Supercomputing & Red Hat: What’s Happening at ISC 2017?

Twice a year the most prominent supercomputing sites in the world get to showcase their capabilities and compete for a Top500 spot. With Linux dominating the list, Red Hat is paying close attention to the latest changes that will be announced at International Supercomputing (ISC) show in Frankfurt, Germany between June 18 to June 22, 2017.

While supercomputers of the past were often proprietary, the trend of building them out of commodity components has dominated the landscape in the past two decades. But recently the definition of “commodity“ in HPC has been morphing. Traditional solutions are routinely augmented by various acceleration technologies, cache-coherent interconnects are becoming mainstream and boutique hardware and software technologies previously reserved for highly specialized solutions are being adopted by major HPC sites at scale.

Developing new and adapting existing highly scalable applications to take advantage of the new technological advances across multiple deployment domains is the greatest challenge facing HPC sites. This is where the operating system can provide

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Microsoft, Red Hat, and HPE Collaboration Delivers Choice & Value to Enterprise Customers

In the world of heterogeneous data centers – having multiple operating systems running on different hardware platforms (and architectures) is the norm.  Even traditional applications and databases are being migrated or abstracted using Java and other interpreted languages to minimize the impact on the end user, if they decide to run on a different platform.

Consider the common scenario where you have both Windows and Linux running in the data center and you need your Linux application to talk to Microsoft SQL Server and get some existing data from it. Your application would need to connect to the Windows server that is running the SQL Server database using one of many available APIs and request information.

While that may sound trivial, in reality you need to: know where that system is located, authenticate your application against it, and pay the penalty of traversing one or more networks to get the data back – all while the user is waiting. This, in fact, was “the way of the world” before Microsoft announced their intent to port MS SQL server to Linux in March of 2016.  Today, however, you have a choice of having your applications connect to a Microsoft SQL Server that runs on either Windows or Linux

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Red Hat and HPE: Collaborating to Better Address Customer IT Challenges

In the world of hyper-competition the boundaries of software and hardware solutions are quickly dissolving. Rather than buying just software or a server, customers are looking for well-integrated, tested and proven solutions to gain competitive advantage. Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Red Hat understand this IT landscape very well and for many years have worked closely together to fine tune their respective hardware and software to achieve the best customer results.

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Red Hat Delivers High Performance on Critical Enterprise Workloads with the Latest Intel Xeon E7 v4 Processor Family

Not long ago, Intel introduced a new Xeon processor platform to enable faster computing for the enterprise world. Codenamed Broadwell, this architecture brought additional cores to the chip and many improvements, from faster memory support to various security enhancements. As with three generations of Intel Xeon processors before this one, these benefits span beyond simple increases in transistor counts or the number of cores within each processor.

Today, Intel launched the Intel Xeon E7 v4 processor family, a high-end, enterprise-focused class of processors based on Broadwell architecture and targeted at large systems with four or more CPUs. Accompanying the launch are several new world record industry-standard benchmarks; this is where things like increased memory capacity or larger on-chip caches benefit overall system performance, resulting in the highest reported scores on various standard benchmarks. The Xeon E7 v4 launch, along with other announcements like it, typically send a ripple of innovation throughout Red Hat’s partner ecosystem in the form of new and improved performance results. The ability to support these partners is of paramount importance to Red Hat and, as a result, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is often selected by these ongoing benchmarking efforts.

Here is how Red Hat Enterprise Linux scored this time:

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux Sets Record Breaking Performance Results on New Generation of Intel Processors

Yesterday, Intel launched the Xeon E5-2600 v4 processor family with 26 new world records on industry-standard benchmarksOnce again, Intel’s innovation, driven by Moore’s law, has enabled faster computing for the enterprise world.

Red Hat and Intel have enjoyed a long history of collaboration across a full spectrum of enterprise IT – covering a wide range of use cases, from applications running on physical servers to virtualized and cloud-based deployments. It should come as no surprise that many of

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10-FEB Webcast: Wicked Fast Container-Based Apps and Performance Tuning with Atomic Enterprise Platform

In a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Red Hat, 44% of IT professionals identified performance in their top three concerns for adopting container technologies. Benchmarks indicate that containers result in equal or better performance than virtual machines in almost all cases, with the runtime costs of containers as “negligible”.

201511 All Container Slides - Atomic (1)

What are the abstraction costs and what do you need to consider when running container-based applications on Atomic Enterprise Platform Public Preview?

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Getting the Best of Both Worlds with Queue Splitting (Bifurcated Driver)

The Linux networking stack has many features that are essential for IoT (Internet of Things) and data center networking, such as filtering, connection tracking, memory management, VLANs, overlay, and process isolation. These features come with a small overhead of latency and throughput for tiny packets at line rate.

DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit) allows access to the hardware directly from applications, bypassing the Linux networking stack. This reduces latency and allows more packets to be processed. However, many features that Linux provides are not available with DPDK.

What if there was a way to have ultra low latency and high throughput for some traffic, and full feature-set from Linux networking, all at the same time? This “utopia” is now possible with Queue Splitting (Bifurcated Driver).

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Pushing the Limits of Kernel Networking

Note: The following post was authored by Alexander Duyck before leaving Red Hat earlier this month.  While Alex will be missed, his work continues in the capable hands of the Networking Services team.  To this end, I encourage you to “read on” and learn more about how we’ve turned up the heat on kernel networking with the beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2.


Over the last year I have been working at Red Hat as a part of the Linux Kernel Networking Services Team focused on improving the performance of the kernel networking data path.  Prior to working at Red Hat I had worked at Intel as a driver maintainer for their server drivers including ixgbe.  This has put me in a unique position to be able to provide tuning advice for both the network stack and the Intel device drivers.  Last month, at LinuxCon North America, I gave a presentation that summarizes most of the work that has been done to improve network performance in the last year, and the performance gains as seen by comparing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 versus an early (alpha) release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2.  The following is a recap of what I covered.

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