VMware Cloud Community
RobertGreenlee
Contributor
Contributor

Need hardware advice for HP Blade servers

We have a current ESX 3.5 farm hosted on HP BL465 G5 servers using the AMD quad-core procs and it runs pretty well. We are in the process of building out a new 5-node vSphere farm which will primary run Production systems so we want as much horsepower across the 5 HP host blades as possible.

Our two options to meet compatibility with the HP Flex-10 networking are the BL 495c G6 servers with dual AMD 6-core processors. Since the 495s don't support onboard Raid we will probably have ESX boot off the EMC SAN. Each node will have 64 GB of RAM.

The second option is the BL 460c G6 which uses the Intel 5500 series of 4-way procs which we will have two of in each host.

Going purely by clock cycles the 6-way AMDs kick the Intel's tail but I know it is not that easy but I cannot find any comparison between these two series of procs. Does anybody have any concrete info on which of these configs will post the best performance in the long run.

Thanks

Robert

0 Kudos
9 Replies
DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

If you will be keeping your earlier AMD based servers I would use AMD in the new ones. HA wants like processors.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
0 Kudos
RobertGreenlee
Contributor
Contributor

It will be a whole seperate cluster with no need to vmotion between them so the Intel/AMD issue should not be a factor. Thanks..

0 Kudos
chriswaltham
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

We have a half-dozen BL465c's with dual-socket, hex-core AMDs and are very happy with them. If you wanted to avoid booting from SAN, you could probably install a single SSD (they don't have to be large-capacity, as the ESX operating system isn't that big) and boot it that way...

RobertGreenlee
Contributor
Contributor

We considered the internal SSD disks to boot ESX off of but management was very leary of there being no redundancy for them since they don't support Raid 1. I understand they are suppose to be more reliable for spinning platters but if the single disk were to fail it would still drop quite a few VMs until HA could restart them on another host.

0 Kudos
chriswaltham
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

While I don't agree with their choice, I do understand the reasons behind it (to a point I guess.) Let me know if I can give you any more info!

0 Kudos
RobertGreenlee
Contributor
Contributor

I'm been digging in to HPs spec for the two different server models.

It comes down to the 460c G6 running 8 cores per box @ 2.53 Ghz with PC3-8500 64GB ram running at 800 Mhz verses the 495c G6 running 12 cores per box with PC2-6400 64 GB of ram running at 533 Mhz.

The AMD has a lot more processing power but the Intel much faster memory.

0 Kudos
chriswaltham
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I am an end-user, not a vendor, so I can say this without finances being a motivation: I have an interesting PDF from a recent VMUG where AMD compare their CPU offerings for virtualized environments with Intel. It is, in my mind, quite objective; AMD seem to clearly state where they are better and where they are worse. For us, it helped decide between the six-core AMDs and their Intel competitors by noting things like the Intel CPUs that use less power actually have less features. (We run the AMD HE CPUs in an effort to compare power.)

Let me know if you'd like a copy, it's not under NDA.

RobertGreenlee
Contributor
Contributor

I'll love a copy... can you attach it to a reply or maybe send it to me via a PM?

0 Kudos
DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

We considered the internal SSD disks to boot ESX off of but management was very leary of there being no redundancy for them since they don't support Raid 1. I understand they are suppose to be more reliable for spinning platters but if the single disk were to fail it would still drop quite a few VMs until HA could restart them on another host.

I use USB and you can actually pull out the USB stick once you have booted and ESXi will run just fine. The hourly backups fail but other than that ESXi is totally in RAM.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
0 Kudos