Inspur Blog

20 SPEC records and counting: Inspur’s Next-Gen M6 Server Series

In April, Inspur launched the all-new M6 family of servers that support Intel’s third-generation Xeon Scalable processors. Since the release the servers have been continuously listed in the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC), notching 20 world records in the SPECjbb2015, SPECpower2008, and SPECcpu2017 tests, attesting to the performance standards the server family set out to achieve.

Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, and edge computing are becoming the new engine driving the high-speed development of the global economy, and computing power is at the center of that engine. Deploying server products with higher performance and energy efficiency has become a basic requirement for enterprises to accelerate intelligent and digital transformation. The M6 server family is leading the industry in terms of deployment density, peak performance, hardware decoupling, and process quality: the M6 raises performance by 46% from the previous generation of servers. This server series also places even greater focus on engineering precision, environmental sensors, automation, and management tools, setting industry benchmarks on performance, energy efficiency, reliability, and ease of management.

Breaking 20 World Records

In SPEC’s latest performance test for four-socket servers, SPEC CPU int2017, Inspur NF8260M6 and NF8480M6 far exceeded the test benchmark for computing workload in unit time, breaking 12 world records. This test simulates the business load of 10 typical application scenarios including public transportation vehicle scheduling, simulation analysis, artificial intelligence-based search engine optimization, video compression, etc. and the results demonstrate the M6’s prowess in data-intensive applications.

In the SPEC jbb2015 (Java server Business Benchmark), which measures the performance of server Java applications, the NF8260M6 broke 5 SPEC jbb2015 test records, scoring 397,601 Java transactions per second. This raises the performance standard of 2U 4-socket servers in the industry by 18% to better meet performance requirements of key Java transaction processes in the financial, communications, energy, manufacturing, and medical industries.

Leading by not only performance, the Inspur M6 four-socket server also delivers better energy efficiency. In the SPEC server energy efficiency test SPECpower_ssj_2008, it broke 3 world records and attained an all-time best score of 11344 points, which is 1.7% higher than the second-place contender. This means that for the same workload, Inspur servers only require 98.3% of the power of similar models, saving up 148.92 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. For one million data centers, it saves 150 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, which is equivalent to the electricity generated by a small to medium-sized city in half a year.

Designing and Engineering Value for the Digital Economy

As the reference standard for a new generation of data center servers, M6 servers were designed on four tenets: extreme features, lean design, maximum security, and open innovation. In terms of performance, M6 servers continue to push the limits of the physical space by achieving a comprehensive upgrade of chip interconnection technology and increasing high-speed connectivity to 20.8GT/s. Simultaneously, it utilizes load balancing topology technology to balance the processing tasks among multiple CPUs. A better balance between increasing the computing throughput and reducing the overall energy efficiency of the CPU can provide better support for key enterprise applications.

As servers make up most of the data center’s power consumption, and with the rising power cost of components like chips and memory, lowering energy consumption of the entire server is the most important and complicated part of system design. The M6 family of servers optimizes the design of components and thermal management systems to maximize energy utilization using technologies like environmental sensors, waveguide network heat dissipation, intelligent temperature control, and BIOS tuning. These methods significantly improve the server’s overall heat dissipation capacity and minimize associated power loss, helping to make energy-saving features the new normal in data centers.

The M6 ​​server ensures security on three levels: hardware, firmware, and system upgrades. While achieving redundancy of power supplies and fans, it also checks firmware chip redundancy and supports memory fault isolation, hot switching, intelligent management and other technologies, improving system reliability and reducing the risk of unplanned system shutdown. The Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of the whole machine is increased by more than 200,000 hours, and the system assures over eight years of fail-proof and stable operation.

Of the M6 servers, the NF5180M6 and NF5280M6 were built in compliance with open compute standards in support of open compute innovation. In addition, M6 servers support the OCP3.0 hot-swappable network card, which reduces startup time, vastly speeds up network card replacement (20 minutes down to 1 minute), and improves operation and maintenance efficiency. Inspur continues to actively engage in the development of the open compute ecosystem by contributing products, participating in standards and leading open-source projects, and advocating for open infrastructure adoption.

Increasing digitalization of industries such as finance, energy, medical care, and the Internet is massively escalating the need for enterprise high performance servers, a need which the M6 server family was built to serve. Through the values that the servers deliver – extreme features, lean design, maximum security, and open innovation – this portfolio of servers offer comprehensive solutions to help enterprises succeed in the new digital economy.

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