The VMware VMmark web site was recently updated to show Dell’s PowerEdge M910 blade server in the #1 slot (for blades) in the 16 core space. I think the PowerEdge M910 is very intriguing, so I thought I’d spend some time highlighting the features. Before I begin, let me explain what the VMmark testing is about. VMmark enables equipment manufacturers, software vendors, system integrators and other organizations to:
- Measure virtual machine performance accurately and reliably
- Determine the performance of different hardware and virtualization platforms
- Make appropriate hardware decisions for your virtual infrastructure
VMware developed VMmark as a standard methodology for comparing virtualized systems. According to VMware’s VMmark website, the benchmark system in VMmark is comprised of a series of “sub-tests” that are derived from commonly used load-generation tools, as well as from benchmarks developed by the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC®). In parallel to VMmark, VMware is a member of the SPEC Virtualization subcommittee and is working with other SPEC members to create the next generation virtualization benchmark.
In testing the terms, a “tile” is simply a collection of virtual machines (VM’s) that are executing a set of diverse workloads designed to represent a natural work environment. The total number of tiles that a server can handle provides a detailed measurement of that server’s consolidation capacity. The more tiles, the better. The faster the performance, the better.
Top 3 VMmark Results for 16 Core Blade Servers (as of 8/5/2010)…click on the link to open the details
#1 – Dell PowerEdge M910 (2 Sockets, 16 cores; Intel Xeon X7560 CPU) running VMware ESX v4.0 –37.11@26 tiles (published 7/13/2010)
#2 – Dell PowerEdge M905 (4 Sockets, 16 cores; AMD Opteron 8393 SE) running VMware ESX v4.0 – 22.90@17 tiles (published 6/19/2009)
#3 – HP ProLiant BL685 G6 (Four Core AMD Opteron 8389) running VMware ESX v4.0 – 20.87@14 tiles (published 4/24/2009)
Some details about the server:
- uses Intel Xeon 7500 or 6500 CPUs
- has support for up to 512GB using 32 x 16 DIMMs
- comes 4 Ethernet ports via two embedded Broadcom NetExtreme II Dual Port 5709S Gigabit Ethernet NICs with failover and load balancing.
- has two 2.5″ Hot-Swappable SAS/Solid State Drives
- 4 available I/O mezzanine card slots
- comes with a Matrox G200eW w/ 8MB memory standard
- can function on 2 CPUs with access to all 32 DIMM slots
These I/O Bays are connected to the on-board Ethernet. In the case of the M910, there are 4 Ethernet ports.
These I/O Bays are connected to Mezzanine Card Slots 1 and 3. These can provide 4 ports per card if a QUAD port card is used – otherwise, only two ports would be used.
- It extends the Scalable Memory Interconnects (SMI) from CPU 1 and CPU 2 to the memory subsystem of CPU 3 and CPU 4.
- It reroutes and terminates the 2nd Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) inter-processor communications links to provide optimal performance which would otherwise be disconnected in a 2 CPU configuration.
So – that about covers it.
For more information on the Dell PowerEdge M910, check out the PowerEdge M910 Product Site at
Founder of BladesMadeSimple.com. I have over 15 years of experience in the x86 server and virtualization marketplace. Since 1997 I've worked at several resellers in the Atlanta area, including Solarcom (Presidio), Canvas Systems, Optimus Solutions (Softchoice) and Corus360. I have a vast array of competitive x86 server knowledge and certifications as well as an in-depth understanding of VMware and Citrix virtualization. Since 2011 I have been working for Dell as a Server Sales Engineer covering the Global 500 market in the midwest and east.
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