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Posted by Galen Schreck on May 18, 2009
From time to time, someone will ask me if it makes sense to purchase a large (32+ CPU) server as a big virtualization host running a VMware, Microsoft, or Citrix hypervisor.
In a word, I think the answer is "no".
Here are a few reasons why:
Even among modular servers, there is some debate as to how big of a box you need. The recent release of the Intel Xeon 5500 allows you to manage a lot more memory with fewer physical CPUs. In order to provide the maximum amount of memory to their VMs, many companies purchased more processors than they needed -- simply so they could get enough RAM. Systems were still mostly memory bound, so with the release of the new Xeon 5500 that can address more DIMMS, we think that some firms will temporarily swing back towards systems with fewer CPUs. Plus, the CPUs have gotten much faster -- recent demonstrations by Intel are showing the new Xeon 5500-based servers running twice the workload of their prior models.
Check out Galen's research.
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