As businesses have tried to cope with the demands of virtualization and ever-increasing levels of server consolidation, they have often developed a case of x86 server sprawl, where they wound up purchasing an ever-increasing number of servers to meet their workload needs. However, while buying additional servers to handle every increasing workload and performance demand is one way to address the problem, it’s not without its costs. Adding servers not only incurs direct capital costs but it also increases operating costs, management complexity as well as reducing availability.
The HPE Superdome X’s unique nPAR capability enables you to provide the required levels of availability as well as the flexibility to handle diverse workloads without the costs incurred by having to buy many smaller commodity servers. HPE nPars (Hardware Partition) enable you to divide a single HPE Superdome X server into a set of independent units or partitions. Each hard partition runs at native speed just as if it were a standalone server. You can see an overview of the HPE Superdome X’s nPar architecture in Figure 1.
Figure 1 – HPE Superdome X nPar architecture
In Figure 1, you can see an example of an HPE Superdome X server dived into three different nPars. Each nPar can function as an entirely independent system with complete electrical isolation from the other partitions. Every nPar has its own operating system and applications and is entirely secured from the other partitions. This hard partitioning provides strong workload isolation and enables more efficient operations as compared to managing multiple commodity servers. The partitions can boot independently of each other and the complete electrical isolation provides protection from hardware or software failures in other partitions. You manage HPE Superdome nPars using the Onboard Administrator (OA), which gathers information from the Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) management processors in each server blade. HPE’s testing and field data show that nPar hard partitioning is 20x more reliable than soft partitions alone.
HPE nPars can also provide increased performance along with the flexibility to deal with diverse workloads – all on the same server without requiring multiple physical servers. Each nPar provides guaranteed CPU, RAM, I/O, and networking resources to each partition running on the shared HPE Superdome X server. This enables mission-critical applications to have the resources they need without competing for performance and resources with other workloads. It also enables you to run diverse workloads with different resource requirements in each partition without affecting the workloads running in the other partitions. The HPE Superdome X’s nPar capability is one of the features that makes it a great platform for multi-workload servers like SQL Server.
HPE Superdome X’s nPAR technology can increase the availability of your mission critical workloads as well as the flexibility of your server infrastructure while reducing your operations and maintenance costs. Using nPars can also potentially provide software licensing savings. In many cases, only the CPU cores in a given partition need to be licensed, eliminating the need to license all of the cores in the entire system.
Sponsored by HPE and Microsoft