1 HP Superdome (Itanium 9050/128cores): Base performance is 1530, Peak performance 1650

PRIMEQUEST 1800E2(E7-8870/80cores): Base performance is 1770, Peak performance is 1890.

PRIMEQUEST 1800E2 provides high scalability with up to 80 cores, 160 threads, and max. 2TB of memory. In combination with the 2GB Huge Memory Page feature of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0, PRIMEQUEST will upgrade database performance by optimizing memory access performance. The Huge Memory Page minimizes conversion between physical and virtual memory addresses, which is one of the primary causes of performance degradation.
HP-UX 11i does not have such large memory page functions.

Thorough Data Protection and High Security

PRIMEQUEST has multiple memory protection mechanisms. This is because memory is known to be the most error prone part of a server. But with PRIMEQUEST 1800E2, even if two memory chips fail the system can continue operation without interruption. The various and comprehensive memory protection mechanisms are shown below. For more details, you can refer to the whitepaper "The High Availability Features for PRIMEQUEST”.

  • Memory error detection and correction by Error Check and Correct (ECC)
  • Memory redundancy by Memory Mirroring
  • Interconnects between CPUs and memory are multiplex
  • Memory Scrubbing

Almost every component has redundant capability and all main components can be replaced during operation. Under the strict quality standards in Fujitsu’s production processes - from server design to manufacturing and strict quality assurance - PRIMEQUEST can dramatically reduce failure rates.

PRIMEQUEST embeds security measures into its hardware and OS. Due to swift encryption by Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (AES-NI) with the Xeon processor E7 family, a hacker could never maliciously use any stolen data. As an example , Oracle Database 11g R2 and Xeon processors shrink the encryption time to one-tenth *2. Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST and SPARC Enterprise are the only mission critical servers which support such hardened encryption.

According to the National Vulnerability Database *3 of the National Institute of Standards, Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5 has fewer security vulnerabilities by number (from 2009 to 2010) than both AIX 5.3 and HP-UX 11i.

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5 : 6
  • IBM AIX 5.3 : 18
  • HP-UX 11i : 12

The conclusion is that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now a more rigorous OS than AIX and HP-UX.

*2 For details, see the Oracle datasheet, “Oracle Advanced Security”.

*3 National Vulnerability Database(NVD)
NVD contains 45,777 vulnerability reports as of 8th March, 2011 for commercial software products. As NIST introduces NVD, it purposes public use for prevention of systems from malicious attacks.
http://www.nist.gov/itl/csd/set/nvd.cfm
Conditions for vulnerability counting are as follows.
Published data: 2009 January 1 ~ 2010 December 31
Products : Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, AIX5.3, HP-UX11i

Dramatic Cost Reductions

In every aspect of operational costs, PRIMEQUEST 1800E2 is superior to HP Superdome-2 (Itanium 9350 4c/64cores)

  • Power consumption : Less than half of HP Superdome-2
  • Oracle Database support charge : Just half of HP Superdome-2

*4 Because HP does not disclose power consumption with specific configurations, max. power consumption is used.
PRIMEQUEST 1800E2: 4,0 kW
HP Superdome-2 base unit(64cores) : 8.82 kW
HP I/O Expansion unit : 0.552 kW
Because HP Superdome-2 base unit s do not have PCI slots and PRIMEQUEST 1800E2 has 16 PCI slots, two I/O Expansions with 24 PCI slots in total were connected to HP Superdome-2 for the comparison.

Oracle Database Enterprise Edition support charge per year comparison

*5 For Oracle database product support charge, see Oracle’s price list. http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/technology-price-list-070617.pdf

Driving Telecom Business Growth

With over 10 million subscribers, Méditel is one of the major mobile operators in the Kingdom of Morocco. To expand its wide range of services including 3G+, GSM, and WIMAX, it has chosen PRIMEQUEST, which is expected to deliver high reliability, performance scalability, cost-efficiency for its billing system. *6

*6 For details, see the press release "Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST and ETERNUS deployed by Méditel "

Conclusion

The new PRIMEQUEST with enhanced performance, reliability, and security, continues to lower implementation and operational costs and deliver mission critical operation.

Fujitsu intends that this will continue by ongoing enhancements of PRIMEQUEST’s value and functionality in mission critical deployment in cooperation with its partners Oracle, Microsoft , Intel, and Red Hat and their enhancements in operating systems, processor infrastructure and application environments .