I don’t pimp Pixelpark products much in this blog, but today I’ll do. Over the last years, we used to host Web portals in our datacenter for customer on a Solaris based serverfarm called gridpark. Since 2005 we run Solaris 10 with Solaris zones on Sun Sparc, Sun Coolthreads and AMD Opteron processors, dependent on the solution for the customer. Besides of the main gridpark platform, there are also customers on Linux, Windows 2003 and VMWARE on Dell and IBM Server Hardware. Most of these dedicated solutions are based on standard rackmount servers like Dell 2850, Sun X4100, X4200, X4600, T2000, V240 and so on. We looked at a couple of Blade platforms in the past, but almost all of them had a couple of disadvantages for us. But there’s a new Blade platform now, the Sun Blade 6000 familiy.
Besides the 10 slot chassis, there are are a couple of different server modules available for the Sun Blade 6000 modular system today:
- T6300: 1 socket Sun UltraSparc T1, almost the same as the Sun T2000
- X6220: 2 socket AMD Opteron 2000 Series, dual core, looks like the X4100 with more memory slots
- X6250: 2 socket Intel Clovertown Series, dual and quad core
That means, we have the choice today to decide on which CPU platform to run web portals best. Looking at SPECweb2006 and SPECjAPPServer2004 results to compare this three CPU platforms, you will soon see the winner: The Intel Clovertown series seems to outperform the AMD Opteron 2000 Series and the Sun UltraSparc T1 CPU in these benchmarks. If you look at database performance (mysql and postgresql), tweakers.net published their experience comparing a Sun X4600 8 socket dual core Opteron Server with a Intel Cloverton X5355 2 socket quad core server.
The conclusion of tweakers.net is, that for typical web (2.0) workloads (SPECweb, SPECjbb, small databases) the Intel Clovertown CPUs has a very interesting price/performance ratio.
And what does this mean for project gridpark: It’s a big advantage for us, to have a the possibility to buy the Intel Clovertown based servers from Sun for the Sun Blade 6000 plattform and to have Sun Solaris 10 support as well as already optimized Sun Studio 12 compilers.