ESM
Contributor
Contributor

starting new environment from ground up, Intel or AMD?

Greetings. I am in the process of the beginning of a completely new infrastructure and it's truly ground up, but it will start small, with 1 box with vSphere 4 Standard. It will quickly grow over the next 6-12 months into a farm with vCenter, Advanced or Enterprise licensing, and more servers, perhaps a blade setup. Too many things up in the air to determine that today.

So, for now, it will be 1 box with 4 VM's (Exchange 2010, 2008 R2 DC, SQL 2008, IIS) for a small number of users. Overall use will be light, but I want to build this box to be able to quickly support more use, as this VM count will easily grow within the next 3 months, and so will the load on the box.

I'm now in a situation of choosing Intel or AMD, and do not know what to do. As I ideally want this server to be usable in the farm that will build over the next 12 months, I want to pick my CPU architecture wisely and hopefully stick with it.

I'll be using HP servers and have targetted 380/385 G6 box. At an equivalent spend level, I am looking at end up being a choose between 2xOpteron 2435 2.6ghz 6-core or 2xXeon 5540 2.53ghz quad-core. To move up to 2xXeonl X5550 2.66ghz quad-core CPU's would be another $1500.

But numbers aside, the real question is AMD or Intel for a completely new farm?

0 Kudos
7 Replies
Chuck8773
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

We switched from AMD to Intel this summer and I am very pleased with the results. I posted an article detailing our results and would welcome any feedback.

http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/Chuck8773/2009/12/02/amd-opteron-vs-intel-nehalem

Charles Killmer, VCP4

If you found this or other information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful".

Charles Killmer, VCP4 If you found this or other information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful".
0 Kudos
ephillipsme
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I would go with Intel. As for the HP Proliants they can be either or but there are a couple things that are odd on AMD. I came across a CPU time Stamping issue at a client with AMD proc's. This is our only clinet running AMD but it is very odd when pinging on the vm and you get negative respons times.

C:\>ping x.x.x.x

Pinging x.x.x.x with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=-59ms TTL=128

Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=-59ms TTL=128

Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=-59ms TTL=128

Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=-59ms TTL=128

See Fix http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938448

Ernie

VCP3,VCP4, MCSE, CCA

~Ernie
0 Kudos
dnetz
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I've got eight Dell R710 servers with dual Intel Xeon X5550 CPU's running ESX4 and I'm very impressed with the performance and stability of the platform, you might be able to get a better deal buying AMD but performance wise I think Intel is tough to beat right now. Make sure you build your cluster with EVC enabled from the start and you'll be able to scale out with newer processors. I'd also consider spending those extra $1500 to get the X5500 since its QPI (Quick Path Interconnect) and DD3 clock speed is higher than X5540.

0 Kudos
meistermn
Expert
Expert

1 and 2 VCPU VM on Intel. Single Thread Application on Intel.

4 VCPU and 8 VPCU on AMD.

0 Kudos
Chuck8773
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I am interested in hearing more detail about this recommendation.

Charles Killmer, VCP4

If you found this or other information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful".

Charles Killmer, VCP4 If you found this or other information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful".
0 Kudos
ESM
Contributor
Contributor

1 and 2 VCPU VM on Intel. Single Thread Application on Intel.

4 VCPU and 8 VPCU on AMD.

Can you elaborate on this recommendation of AMD for 4 VCPU? With a quad-core 5500 series process and hyper-threading, 4VCPU's shouldn't cause any kind of processor access delays.

0 Kudos
BenConrad
Expert
Expert

Check out Anandtech's conclusion:

http://it.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3571&p=12

0 Kudos