With our 2010 server upgrade we're doing more than just replacing hardware, we're moving to a fully virtualized server environment. We're constructing two private clouds, one for our heavy database applications and one for everything else. The point of creating two independent clouds is to equip them with different levels of hardware - more memory/IO for the db cloud and something a bit more reasonable for the main cloud. Within each cloud we're looking to completely duplicate all hardware to make our environment much more manageable. 

The first hardware we got in for the upgrade were our CPUs. We're moving from a 28 server setup to a 12 server environment. Each server has two CPU sockets and we're populating them with Intel Xeon L5640s.


The L5640 is a 32nm Westmere processor with 6-cores/12MB L3 per chip. The L indicates a lower voltage part. The L5640 carries a 60W TDP thanks to its 2.26GHz clock speed. We're mostly power constrained in our racks so saving on power is a top priority.

Each server will have two of these chips, that's 12-cores/24-threads per server. We've reviewed Intel's Xeon 5670 as well as the L5640 in particular. As Johan concluded in his review, the L5640 makes sense for us as we have hard power limits at the rack level and are charged extra for overages.

There's not much else to show off at this point but over the coming days/weeks you'll see more documentation from our upgrade process.


Hopefully this will result in better performance for all of you as well as more uptime as we can easily scale hardware within our upcoming cloud infrastructure. 

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • mino - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Well being so smart you shall be able to read at least Anandtech's own 6100 evaluation.

    And they said that DESPITE their love affair with Nehalem.

    Long story short, 6164HE and L5640 are the kings and trade blows to each other depending on the load.

    Generally, for many mid-loaded VM's = better for AMD.
    Few heavily optimized VM's => Intel wins.
  • Voo - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Ah you mean that review where they didn't do any power consumption measurements? I'm sure their conclusions concerning that particular metric were great..

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2978/amd-s-12-core-m... ups nothing.
    Ah but maybe http://www.anandtech.com/show/3648/xeon-7500-dell-... ? Oh Also no numbers?

    Maybe they hid their measurements really well, but doesn't seem so
  • mino - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    C32 in in a different performance class.
    If anything 6164HE is the way to go.

    However it all depends on workload and, most importantly, on specific mobo/server availability/features.
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    Please don't tell me you're starting that "Intel is buying off Anandtech" crap again.
  • Googer - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but if my memory serves me accuratly; wasn't the IT section of Anandtech once solely sponsored by Intel?
  • Mumrik - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

  • Meaker10 - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    32nm and the requirement for low power.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    This is actually a very good question and something I will touch on in a later post. All of our component choices are our top picks for performance/power reasons. There's one exception and we'll get to that in a later post :)

    Take care,
  • lwatcdr - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    I am also wondering why so much CPU power? I would also expect you to be IO Bound more than CPU bound.
    I would love to know how you handle things like fall over, storage, backups, and so one.
    Maybe I do not use Anandtech enough but I have never seen any down time or performance issues.
  • SolMiester - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    28 to 12 servers, so thats 6 servers per farm and the servers are probably clustered, so that 3 pairs, 1 for upgrades, 1 for backup and 1 live?....
    Does sound like a shit load though....

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now