Inspur is active on the 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable Cooper Lake launch releasing a pair of systems. Both systems are four-socket (4S) or four-processor (4P) solutions. We wanted to take a moment and highlight these solutions and show why each is a bit different.
The Inspur NF8260M6 is the successor to the company’s NF8260M5 solution. While the M5 generation supported 1st and 2nd generation Xeon Scalable processors, the new NF8260M6 supports the 3rd generation of Intel Xeon Scalable processors. The original NF8260M5 was a collaboration between Inspur and Intel that led to the server being contributed to the OCP Foundation. At STH, we reviewed this server in Inspur Systems NF8260M5 4P Intel Xeon OCP Server Review.
The Inspur NF8260M6 server supports up to four 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors each with 12 DIMMs. That means Inspur can handle 48 DIMMs and up to 4.5TB or 18TB total in the new system. That 18TB figure is using 24x 256GB DDR4 DIMMs along with 24x 512GB Intel Optane PMem 200 DIMMs. As with the previous generation, there are 24x 2.5″ drive bays in the front. Each can support SATA, SAS, and NVMe. There are also a total of 12 PCIe slots in this solution according to Inspur.
The Inspur NF8480M6 is designed to further take advantage of the new Cooper Lake and Cedar Island scale-up architecture. This is a 4U server, that like the 2U offering, can take up to four of the new processors and up to 18TB of memory.
Some of the biggest differences here come in the form of storage and PCIe expansion. With the larger form factor, Inspur is able to accommodate 50x 2.5″ drive bays in the front. Further, with more chassis room, Inspur says the solution can support up to 18 PCIe Gen3 slots so one can add GPUs, FPGAs, SmartNICs, or other peripherals.
Most OEMs tell us that 4-socket Intel Xeon Scalable servers are very popular in China. Inspur is the largest server vendor in China so it makes sense that they have a more robust set of solutions than we are seeing from some other vendors.
Inspur, according to the latest IDC 1Q20 Server Tracker is the world’s third-largest server vendor. At STH, we have seen how Inspur is using heavy levels of automation to decrease costs while increasing quality and production capacity. If you want to learn more about this see our piece Visiting the Inspur Intelligent Factory Where Robots Make Cloud Servers.