QlikTech recently announced their Scalability Center for customers to evaluate their QlikView apps under load and using the best servers available. At the time of the announcement, just one day after Intel’s own, they say they will have systems based on the Xeon 7500 series processors. The performance improvements over the 7400 series alone are impressive. Rather than look at what the processor and chipset can do in the Intel literature, let’s look at what they are doing in offerings from Dell and IBM.
The PC3-10600 memory is twice as fast as the 5300 memory being offered with the Xeon 7400 series processors. This is due to the introduction of the QuickPath Interconnect (QPI). The memory sticks peak at 10.6 GB/s of transfer and the QPI can support more than 25GB/s.
Also included in the Nehalem cores (i5, i7 and Xeon 7500) is a feature called Turbo Boost. Even though it reminds me of the “Turbo” button on the front of my desktop PC from the 1980′s, it is actually a feature that automatically overclocks the processor if the chip’s power and temperature are within limits. It sounds perfect for QlikView, which leaves processors sitting idle and cool, then suddenly requires a burst of the highest possible performance.
Some other features:
- 64 DIMM slots for up to 1 terabyte of memory.
- 4, 6 or 8 cores… 8 cores x 4 sockets = 32 cores
- 12, 18 and 24MB caches
- 1.86 GHz – 2.26GHz (The 2.66 GHz is being produced but not included in systems as of May 5, 2010.)
- 10 GB network connections
These are some amazing machines for running QlikView. And this ties in perfectly with recent announcements about support for large data volumes in QlikView 10, both during the load and in the server.
Below are some samples of current hardware pricing (no software, no networking, basic Dell build) as of May 5, 2010:
Systems (without memory):
- 4 processor, 8 core Xeon X7560 @ 2.26 GHz: $33,000
- 4 processor, 6 core Xeon E7530 @ 1.86 GHz: $19,500
- 2 processor, 4 core Xeon E7520 @ 1.86 GHz: $17,000
- 128GB: $8,000
- 256GB: $14,000
- 512GB: $34,000
- 1TB: $93,000
A final note: Once again, Intel is including hyperthreading in the Nehalem cores. Hyperthreading is designed to help deal with unoptimized applications and the limitations of operating system schedulers. My understanding from the last time that hyperthreading was actively marketed is that QlikView does not benefit and can actually suffer when hyperthreading is enabled. QlikView has highly optimized code and uses it’s own threading algorithms to maintain peak performance. Hopefully someone from QlikTech can confirm in the comments that hyperthreading is not advisable.