Are you an OEM Designing Architecture for Latency-Sensitive Workloads?

Don’t Drink from the Fire Hose!

I love the expression “drinking from the fire hose.” It paints such a vivid picture of an overwhelmed person totally in over their heads, inundated with information. You hear the term a lot in the business world, usually when somebody starts a new role or project and is under pressure to get up to speed as quickly as possible.

Information overload

I think that at some stage, we’ve all experienced that feeling when there’s just too much stuff being hurtled at us from all angles. Our brains cannot process the information fast enough to make sense of it all. The result? Apart from stress, it makes decision making tough and can impact our productivity.

As it’s not usually possible to switch off or turn down the firehose, we deal with it by developing good management strategies. For example, we prioritize, multi-task, delegate and attempt to optimize our learning so that we can get on top of work with minimum delay. In business, we develop organizational structures and functional units to manage workloads in parallel. In this way, we divide and conquer, breaking down big projects into manageable chunks to ensure that we deliver on our goals.

Same story in enterprise infrastructure

Guess what? It’s the same story in the world of IT Enterprise Infrastructure. We design systems that constantly need to process more and more information but in less time. When these systems become exposed to huge sets of data that need to be processed or manipulated in some way, bottlenecks are also likely to form. In turn, this can hinder the performance and output of any applications that are hosted on the hardware infrastructure.

Parallelization rules

Likewise, we have management strategies in place to deal with this potential overload. In the same way that different teams do project work in tandem, parallelization is important in software development. For example, applications are designed to be multi-threaded so as to maximize the work a single system can do at any one given time.

In recent years, parallel processing hardware such as GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) and FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) goes even further in addressing the need for parallelization. The result? Many more small processing tasks are handled efficiently by many more cores or logic gates simultaneously, often with exponential speed increases versus standard CPU architecture.

Accelerator technology

Where can you go to help manage your enterprise infrastructure overload? At Dell Technologies, we offer a broad portfolio of platforms that can integrate accelerator technology and support heavy workloads, where there is a critical need to process data as quickly as possible in parallel.

Take the Dell PowerEdge C4140, a 1U server utilizing two second generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, with up to 24 cores per processor. As part of our special patented design, the server is also designed to house up to four full-length double-width PCIe accelerators at the front of the chassis.

This location allows for superior thermal performance with maximized airflow, allowing these four cards to work as hard as possible and deliver return on your investment. As a result, this platform is ideally suited to machine learning training/inference, HPC applications and other large-scale, parallel processing workloads.

“Bump in the wire” traffic processing

Of course, there are also applications in this HPC/AI world that are heavily latency dependent, where data needs to be processed as close to wire speed as software architects can achieve. For example, picture “bump in the wire” type network traffic processing or systems that are processing financial transactions.

In these scenarios, latency matters big time. Ingesting data into these accelerators in the most efficient way possible is an important way to control the “firehose.” When considering the entire application structure, it’s important to remember that as latency is a cumulative issue, minimizing it at the lower layers of the stack makes sense.

Specially redesigned for OEM customers

With all of this in mind, Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions has now modified the existing, high-performing Dell PowerEdge C4140 platform to specifically meet the needs of OEM customers dealing with latency-sensitive workloads.

High-bandwidth IO ports on the FPGA accelerators, located at the front of the unit, operate as the main source of data ingest versus relying on the server’s own IO and CPUs to manage the transmission. The result? You can now design solutions with significantly reduced latency. Remember, this design is unique – there are no other Tier 1 providers in the industry with a similar product.

Reduce bottlenecks and accelerate processing

The good news is that this innovative architecture significantly reduces bottlenecks and provides accelerated processing of streaming/dynamic data. And of course, our OEM customers can customize and rebrand the platform to build dedicated appliance solutions for customers across multiple verticals, for example, Finance, Energy, Healthcare/Life Sciences, Telecom and the Defense sector to name a few.

Multi-disciplined engineering team

And don’t forget that if you’re designing applications and building infrastructure for latency sensitive HPC/AI/Network processing workloads, a multi-disciplined engineering group is ready to help with your design so that you can spend more time innovating and managing your business.

The bottom line is that there’s no need to feel alone or drink from the firehose! We’re here to help you accelerate your processing power with the OEM-ready Dell PowerEdge C4140.

If you’d like to speak to our sales team, contact us here. And of course, I’d love to hear your reactions, questions or comments. Do join the conversation!

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