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

  • Trinity01 - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    Here's an Idea: sweeptake the old parts!
  • xakor - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    What kind of databases are you using? Any NoSQL database in production?

    Also, wouldn't the massive atom-based 120k server be good for what you are doing? How much pricier/cheaper would it have been?

    How is most of the software built? Like .NET, php or Ruby? Have you ever gone back on the implementations and thought of changing? Have you looked at and considered F#/WebSharper?

    Thanks a lot.
  • Ammohunt - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    What virtualization software do you plan to use?
  • theangryintern - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    wow, over $10k just for the CPUs (based on the price in the ad in the article, I'm sure they didn't pay nearly that) I'd be interested at the end of the whole server build if you could put what the whole upgrade costs would be.
  • GullLars - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    Will you be using ioDrive(s) in your I/O-intensive cluster?
  • Michael McNamara - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - link

    I would have to agree with a few folks here that I would have thought that utilizing a hosting service provider to provide either a VPS or dedicated hardware would be much more cost effective and efficient solution. At the same time freeing the "staff" from having to tackle the day to day hardware issues that can creep up and allowing them to focus on their primary task/goal, writing great articles for their users.

    That doesn't mean you can't have a server or two that you use for testing or development where you can literally pull it apart to your hearts desire.

  • Kaushalam - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    I have been owing an AMD enabled personal computer for 10 years and never found any issue with the system. It's working well. I also enhanced by upgrading some devices, still it is working fine.
    Most of the part of my harddrive has been reserved for <a href="http://www.kaushalam.com/application-developement.... Application Development</a>

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now