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Servers: The Right Compute
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How jitter smoothing enhances the performance of latency-sensitive workloads

Scott_Faasse

To reduce server latency, HPE ProLiant Gen10 eliminates jitter and delivers other enhancements that generate double-digit improvements in server performance.

Blog_Jitter_Smoothing_ProLiant.jpgNot all CPU enhancements automatically lead to improved server performance, reduced latency, and workload optimization. While CPU performance has increased in recent years—with higher core counts playing a key role—some workloads are still experiencing issues.

CPU vendors have introduced features that allow their cores to run opportunistically at higher frequencies in order to get the most compute out of their silicon. Although these features can increase CPU performance, they also introduce an unwanted side effect: computation jitter. This in turn leads to the dreaded performance killer in time sensitive applications: latency!

Jitter occurs in processor cores when they dynamically change the operating frequency during run time. This may occur for several reasons. Some of the sources that request frequency changes are driven by software, while others are caused by performance and power management features within the processor itself.

Random delays offset the benefits of increased performance

Jitter and its associated latency can create problems for several different industries. For example, high-frequency financial traders rely on time-sensitive transactions. They cannot tolerate the microseconds of delay that can be added non-deterministically to a trade caused by a dynamic shift in CPU frequency. Over time, these delays can lead to significant losses for traders.  

Companies that leverage servers running real-time operating systems to control critical functionality can also run into issues. Their control systems are unable to tolerate the random latencies that occur when opportunistic frequency features are left enabled. Other vertical sectors that rely on business intelligence applications to crunch large data sets can also feel the impact of latency caused by jitter.

In order to avoid these types of problems caused by jitter, the current compromise for latency-sensitive customers is to disable the features that are designed to enhance overall application performance. Transactions can be executed more quickly if the processor runs faster. But if it comes at the cost of random delays, the benefit of increased performance is lost.

Patent-pending technology reduces jitter

It’s no surprise then that organizations are striving to eliminate jitter and still take full advantage of the recent increases in CPU performance. To support this trend, we introduced Jitter Smoothing to HPE ProLiant Gen10 servers. Servers can now benefit from both the frequency uptick and low jitter, which results in better latency response and higher throughput.

HPE’s patent-pending jitter smoothing technology levels and balances frequency fluctuation when HPE ProLiant servers run in Intel® Turbo Boost mode, making it possible to tune the performance of workloads that are traditionally sensitive latency as well as workloads impacted by excessive amounts of frequency shifting.

If your IT team has traditionally tuned servers for low latency, they are likely familiar with the practice of disabling P-state power management, C-states, and Turbo mode to eliminate the jitter caused by frequency shifting. However, significant improvements in performance can now be gained by enabling Turbo Boost along with Jitter Smoothing.

Intelligent System Tuning: Innovative capabilities that together can deliver a double-digit improvement in server performance

Jitter Smoothing is one of three key server performance improvements delivered by HPE Intelligent System Tuning (IST), a component of the iLO5 management controller in ProLiant servers Gen10 servers.

IST bolsters the performance of servers within a data center infrastructure by leveraging exclusive technology developed by HPE through a close partnership with Intel®. In addition to Jitter Smoothing, IST provides Workload Matching and Core Boosting that together can deliver double-digit improvements in server performance.1

  • Jitter Smoothing—Delivers up to a 12 percent improvement in Intel® processor frequency over the base frequency with low latency and deterministic processor performance2
  • Workload Matching—Save hours of time required to tune your servers and improve performance with workload profiles
  • Core Boosting—Supports 10 percent more virtual machines and higher performance compared to Intel 6142 processor (16 core)3

Whether you are building a converged data center infrastructure, cloud solution, or hybrid IT environment, Intelligent System Tuning can play a key role in helping you increase your IT agility. This allows your IT team to dynamically configure server resources to match specific workloads and achieve higher levels of performance, efficiency, and control.

Visit HPE Gen10 Servers Intelligent System Tuning to find out more.


1 Based on internal HPE testing in May 2017

2  HPE internal testing from the Performance Engineering Benchmarking team, April 2017.

3 VMmark® is a product of VMware, Inc. VMmark results published as of 08-26-17. VMmark disclosures available at https://h20195.www2.hpe.com/V2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=A00023030ENW and https://h20195.www2.hpe.com/V2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=A00023031ENW.

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About the Author

Scott_Faasse

Scott Faasse is a Master Technologist and HPE’s expert on Platform and Processor Power Management and Performance. Since joining Compaq/HP/HPE in 2001, Scott has served as the lead platform firmware developer for six generations of the ProLiant DL380 Server, architected and developed HPE’s Power Regulator feature, lead HPE in several industry standards and partner collaboration efforts, and is one of the principal technologist behind HPE’s Intelligent System Tuning. Scott is also an avid outdoorsman. He enjoys hiking long distances with a really heavy backpack (rucking), camping with family, fly fishing in urban settings, and traditional archery.