Hi, I need the best cost effective solution for virtualization:
must have at least 16 cores
redundant power supply
manage by KVM (ability to mimic FDD/CD via KVM with clutter of cables etc)
I normally get a solution via blade enclosures, but this new customer wants the lowest price and i think it might be cheaper to buy 1U or 2U servers (i think 2U due to dual power supply requirement?)
finally, power consumption! if there is a solution that is much more efficient via power consumption that would be best. we dont care about 2% or 5% savings since we pay flat fee for power at the co-lo, but if we can throw in 4 or 5 more servers on the same 208-30 circuit, then that is like free computing power.
You can take a look at the "Twin U" servers from Supermicro. They are not blades but 2 servers in 1U. This is available as a Twin for 1U or Quad for 2U and can share 2 power supplies so you've got redundancy. They have both an Intel and AMD solution so you can go with 32 cores(64 threads) of XEON 55xx series cpus or up to 48 cores of Opteron "Istanbul" 2xxx series cpus in 2U of space. This would be 2 or 4 separate servers which may not meet your requirements of 16 cores(per server?). They also have IPMI for Media/KVM over LAN support.
Last edited by Ceetoe; 10-12-2009 at 01:04 PM.
Reason: oopsies and typos
Out of personal preference I'd probably use some Dell 2950 (2u) systems with DRAC for remote management. With that much CPU power and doing virtualization make sure you have plenty of good RAM in there too!
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8 cores is certainly OK too. The key is processing power (CPUs/cores) for power. If a 16 core server takes 1.9x the power of 2 8 core servers, then there is no justification for it. But if it takes 1.3x the power then it makes sense.
The twin U from supermicro sounds interesting in that there is a cost savings of a chassis and power supplies (at least i would like to think so)
dell/hp are good solutions, i am fond of both. but the key here is price/power. If I had control of the budget i would go with HP blades and be done with it. but the client wants to try and get 250+ cores per cabinet (208-30 per cabinet) and if it works okay, get a whole cage of them. So the key is, and i understand why, that pricing must make sense. If we are talking about $100 savingsper server, then this topic is not necessary. but if i can save the client $1000 or $2000 per server staying away from blades then it makes good sense
We have had great success with the Dell R900 servers and they closely fit in your requirements. However when we truly look at getting the best performance out of a machine we found that splitting the VPS over 2950 perform better and have a better ROI.
If you are looking to build the system yourself I would definitely go for a SuperMicro board which supports full IPMI, this should cover your needs for KVM with virtual media support. As far as processors are concerned, the new Nehalems pack a huge punch and would be my first choice, but be prepared to have some driver compatibility issues with some of the virtualization kernels due to the newer chipsets and other features of the motherboards which support the Nehalems.