[THIN] Re: Performance Issues - Off Topic

  • From: "David Nelson" <djn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 08:38:28 -0700

> Questions- if we compare the Dual 2.4 Xeon ML530 to the Quad DL760 with =
> 900 MHz processors - is there really more horsepower or does overhead wipe
> out any advantage of the quad processor.


> The basic question is - are there metrics to benchmark 2 vs 4 processor =
> systems

You need to focus on where the bottleneck is.  Have you or your vendor
conclusively proven that the bottleneck is the processors??  All too many
times, a vendor is willing to blame the hardware for their poorly written
software.  Most vendors are like lawyers -- if you see their lips are
moving, then you should be careful and suspect of their opinions!

IMHO, anything over 2 processors is a waste of time and money.  SMP only
scales well up to two processors -- after that, you've hit the point of
diminishing returns.  I have no hard metrics to prove it, but I can tell you
from experience that a dual 2.4 will run circles around a quad 900.

For servers that require high i/o (like database servers), I'd put your
money into the disk subsystem.  We use two external disk enclosures (Compaq
StorageWorks 4314 Ultra-3 SCSI) and a healthy sized RAID controller
(SmartArray 5300 w/256MB battery-backed cache).  The devices are configured
RAID 0+1 so we get the advantages of high disk i/o throughput and

Have you taken a good hard look at your disk subsystem?  Have you tuned it
as much as is possible?  That is, are the block sizes between your array
controller and OS the same?  Is your cache properly balanced?  In a Novell
environment, do you have at least 80% free memory available for file
caching?  What is your LRU sitting time?  etc etc etc

If you really need high-end processing power for your applications, you may
want to consider going to Unix.  Oh, I can hear the flames coming
already......    :)  Unix is geared specifically to handle
resource-intensive applications better than anything else out there.  Also,
Novell has a ton more configuration flexibility than Windows does, so I
don't know that I'd jump off that boat too quickly.

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