Huawei: Our servers are a flash in the DRAM – thanks, SanDisk

Chinese box builder flings ULLtraDIMMs into processor memory bus – IBM, Dell next?

Huawei has swooped onto SanDisk for flash DIMMs to soup up its RH8100 servers.

Flash DIMMs plug lumps of large NAND storage straight into a system's CPU memory bus rather than the slower PCIe bus that server flash cards typically use. The benefit, in theory, is that applications run faster because they wait less for IO – all the hot data they need is sitting in chunks of flash coupled to the host processors.

SanDisk brands its technology as ULLtraDIMMs, and Huawei is the third server maker to tap it up. The first was IBM with x86 machines in its x Server line, which is now being sold to Lenovo. Supermicro was the second, and Huawei completes a hat trick.

We are still waiting for Dell, HP and Cisco to pick the technology – that would represent mainstream success for SanDisk.

The 8U rack-mount eight-socket RH8100 V3 uses Intel Brickland CPUs; those are Xeon E7-8800 v2 processors with up to 120 cores. Huaewei's partitioning design allows the machines to be used as two four-socket severs. There's space for up to 192 DDR3 DIMMs. Loading it up with ULLtraDIMMs means 50 per cent less latency than PCIe flash technology, according to Huawei.

The Huawei RH8100 V3

Huawei's benchmarking of SanDisk's ULLtraDIMMs recorded an access latency shorter than five microseconds. It calculates its RH8100 V3 rack servers will deliver more than a 100 per cent increase in random write performance, using a 4 x 400GB RAID 0 disk set up.

The company intends to offer ULLtraDIMMS as part of a Huawei cache system for database and virtualization deployments.

Qiu Long, Huawei's IT product line president of server business, talked of customers getting more "performance per watt [and] per square foot with innovations in power savings and cooling, as well as increased compute and storage density."

The business prospects for SanDisk are good; Sino-Bridges Research and Consulting says its market research for 2014 suggests Huawei’s servers are ranked as the top server choice for cloud and mobility ... in China.

Will Cisco, Dell and HP jump on the ULLtraDIMM roundabout, too? It seems inevitable. We wonder if flash foundry suppliers will look to license the technology, paving the way for, let's say, Micron, Toshiba and and Samsung flash DIMMs? At present it looks like SanDisk has an effective monopoly. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • North Korea pulled in $400m in cryptocurrency heists last year – report

    Plus: FIFA 22 players lose their identity and Texas gets phony QR codes

    In brief Thieves operating for the North Korean government made off with almost $400m in digicash last year in a concerted attack to steal and launder as much currency as they could.

    A report from blockchain biz Chainalysis found that attackers were going after investment houses and currency exchanges in a bid to purloin funds and send them back to the Glorious Leader's coffers. They then use mixing software to make masses of micropayments to new wallets, before consolidating them all again into a new account and moving the funds.

    Bitcoin used to be a top target but Ether is now the most stolen currency, say the researchers, accounting for 58 per cent of the funds filched. Bitcoin accounted for just 20 per cent, a fall of more than 50 per cent since 2019 - although part of the reason might be that they are now so valuable people are taking more care with them.

    Continue reading
  • Tesla Full Self-Driving videos prompt California's DMV to rethink policy on accidents

    Plus: AI systems can identify different chess players by their moves and more

    In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.

    “Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.

    Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.

    Continue reading
  • Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays

    Laser experiments show their magnetic fields shielding their surfaces from radiation last longer

    Life on Super-Earths may have more time to develop and evolve, thanks to their long-lasting magnetic fields protecting them against harmful cosmic rays, according to new research published in Science.

    Space is a hazardous environment. Streams of charged particles traveling at very close to the speed of light, ejected from stars and distant galaxies, bombard planets. The intense radiation can strip atmospheres and cause oceans on planetary surfaces to dry up over time, leaving them arid and incapable of supporting habitable life. Cosmic rays, however, are deflected away from Earth, however, since it’s shielded by its magnetic field.

    Now, a team of researchers led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) believe that Super-Earths - planets that are more massive than Earth but less than Neptune - may have magnetic fields too. Their defensive bubbles, in fact, are estimated to stay intact for longer than the one around Earth, meaning life on their surfaces will have more time to develop and survive.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022