Bob Cochran wrote:
> On 9/21/11 9:35 AM, Bill Davidsen wrote:
>> Bob Cochran wrote:
>>> I want to build a new computer system that features dual processors, a
>>> lot of memory, and is able to run Xen virtualization. Install Fedora 
>>> and
>>> Xen as the host on such a machine, and then start running a variety of
>>> other operating systems as virtual machines.
>>> What dual processor hardware configurations work well with Xen? For
>>> example will any Supermicro brand dual processor motherboard be 
>>> hardware
>>> compatible with Xen? I am thinking of Supermicro boards with Xeon
>>> processors. Or is there a better brand of motherboard?
>> With 2-4-6 core CPUs out there, do you really need that level of cost 
>> and complexity? I run an x58 ASUS Sabertooth board with i7-950 CPU 
>> and 24GB ram, and it seems up to most of what I even plan to do. With 
>> eight threads I can handle lots of VMs, although I am running most 
>> with KVM rather than xen. Newer boards will go to six (hyperthreaded) 
>> cores, but I believe only support four sticks of mempry.
> I recently started working with a dual processor workstation bought 
> from Dell. My role is to support the hardware and get the software 
> installed. It is set up with two, Xeon E5645 6-core processors. Based 
> on only about 2 hours of working with it -- they seem to make a 
> significant speed difference difference. This is with a mere 12 Gb of 
> registered DDR3 memory (6 Gb per processor.) Unfortunately we can only 
> do 12 Gb for now, we were hitting the budget limit. I have a question 
> out to my customer asking about the actual experience with 
> applications. My impression is there is a lot more speed.
> I have a second person who really maxes out cpu performance and I 
> think that person needs to go beyond the single processor stage. Maybe 
> it is time for multiple processors, each with loads of cache and 
> cores, and some serious memory.
There's no question that if you are CPU bound and have lots of tasks 
more is better. But that's an unusual case, the load type seen in 
scientific calculations and rendering images. For more common loads 
memory, storage, or network are often the limiting factor. Since the 
original question didn't really make it clear what the load would be or 
what budget was available I thought it was worth suggesting an option 
leaving more budget for things which may be bottlenecks.

General questions often get general answers.

Bill Davidsen<>
   We are not out of the woods yet, but we know the direction and have
taken the first step. The steps are many, but finite in number, and if
we persevere we will reach our destination.  -me, 2010

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