Server Farming

Mar 18 2010   4:26PM GMT

Cisco waiting for Intel Nehalem EX to announce Xeon servers

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Cisco is apparently going to wait until Intel announces its eight-core Nehalem EX chip before it unveils its newest Xeon server hardware, which will be dubbed the “M2” server line.

Most server vendors – HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu – made server announcements this week regarding the six-core Intel Xeon 5600 processor, codenamed Westmereand designed for one- and two-socket systems. Intel is expected to make another announcement at the end of this month for the Xeon Nehalem EX, an eight-core chip built for four-socket systems. Sometime thereabouts is when Cisco will announce its newest Xeon servers, according to Daniel Bounds, Cisco marketing manager for its Unified Computing System.

Bounds did talk about some performance benchmarks Cisco acheived. They include results in the VMware VMmark and various SPEC benchmarks, with details available here. The benchmarks do give some insight into the Xeon 5600 servers Cisco will offer. For example, its UCS C250 M2 server looks to be a two-socket machine capable of running two six-core Xeon 5600s. In the benchmark test, the machine included two Xeon 5680s.

Also, will Cisco start offering AMD Opteron-based servers? It did not do so in its first iteration of UCS, and it’s staying mum about the second generation. AMD is planning on announcing a new 12-core chip by the end of this month, dubbed “Magny Cours,” to compete with Intel’s most recent x86 Xeon chips. But Bounds would not reveal whether Cisco will offer AMD-based blades, saying they “can’t comment on any unannounced products.”

See some of our recent coverage of Intel and AMD x86 processors:

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