When the time for refresh of your existing IT equipment comes, no doubt you’ll have some old CPU’s. But how do you determine how many cores you’ll need? What type of processor would be best for the new environment? How many servers/hosts does that translates to, especially if your workloads are virtualized?
A lot of people done take processor generations into account when sizing environments. But if you have 3+ year old equipment, you should be taking account of the improvements over those years to processors and right size your workloads for the new generation systems. You might need a lot less cores and a lot less hosts/servers as a result. This could mean you can get significantly more for your budget and achieve much better business results.
There are various methods that can be used to do the generational comparison. Note, we are not talking about translation from different processor architectures here, this assumes x86 standard architecture. If you want to translate from Power or ARM to Intel, that’s a different thing altogether. The easiest way to translate performance from one processor generation of Intel to another is to use Spec Int 2006 or 2017 from spec.org. You can search that site for the particular processor you are going from and too, and then compare the performance results. However it’s not easy searching through the data manually.
Eric Wamsley at Nutanix has created a tool that automates the process of comparing processors for you. This can be used by any vendor and isn’t specific to Nutanix systems. You can visit his SpecInt Rate’d site to compare details across many processors. This makes getting the right results a lot simpler.
One thing to bare in mind when doing the comparisons is that clock speed still matters for some applications. So you should try and keep similar clock speeds if you can, especially when you have single threaded applications (SAP). Some app vendors call this Single Compute Unit (SCU) size for a platform. Higher clock speed usually means less cores, lower clock speed per core usually allows more cores. For many apps a 2.7GHz 18 core CPU, or 3.0GHz 18 core CPU is a good sweet spot.
If you right size your workloads when upgrading your infrastructure you might find you need a lot less servers to handle the same workload and overall your users will get much greater performance. This will allow you to do more with your budget and achieve overall better business results. CPU Clock speed still matter though, so be sure to check with your app owners if there are any single threaded applications.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com. By Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2012 – 2019 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.