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