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A new formula for server virtualization: The HPE ProLiant DL385 Gen10 Server and AMD EPYC™ SoC

HPE is extending the world's most secure industry standard server portfolio by bringing back the world's best-selling AMD server, the HPE ProLiant DL385.

blog_server-virtualization.jpgBy most accounts, server virtualization is a mature and well-understood market and most of our customers are well down the path to be virtualized to a very large degree in their data center infrastructure.

So it does come as a surprise to see that server virtualization was still the number one data center infrastructure project implemented in 2017.1 Additionally, driven by the need to deliver better efficiency and time to value, companies continue to look for ways to reduce data center infrastructure costs and improve time to service delivery—and virtualization continues to provide a great bang for the buck with reported savings of almost 20 percent.2 But this can come with significant pitfalls. Without the proper infrastructure underpinnings, virtual and cloud environments can be hit with significant security, efficiency, cost, and performance issues as workloads adjust to dramatically higher levels of scale.

Meet the challenges of the next-generation of applications and data fuel the digital economy

This was one of the main drivers behind HPE's introduction of the AMD EPYC™ System on a Chip (SoC) to the HPE ProLiant Gen10 server portfolio. With the significant improvements to security, memory capacity, core count, and I/O bandwidth on the AMD EPYC SoC—combined with the HPE ProLiant Gen10's built-in security, performance, operating efficiency, manageability, and expandability—your enterprise now has the ability to build a high-performing and secure foundation for supporting highly dense virtual environments.

The DL385 brings game-changing capabilities to the world of server virtualization. The 2-socket AMD EPYC based server offers up to 64 cores—that’s 14 percent more than any other mainstream architecture available today—which makes it capable of supporting 128 simultaneous threads. Add to that a whole new level of memory performance for a 2P server with a 33% increase in capacity with up to 4TB of memory, combined with the performance boost from 16 memory channels and you are talking serious horse power for virtualization. And if you are looking for even higher levels of performance for your applications, the HPE DL385 Gen10 supports up to 128 PCIe lanes, providing the ability to support up to 24 NVMe SSDs with four PCIe lanes to each SSD so you never run out of performance for your storage subsystem.

Change the server virtualization game

With 14 percent more cores and 33 percent more memory capacity, the HPE ProLiant DL385 supports more virtual machines (VMs) per server than comparable Intel Xeon Scalable processor-based servers thus positively impacting VM density in your data center. With 32 DIMM slots per server, as compared to 24 DIMMs per 2P Intel Xeon Scalable processor-based server, smaller and less expensive DIMMs can be used to achieve the same memory capacity thus making it more efficient from a $/GB perspective.

Additionally, when configuring 2P servers with more than 1.5TBs of memory in an Intel Xeon Scalable processor-based server, you must use the more expensive large memory support (M) processors. When you divide a lower server cost by a larger number of VMs, you get a significantly lower cost per VM. With the HPE ProLiant DL385 Gen10 server, you can get up to a 50 percent lower cost per VM. By increasing density without adding to the overall hardware footprint, organizations can increase server virtualization and reduce costs, thus increasing ROI.

Enterprise security: 1+1=3

The power of the HPE ProLiant DL385 and the AMD EPYC SoC goes far beyond simple performance improvements. Each brings unique security capabilities that can deliver unprecedented security for virtualized AND physical environments. The HPE Silicon Root of Trust and AMD Secure Root-of-Trust operate in perfect synchronization to enable an integrated, hardware-based computing modHPE ProLiant DL385 Gen10.jpgel your enterprise can trust to provide critical protection at a time when the threat to your company’s data are constantly on the rise. As the enterprise data environment starts to push past the cloud and into the IoT, attack vectors are starting to multiply exponentially, putting traditional firewall and software-based security solutions at a disadvantage. With root of trust features on CPU to add to the root of trust for critical server subsystems, organizations know that only trusted firmware is executed on critical systems.

While HPE Silicon Root of Trust helps secure the base management controller, the system and key peripheral firmware as well as the OS boot loader, AMD Secure Run feature Secure Memory Encryption (SME) and Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) as an additive function. With SME, you can encrypt all or a portion of the memory to protect against attacks that rely on memory scraping and cold boot attacks. With SEV support from the operating system or hypervisor, VMs and the hypervisor each have separate encryption keys, isolating the VMs not only from one another but also from the hypervisor to protect access to data in shared guest data areas and from high privilege code.

Get a virtual workload boost

The close symmetry and interoperability between the HPE ProLiant DL385 server and the AMD EPYC SoC was no accident. HPE has been involved with the AMD EPYC development since its inception, offering guidance on technologies—like the Smart Socket system—to improve integration procedures. Gaining priority access to AMD resources during the test and debugging phases helped produce a more stable environment overall for modern enterprises.

In an age when entire business models are being overturned by nothing more than a smart app, enterprises that continue to rely on static, silo-based legacy infrastructure are at a distinct disadvantage. By deeply ingraining security at the foundation and building broad flexibility and highly targeted resource utilization as core assets of next-generation virtual infrastructure, today's enterprise can use the NEW formula for server virtualization and get on an equal footing with their competitors.

HPE Discover.jpegSee it for yourself at HPE Discover

The HPE ProLiant DL385 and the AMD EPYC processor can help take your enterprise's server virtualization to the next level.. Come see the HPE ProLiant DL385 Gen10 with the AMD EPYC processor at HPE Discover Madrid, November 28–30, at booth #611 or in the petting zoo #623.



1TechTarget IT Priorities 2017, February 2017

2IDC Market Trends in Virtualization Infrastructure and Software, 2016: Market Survey Report, December 2016

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About the Author


Naren brings to bear 15+ years of Business and Product Management leadership experience spanning country, Regional and WW organizations to the singular objective of delivering THE “best-in-breed” server platforms to enhance the leadership position of HPE in the industry standard x86 market. And he does that with cradle to grave ownership of the HPE ProLiant server portfolio.