Mid-2010 x86-64 Processor Round-up
23 Jun 2010 by Simon Haslam (in General) | Comments (1)
Many people are upgrading from Oracle Internet Application Server (iAS/OAS) to Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g now. Middleware servers individually don't tend to be that big, so if you're on (or moving to) the x86 platform, I can see almost no reason for not buying new hardware at the same time - it's an easier and generally lower risk migration, not that expensive, will save you a hardware refresh later and may well free up some licences for deployment elsewhere.
There's been dizzying progress for the last couple of years in the x86-64 world though. Frankly I've been having trouble keeping up with the new processors so had written myself a little "cheat sheet" to remind myself - I've now distilled the latest processors into this post.
In summary, here's a list of recent server processors from Intel (Xeon) and AMD (Opteron):
|Processor||Model/code Name||Released||Fab||Max. Sockets||Max. Cores |
|Xeon 5600||Westmere-EP/Gulftown||March 10||32 ||2 ||6|
| Opteron 2400||Instanbul||June 09 ||45||2||6|
|Xeon 6500||Nehalem-EX/Beckton||March 10||45||2||8|
|Xeon 7500||Nehalem-EX/Beckton||March 10||45||8||8|
| Opteron 6100||Magny-Cours||March 10 ||45 ||4||12|
I hadn't intended to include processors suitable for 8 socket servers, such as the AMD 8300 Shanghai quads, simply because that's a much bigger server than I can imagine for middleware at the moment (and we'll leave virtualisation for another day). Even a dual processor server can be too powerful (or rather, expensive to licence) - 12, 16 or 24 cores with today's processors. For the purposes of this comparison I'm just showing the main families - I've ignored clock speeds/benchmarks, and if you're running a smaller setup in a shared data-centre you're probably also very interested in the power consumption (where AMD has traditionally scored well).
I have now also removed from my list the Intel Xeon 5500 Nehalem (which I was recommending frequently last year) - rather like the first generation dual core Opterons they delivered a dramatic step change in performance (arguably for exactly the same reason), but have already been bettered.
Now, back to servers for Oracle Fusion Middleware: the current sweet-spot seems to be a single or dual processor server with 6 core Xeon 5600s. Such a single processor server would require 1*6*0.5=3 Oracle Processor licences (and 6 for the dual processor obviously). Look at this benchmark if you need further convincing. Very recently HP have released new Proliant models, e.g. DL380G7 with Xeon 5600 and DL580G7 with Xeon 7500. Oracle have already been talking about Solaris x86 optimisations for Xeon 5600 and 7500 - today I can only see the new 1U Sun X2270 running Westmere-EP but I expect other models won't be far behind.
I suspect this post will date within weeks so if you spot any inaccuracies or updates please add a comment.