CPU/Hardware Questions RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm familiar with most of the desired hardware but I wanted to ask some DBs/Devs their real world opinions on these...Thanks in Advance!


    1. Why use an AMD vs an Intel processor for certain applications and solutions – what are the advantages in a VMWare world vs a physical server environment
    2. Why use Dual Core and what does that mean in different environments
    3. Raid Configurations – Why use RAID 1 for the OS and why how/why would you create RAID sets for SQL or other high IO applications.  What are best practices
    Saturday, January 6, 2007 2:54 AM

All replies


    1) If you want info on CPUs I'd recommend http://tomshardware.co.uk/cpu/index.html - I've not seen anywhere that it is highlighted which is better for which apps.  VM is something totally different.  VM is great for

    • Server consolidation - Sometimes vendors apps aren't covered by support if they run on servers with other software running (co-existance), so you end up buying a whole heap of hardware, most of which is only lightly used.  VM allows you to put multiple virtual machines on one physical so making best use of your hardware.  It also allows you to put software which has different operating peaks on the same hardware and change the amount of system resources that are allocated to the VMs depending on load requirements.  Best server consolidation i heard of so far was 114 servers to 4! Don't foget that this is very environmentally friendly too as you save heaps of power!
    • Availability: Say you want to increase you availability of two apps on different servers - but business won't buy two new machines....buy VM instead on both boxes, run both apps on both boxes (different VMs) and load balance. Cool eh?
    • Business continuity - providing BC systems can basically double your IT costs; but you can use VMs to provide a lower performance, but full application set up for much less cash that duplicating all that hardware
    • Labs or Dev envionments - Being able to easily reproduce your prod environment in a non-prod environemnt is usually difficulat and expensive - use VM and you can get faithful reporductions very easily - VMWare have a really neat product for this http://www.vmware.com/products/labmanager/

    2) Errr....moores law is failing - more cores = more processing power per package.  Multi core is the way forward.  Intel is aiming for 80 cores! Watch out for licencing as some cheeky software vendors still price per core and not per package (Business Objects for example do this I beleive).  If you want the utimate multicore Azul's Network Attached Processing appliance rock at 48 cores per package - pitty they don't run windows :-(

    3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID says "

  • RAID can increase performance in certain applications. RAID levels 0, and 5-6 all use variations on striping, which allows multiple spindles to increase sustained transfer rates when conducting linear transfers. Workstation type applications that work with large files, such as image and video editing applications, benefit greatly from disk striping. The extra throughput offered by disk striping is also useful in disk-to-disk backups applications. Also if RAID 1 or a striping based RAID with a sufficiently large block size is used RAID can provide performance improvements for access patterns involving multiple simultaneous random accesses (e.g., multi-user databases). "
  • But for best performance you should get a SAN.



Thursday, January 11, 2007 1:25 PM