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3Leaf Systems Transforms the x86 Server Market with New Dynamic Data Center Server™

3Leaf Systems, an innovator of ASIC and software technologies that enable the dynamic data center, today announced the general availability of its disruptive new Dynamic Data Center Server™ (DDC-Server™) for AMD Opteron processors. DDC-Server features the 3Leaf Systems DDC-ASIC™ combined with DDC-Software™ to take industry-standard technologies to new markets, meeting the agility and scalability requirements of today’s enterprises. Until now, such capabilities required expensive proprietary systems that could not take advantage of the combined innovation of the industry.

3Leaf Systems products include ASICs that expose substantial value for customers, the software needed to unlock and deliver that value, and complete OEM-ready systems. In addition, certain fixed configurations of the company's server products are available for purchase by end-user customers. A DDC-Server configured with a massive 1TB of shared memory, 192 cores of AMD Istanbul processors at 2.8 GHz, and 8TB of storage, all connected via an InfiniBand switch and complete with cables, Linux OS, and DDC-Pool software lists for $250,000. A DDC-Server with 256GB of shared memory, 96 cores of AMD Istanbul processors at 2.4 GHz, 4TB of storage with an InfiniBand switch, cables, Linux OS, and DDC-Pool software is listed at $99,000. Shipments begin in December 2009.

“The ‘distributed-and-shared’ nature of 3Leaf Systems technology transforms an enterprise datacenter into an agile provider of servers that dynamically re-size to the workload while using industry standard x86 servers,” said Bob Quinn, founder, chairman and CTO of 3Leaf Systems. “This reduces OpEx by minimizing operating system administration, power and cooling, and reduces CapEx by using cost-optimized (two socket) servers.”

The unique hardware-approach taken by 3Leaf Systems minimizes communication latency, maximizes data bandwidth, and provides the basic instrumentation and control structure for data center agility. These in turn improve workload and capacity optimization. For example, one or more instances of an OS can span many servers – or use fractions of servers – to adapt to changing needs or handle spikes in application traffic.

“What 3Leaf Systems is doing is a phenomenal leap forward for data center infrastructure,” said Steve Yatko, CTO and General Partner at Cresting Wave and formerly the head of global IT Research and Development at Credit Suisse. “With the kind of system agility and massive shared memory enabled by 3Leaf Systems technologies, new kinds of applications and business models are now possible for enterprise IT as well as cloud service providers. At the same time, OEMs can now increase their return on R&D by using or customizing 3Leaf Systems technologies.”

Dynamic Data Center Server

The OEM-ready DDC-Server features up to 192 cores and 1TB of shared memory. It uses industry standard components such as x86 CPUs, Linux OS, 10GbE or InfiniBand interconnect, and SSD, FC, or SATA storage. The DDC-Server provides hardware partitioning for fault isolation at the board/blade level and logical fault isolation so one instance of an OS does not bring down other instances. Using industry standard software, it can offer High-Availability failover across two or more instances of an OS within or across server racks.

Dynamic Data Center ASIC

The heart of 3Leaf Systems technologies is the DDC-ASIC. Designed to crunch through complex coherency protocols at lightning speed, the DDC-ASIC enables distributed cache coherency among all system cores while creating the basic control structure needed for high system agility. The DDC-ASIC chip is available now for AMD Opteron processors supporting the AMD HyperTransport interconnect and up to 1TB of main memory across up to 16 nodes targeting the Shanghai, Istanbul, and Magny Cours processors. The next version of this chip will support 32 nodes, up to 64 TB of main memory, and is designed for Intel CPUs, compatible with the Intel Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) 1.1.

Dynamic Data Center Software

With the DDC-Software, customers can Pool, Share, and Flex industry-standard resources in a shared contiguous manner.

  • DDC-Pool™: allows customers to coalesce multiple x86 boxes or blades into a single larger contiguous system, and supports the static reconfiguration of an OS across whole servers or blades in a compute cluster upon re-boot.
  • DDC-Share™: provides a greater degree of flexibility, allowing the allocation of resources down to the core level, allowing instances of an OS to run across whole or parts of servers or blades, with static reconfiguration of the OS upon re-boot.
  • DDC-Flex™: provides run-time reconfiguration of OS images across any portion of a compute cluster. An OS image can expand or shrink in terms of CPU, memory, and I/O resources without a reboot. DDC-Flex is expected for general availability in 2010.

Setting x86 Performance Standard

In August 2009, 3Leaf Systems provided a glimpse of the power of industry standard x86 processors when combined with 3Leaf Systems technologies, breaking the previous SPECjbb2005® performance record of x86-based systems by a factor of two and setting a new world record. Closely followed by many customers in the enterprise and the industry’s leading OEMs, SPECjbb 2005 is the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation’s (SPEC) most current benchmark for eCommerce transaction processing and evaluates the performance of server-side Java applications. The 3Leaf Systems enabled x86 system used for the SPECjbb 2005 test featured 128 cores and 0.5TB of memory. It achieved 5,534,233 Business Operations per Second (BOPS). The next best performance reported by an x86-based system is that of the NEC Express5800/A116 system, which achieved 2,150,260 BOPS.

“As organizations evolve their data center infrastructures, we will see a day when all processing takes place on a pool of CPUs which access a pool of memory and all storage will be in a pool of storage,” said David G. Hill, Principal, Mesabi Group LLC. “3Leaf Systems technology is uniquely positioned to support this convergence amongst compute, storage, and networking resources, and will have broad applicability beyond its current focus on x86 server environments.”

About 3Leaf Systems

3Leaf Systems develops innovative ASIC/software technologies that enable the Dynamic Data Center. 3Leaf Systems allows customers to merge previously separate CPU, I/O and memory resources from multiple x86-based systems into one large computing "fabric" so these resources can be instantly delivered to demanding applications, just-in-time, as needed. By leveraging cost-optimized components to build performance-optimized systems, 3Leaf Systems solutions make data center infrastructure more agile and flexible while dramatically reducing capital and operational costs. A privately held company based in Santa Clara, Calif., investors in 3Leaf Systems include Alloy Ventures, Enterprise Partners, Intel Capital, LSI and Storm Ventures. For more information, visit www.3leafsystems.com or call 408-572-5900.

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