[GE users] Execution hosts: Blades vs Individual Servers

Olesen, Mark Mark.Olesen at emcontechnologies.com
Tue Jul 29 11:56:47 BST 2008

> I've heard that although they don't run as fast as 3GHz, they are in
> fact more powerful for floating point calculation, so would they
> process the jobs faster even though running slower?

We have some older machines:
   Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 3.40GHz
and somewhat newer machines:
   Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU 5160 @ 3.00GHz
[information taken from /proc/cpuinfo]

I don't have the figures anymore, but I remember out CFD benchmarks
showing the dual-core machines being 25-30% faster.

> but I can't seem to find any data on how well they work at running one
> application (job) per CPU (i.e. 2 jobs on a dual core, or 4 jobs on a
> quad core).

This will depend on the application (how cpu-intensive, IO, memory
usage). For our CFD applications, we've seen about 30% better
performance if the 8 processes are split across 8 cpus [4 machines, each
with dual-cpu] instead of splitting it across 8 cores [2 machines,
dual-core, dual-cpu]. The bottle-neck to access the memory is worse than
the extra network activity ... for THIS application.

You'll have to try your own application, however, to see how it
benchmarks with various configurations.

> Then we have Blades vs Indivudual Servers.

We've gone with individual servers avoid vendor lock-in (and to remain
flexible in the configurations). This was an important factor for us.

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