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. 

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  • Casper42 - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    Sounds like a shitload? It always cracks me up how the desktop junkies come into a Server thread and are amazed by a mediocre product or setup.

    I work for HP and deal with mainly enterprise customers who are buying 16 blade servers with X5670s and 144GB of RAM in a single PO, only to turn around 2 months later and order more. And thats not including the orders from places like Microsoft and Facebook. Those ship out as an entire rack of equipment pre-cabled.

    Before I jumped over to the dark side (Sales) I last worked for a small division of a fortune 500 and deployed 8 c7000 HP Chassis' and around 100 blade servers before I left earlier this year.

    So 12 VM Hosts - small potatoes
  • Zorblack1 - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    Are you serious? You come off stupid saying: "...but why weren't AMD Opteron six core considered?" When nothing of the sort was said in the article.

    The article was not about why they choose, just what they choose. Additionally they never said they didn't consider; go troll elsewhere.
  • Griswold - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Anand said its a good question, which makes you come off stupid and look like a troll.
  • webdev511 - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Of course Opteron 6000 series really are best suited for situations where per-socket licensing comes into play, e.g. database and application servers.

    Suffice to say I'm looking forward to this series.
  • mfenn - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    I'm very interested to hear which cloud infrastructure management software that you picked (VMWare, Eucalyptus, OpenNebula).
  • ruusnak - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    Me too... also, I'm interested in hearing how much service automation you actually plan to use and how you implement the automation. After all, when we talk about clouds, that would mean - in addition to just virtualization - implementing the service catalogs, image repositories of those services, workflows performing automated deployments of those services, workflows to modify/remove the services etc.
  • jigglywiggly - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    virtualbox is THE best
    that is all..

    Oh and why need for so much cpu computing power? I'd be more troubled with DISK I/O performance.
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, August 30, 2010 - link

    Since when is Virtual Box in the same league as VMware ESX, Citrix XenServer, etc. for enterprise server use?
  • Adul - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    it isnt. Hell I wouldn't even put xenserver up there, but it looks like a client of ours will want to go that route. It should be interesting. We run esx and hyperv right now.
  • JHBoricua - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - link

    You don't consider XenServer enterprise ready and yet you follow that by stating you run Hyper-V? Talk about fail.

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