It has been a while so I suppose it is time for another rant on hardware.
There are two systems I would like:
One is a laptop.
The second is a server capable of demonstrating extreme IO performance,
with the secondary objective of being small enough to bring along to customer sites.
On the laptop I am looking for
1) quad-core with HT, i.e. 8 logical processors for better parallel execution plans.
2) PCIe SSD, I would prefer 3GB/s+, so PCIe gen3 x4, or 2 x M.2 PCIe x2 is also an option.
3) drive 1, but preferably 2 external 4K monitors (so I can look at complex execution plans)
On this matter, it is time to bitch at the MS SQL Server team that there should be an option to contract the white space in execution plans.
The existing zoom capability is worthless.
Yes I know SQL Sentry Plan Explorer can do this,
but really MS, is it so hard? or have you outsourced the entire SSMS some team that does not know that there is such a thing as complex queries?
The reason I want to drive 2 external 4K displays is that at the 4K resolution, I need more than a 28 in monitor to use the resolution.
A couple of days ago, Dell announce the new XPS 15 with Core i7-6700 processors (Sky Lake)
which I immediately ordered , but unfortunately it shows a shipping date of Nov 16
it does have 4K display, and 1 external port which may or may not support 4K.
I thought I ordered the docking station, but I do not know if this would support dual external 4K monitors.
I currently have the Dell 28in 4K monitors, which is great for looking at execution plans,
but at the normal text size setting, is difficult read.
I am thinking that the much more expensive Dell 32in 4K monitor will be better, but maybe not enough.
Should I get a 55in 4k TV instead? these all have just the HDMI connector,
so I need to make sure there are proper 4K adapters.
The new XPS 15 data sheet says it has HDD bay (SATA interface) and one M.2 bay (uncertain if PCIe x2 or x4). I would have been nice if 2 M.2 x2 bays were available instead of the HDD bay.
I ordered the XPS 15 with the PCIe SSD. I do not know if it is good one (Samsung SM951 cite 2150MB/s)
if not, it will throw the Dell SSD out, and get a good one.
One more thing, ECC memory
Intel desktop and mobile processors all do not have ECC (or parity) memory capability.
ECC memory has been built into Intel processors for some time now,
it is just disabled in the Core product lines, enabled on in the server Xeon line.
So the Sky Lake equivalent is the Xeon E3 v5.
Intel released the v5 under the mobile group, with a 45W rating.
Unfortunately I cannot find a laptop for sale that uses the Xeon E3 v5.
Perhaps Dell or someone could offer a Xeon E3 mobile system?
Extreme IO Performance demonstrator
First, why do I need such a thing?
when my clients have multi-million dollar SAN storage systems?
Because SAN people are complete idiots on the matter of IO performance,
being locked into irrelevant matters (to enterprise DB) like thin provisioning etc.
Invariably, the SAN people (vendor sales engineer, the SAN admin etc) confuse that Fiber Channel is specified in Gigabits/sec (Gb/s) while all other IO bandwidth is specified in GigaBytes/sec (GB/s).
So we have a multi-million dollar storage system (full of add-on software that have no purpose in an enterprise DB) connected to a powerful server (60+ cores and paying for SQL Server 2012 EE per core licensing)
over 2 x 8Gbit/s FC links.
Is this stupid or is this exceptionally stupid?
Yes I know it is extremely rude of me to call other people stupid, and that being stupid is not crime,
but when you are the vendor for multi-million dollar equipment,
there is a reasonable expectation that you are not stupid.
So onto the system.
For this, I am sure I need more than 4 cores, so it needs to the Xeon E5.
Perhaps 8 cores (single socket) is sufficient.
The new Intel SSD DC P3608 has great specs, but I am not sure when it is actually available?
I would put 2 of these in the system to demonstrate 10GB/s.
Ideally this would all go into box that fits carry on luggage, which is unfortunately not one of the standard PC or server form factors.
Another option is a 2 x 12 core system to demonstrate 20GB/s on 4 x P3608.
I would prefer to get a laptop without high performance graphics, the NVidia GTX 960M in this case.
The current Intel graphics is sufficient for high resolution rendering, but I do not need high frame rate.
All the Intel Core i7 6th gen processors have graphics, I wonder if I can remove the GTX (for power savings)?
Apparently Dell will have a new docking station, the Thunderbolt Dock TB15 next year, that will support 2 x 4K monitors?
I did already rant on PC laptops only being available with 16x9 displays?
How stupid is this? It is one thing for consumer laptops to have a 16x9 display,
on the assumption that the home users just watch movies.
but on what justification does this apply to business and workstation laptops?
Concurrent with the Intel Skylake Xeon E3 v5 regular announcement,
Supermicro announced motherboards for the E3 v5.
There is a micro-ATX (X11SAE-M) but with just 1 x16 and 1 x4 PCIe g3 slots.
where as the ATX (X11SAT) has 3 slot with 16/8/8 as an option.
This would let me put 2 P3608? for 10GB/s?