Recently our team completed a comprehensive analysis comparing two and four socket server platforms based on both 65nm and 45nm processors.  The comparison included the just recently launched Intel ® Xeon ® X7460 processor featuring 6 high-performance Core micro-architecture based cores.  Servers based on this new processor have been setting all kinds of performance world-records across a wide range of benchmarks and we were very interested to see how these servers would fare in our virtualization tests.  Needless to say, our server platform based on this new high-end processor did not disappoint – it delivered on all its promise both in terms of absolute performance as well as performance/watt.  We have included these results in a brand new IT@Intel whitepaper published recently. 

 

In addition to performance comparisons, this paper also includes a comprehensive comparative analysis spanning a wide range of commonly occurring virtualization deployment scenarios in the enterprise. For instance, are you looking to select a server platform that will enable you to host the maximum number of VMs for a given TCO (we discuss the key components of the TCO model in the paper)? Assuming that you are interested in optimizing your TCO, are you aware that the answer might change depending on the specifics of your situation e.g., are the majority of your workloads performance SLA-centric or memory capacity focused or a combination of the two(we cover what these terms mean in the paper)?  What happens if your primary concern is not the overall TCO but lack of datacenter power and/or cooling capacity - is a particular server platform preferable to the others in that situation?  How about if the primary constraint you are concerned with has to do with limited number of available LAN/SAN connectivity ports in the Datacenter - does that change the "answer"?  What if your enterprise architect says that maximizing resource pool capacity is his primary objective and TCO is a secondary concern - does that have any implications for your server platform selection? What if you want to ensure the most predictable performance scaling in the event of unanticipated workload spikes - does your choice of server virtualization platform make a difference?

 

We cover the important deployment scenarios relevant for this comparison (including answering the questions in the preceding paragraph) in this new IT@Intel paper.  This paper and the companion short video summarizing the key findings can be accessed at www.intel.com/it.  Please check it out and let us know if you agree or if we have missed the mark!