Virtualization Technology News and Information
Virident Unveils GreenCloud Server Family
Virident Systems today unveiled a new class of servers designed to deliver high-performance, energy- and cost-efficient computing in the Internet data center. This new platform was launched at the 2009 MySQL User Conference with the introduction of the first two members of the GreenCloud Family: GreenCloud Server for MySQL, the industry leading open source database; and GreenCloud Server for Memcached, the popular caching application.

Content on major web sites is estimated to be quadrupling every 18 months and the number of queries per terabyte is doubling every 18 months. This explosive demand for data is challenging internet companies that are struggling to keep up with data center growth and manage costs in a tough economy. Today’s servers were designed for compute-centric applications and are not optimized for data-centric, query-rich applications which predominate in the internet data center. Internet data centers account for over 25% of servers in the $65B worldwide server industry.

The GreenCloud Server Family is based on the ‘GreenCloud Architecture’ which transforms an industry standard server into a data-centric ‘in-memory’ server platform. In-memory computing delivers orders of magnitude improvement in application performance, the opportunity for server consolidation, lower TCO, and industry-leading energy efficiency. By allowing applications to directly interact with large volumes of data hosted in memory tightly integrated into the CPU complex, the GreenCloud Architecture ensures optimal utilization of all server elements – compute, memory, and I/O – and provides a better building block for scale-out infrastructures for rapidly growing data centers.

“Virident is excited to lead a new wave of innovation in cloud computing,” said Raj Parekh, Virident President and CEO. “The current scale-out model, which uses compute-centric x86 platforms as its building block, is showing its weakness, and we believe that GreenCloud is a disruptive new platform to help scale the internet data center to new heights of performance and efficiency. With GreenCloud, you can do more with less in this challenging economy – process more information with fewer servers, less energy, and lower costs. It is the first server designed with the internet in mind.”

By making large storage capacities available to data-centric applications as memory tightly integrated into the CPU complex, GreenCloud eliminates the I/O bottleneck which is a key reason for low levels of server utilization seen in data centers (often less than 20%, according to the Uptime Institute and McKinsey & Company). This `Storage Class Memory’ is a new memory tier which bridges the performance and persistence gap between main memory and mass storage in traditional server architectures. This tier can be constructed using different types of memory technologies, including enterprise-class Flash memory (both NOR and NAND) and hybrid designs which combine DRAM, Flash and Phase Change Memory. The GreenCloud Architecture integrates storage-class memory with a co-optimized software stack within an industry-standard x86 server platform for delivering orders of magnitude higher performance and previously unattainable capabilities to data-centric applications. The architecture improves application CPU utilization and eliminates I/O overheads by providing random word-level access to large data sets.

The GreenCloud Architecture is the foundation for future innovation in virtualization, memory-based architectures, and energy proportional computing in the cloud. This sets the stage for a new era of in-memory computing in the data center – where memory becomes the ‘new disk’ in the computing hierarchy, unleashing tremendous increases in bandwidth, performance and scalability, and streamlining software applications and data storage.

Artur Bergman, Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering of Wikia, an early customer, said, “Innovative platforms like GreenCloud allow us to simplify the architecture of our code and the infrastructure in our datacenter. Virident's usage of a persistent `In-Memory’ system delivers a significant performance boost, allowing us to reduce our database footprint saving space, and importantly power.”

The GreenCloud Server Family – SmartScaling and Lowering the Cost of Data Centers

GreenCloud Servers provide a better building block for scale-out data centers. By optimizing server efficiency for data-centric applications, GreenCloud gives the operational flexibility to meet service needs with fewer servers, meet growth requirements in the current data center footprint, and gain user insight through richer analysis to enhance a business model. GreenCloud is an ‘open server’ allowing users to run their own as well as third-party tools (e.g., monitoring, backup, etc.) and easily integrate with existing datacenter management infrastructures.

GreenCloud Server for MySQL

The GreenCloud Server for MySQL delivers 50–70x performance improvement over disk array-based industry-standard servers and 5–7x versus high-performance PCIe SSDs on Web 2.0 workloads. Virident-optimized versions of MyISAM and InnoDB storage engines directly access datasets stored in the storage class memory tier to eliminate I/O bottlenecks. GreenCloud servers sustain significantly higher query rates, dramatically lower the cost of scaling to larger datasets, and simplify the replication and sharding processes usually employed for scaling. The extreme performance additionally makes it possible to obtain new insights into data and deliver new services by running complex operations such as multi-table joins, which are beyond the reach of traditional servers.

GreenCloud Server for Memcached

The Virident GreenCloud Server for Memcached delivers a new standard of high performance and cache size scaling for the popular distributed caching application. These servers can deliver 250K object gets per second with low and predictable latencies and support caches with up to 3 billion objects, increasing performance by up to 4x and the available cache memory by up to 8x versus industry standard servers. These performance and scaling benefits permit larger key spaces to be supported by a single server and decrease cache miss rates thereby reducing load on backend database servers.

Pricing and Availability

The GreenCloud Servers for MySQL and memcached are available immediately in 1U and 2U rack configurations, with 1 to 4 quad-core processors and memory capacities ranging from 80GB–576GB, starting at $6,000. GreenCloud Servers are also available to select partners and customers with a Development Option, which enables software developers to easily adapt their existing applications and develop new ones to exploit the GreenCloud Architecture for maximum benefits.

Published Monday, April 20, 2009 7:10 PM by David Marshall
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