shub
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Contributor

Intel Nehalem Servers - opinions

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Over the past 3 years we have been building AMD clusters dual-quad core clusters.

We have a opportunity to build some new clusters and are considering switching to Intel nehalem chip set.

Wondering if anyone wants to share their experiences with the new Intel chipset for building either 3.5 or 4.x clusters.

As a note we are also considering AMD 6-core.

The price point of a 2 socket Intel server vs a 6-core AMD which on paper seems to be able to handle the same amount of Vm's is generating the interest.

mike

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EniGmA1987
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Something to note, AMD's 6-core Istanbul CPU is the last generation CPU on the current socket. There will be one more chipset release for motherboards that will add a lot of nice features (currently we are still on the very old and outdated nForce Pro chipsets), but the socket will be changed very soon. All future CPUs will be on the new G34 socket. So building a new cluster on AMDs current offerings will limit your upgrade potential to basically nothing.

My recommendation would be to get a dual/quad socket Intel cluster or wait until early next year when AMDs new 12-core CPUs, new 800 series chipset, and new G34 socket are available.

"Magny-cours" is two Istanbul CPUs stuck together in case you didn't know that.

Picture of the new architecture, courtesy of BSN:

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/data/2009_5_14/AMDs-12-core-Magny-Cours-architecture-revealed/AMD_Ma...

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malaysiavm
Expert
Expert

to be honest, both Intel and AMD have the good chipset out there which certify and able to deliver the virtualization solution customers require. But if you continue to scale your existing cluster with EVC enable, you should consider to stick with AMD of course. But if you think about to start a new cluster, you can of course consider Intel in this case. Intel Nehalem is a good chipset to support virtualization in my experience. It does address the limitation for the ESX server which run on 2 physical CPU previously which allow customer to slow in more memory per server and increase the consolidation ratio.

No right or wrong, either 1 of them should work.

Craig

vExpert 2009

Malaysia VMware Communities -

Craig vExpert 2009 & 2010 Netapp NCIE, NCDA 8.0.1 Malaysia VMware Communities - http://www.malaysiavm.com
EniGmA1987
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Something to note, AMD's 6-core Istanbul CPU is the last generation CPU on the current socket. There will be one more chipset release for motherboards that will add a lot of nice features (currently we are still on the very old and outdated nForce Pro chipsets), but the socket will be changed very soon. All future CPUs will be on the new G34 socket. So building a new cluster on AMDs current offerings will limit your upgrade potential to basically nothing.

My recommendation would be to get a dual/quad socket Intel cluster or wait until early next year when AMDs new 12-core CPUs, new 800 series chipset, and new G34 socket are available.

"Magny-cours" is two Istanbul CPUs stuck together in case you didn't know that.

Picture of the new architecture, courtesy of BSN:

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/data/2009_5_14/AMDs-12-core-Magny-Cours-architecture-revealed/AMD_Ma...

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mreferre
Champion
Champion

The Intel 4S servers has the same issue you have described.

Having this said I am not sure it makes a lot of sense to upgrade the CPUs on an existing server for a number of reasons. The important thing is that the new CPUs will be VMotion compatible with the old ones.. and I think both Intel and AMD will guarantee that.

Massimo.

Massimo Re Ferre' VMware vCloud Architect twitter.com/mreferre www.it20.info