Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server - SUN

This is a discussion on Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server - SUN ; I have recently installed Solaris 10 on a Sun Enterprise 3500 server system that was sitting unused in our hardware stores here. Primarily I had intended to use this as a machine to serve Directory Server LDAP information, possibly Kerberos, ...

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Thread: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server

  1. Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server

    I have recently installed Solaris 10 on a Sun Enterprise 3500 server
    system that was sitting unused in our hardware stores here. Primarily
    I had intended to use this as a machine to serve Directory Server LDAP
    information, possibly Kerberos, and Sun Calendar requests. Upon
    looking into the stats for this machine, however, I see that it has
    four processors installed at what appears to be 400MHz apiece,
    according to system POST tests. The system utilizes 8GB of memory, as
    well.

    At this point what I am wondering is whether or not the requirements
    for the server I have described would be better served by an x86
    server, with the same amount of RAM (64-bit, obviously), that won't
    have the power requirements of this piece. I know that the Sparc
    processors support multiple threads per CPU; I do not know if this
    will give significant improvement over the x86 architecture for the
    applications I have described. The server we are currently using
    supports approximately 40 Calendar and related LDAP requirement
    instances; we expect this need to grow 5-10 times before we commit to
    a new infrastructure.

    If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?

    In advance I'm sorry for my relative ignorance about this
    architecture, I haven't had the chance to take any courses on Sparcs
    yet; hopefully after this stabilization of the infrastructure through
    our projected growth is complete I'll be able to spend a few weeks
    formally learning what I need to know here.

    Thanks for your help, it is much appreciated (as well as to those that
    helped me get the server talking and running with Solaris 10 in the
    first place)!

    -Damon Getsman

  2. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86server

    On Apr 7, 11:11 am, Damon Getsman wrote:
    > I have recently installed Solaris 10 on a Sun Enterprise 3500 server
    > system that was sitting unused in our hardware stores here. Primarily
    > I had intended to use this as a machine to serve Directory Server LDAP
    > information, possibly Kerberos, and Sun Calendar requests. Upon


    Which LDAP and Calendar server? Do they run on Solaris 10 SPARC and
    x86??

    > looking into the stats for this machine, however, I see that it has
    > four processors installed at what appears to be 400MHz apiece,
    > according to system POST tests. The system utilizes 8GB of memory, as
    > well.

    OK
    > At this point what I am wondering is whether or not the requirements
    > for the server I have described would be better served by an x86
    > server, with the same amount of RAM (64-bit, obviously), that won't
    > have the power requirements of this piece. I know that the Sparc
    > processors support multiple threads per CPU; I do not know if this
    > will give significant improvement over the x86 architecture for the
    > applications I have described. The server we are currently using
    > supports approximately 40 Calendar and related LDAP requirement
    > instances; we expect this need to grow 5-10 times before we commit to
    > a new infrastructure.
    > If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    > solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    > performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?


    Apples and oranges questions. The E3500 was designed to be scalable
    and
    "load bearing" (depending on type of load)
    from my experience having run a fairly decent sized LDAP
    VOIP system on one some years back. Like 8 years back almost.

    Actually it was a cluster of 2 config but anyway.
    LDAP response from the SunOne version 4
    product was very good with only 4 CPUs and 1000's of LDAP accounts
    IMAP
    voicemail etc etc. Now, if the Calendar server has any
    "java" in it forget about performance I suspect.

    > In advance I'm sorry for my relative ignorance about this
    > architecture, I haven't had the chance to take any courses on Sparcs
    > yet; hopefully after this stabilization of the infrastructure through
    > our projected growth is complete I'll be able to spend a few weeks
    > formally learning what I need to know here.


    Well the good news is if you can figure out how to do everything
    properly
    the box will probably run forever, you expand it by getting more CPUs/
    RAM
    up to 8 CPUs/16GB RAM, you can hang FC/AL off it for disk either
    through the builtin
    1 Gbps ports or buy 2 Gbps FC/AL HBAs, Gig E ether is supported as
    well
    - like said scalable. And the extra bits are cheap off eBay generally
    IF you know
    what to buy.

    I have a couple of E4500's which more than suffice for testing larger
    installations.
    I dont turn them on a lot..

    Or you could look into trading up to a 52xx series box. Low power
    consumption,
    lots of threads (if you willing to pay for them). And theres the
    FeeCee Sun server
    boxes too.

    The long and short of it for me is without more details the questions
    cannot be answered.
    I suggest you test things out with what you have.
    Maybe pickup a 60 day Try&Buy off your Sun rep and compare.
    If you use the E3500 for trade bait and dont like how much you are
    getting, see what they are
    worth on eBay...

    As this is really a hardware theme Ill not cross post this all over.


  3. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server

    In comp.sys.sun.hardware Damon Getsman wrote:
    > At this point what I am wondering is whether or not the requirements
    > for the server I have described would be better served by an x86
    > server, with the same amount of RAM (64-bit, obviously), that won't
    > have the power requirements of this piece. I know that the Sparc
    > processors support multiple threads per CPU;


    Some processors do. The SPARC II modules you have do not.

    > I do not know if this
    > will give significant improvement over the x86 architecture for the
    > applications I have described. The server we are currently using
    > supports approximately 40 Calendar and related LDAP requirement
    > instances; we expect this need to grow 5-10 times before we commit to
    > a new infrastructure.


    It almost certainly will not. The E3500 was a very nice machine, but
    the 400MHz processors you have are over 10 years old. Almost any
    machine today can have the I/O and RAM that the 3500 could, and can
    destroy it CPU-wise.

    > If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    > solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    > performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?


    I wouldn't say the "architecture" is the better solution, but the
    specific server you have is "slow" by today's technology. I would
    expect better performance from any modern x86-64 system on almost any
    workload, presuming it had suffcient RAM and decent I/O.

    --
    Darren Dunham ddunham@taos.com
    Senior Technical Consultant TAOS http://www.taos.com/
    Got some Dr Pepper? San Francisco, CA bay area
    < This line left intentionally blank to confuse you. >

  4. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server

    In comp.sys.sun.hardware Damon Getsman wrote:
    > At this point what I am wondering is whether or not the requirements
    > for the server I have described would be better served by an x86
    > server, with the same amount of RAM (64-bit, obviously), that won't
    > have the power requirements of this piece. I know that the Sparc
    > processors support multiple threads per CPU;


    Some processors do. The SPARC II modules you have do not.

    > I do not know if this
    > will give significant improvement over the x86 architecture for the
    > applications I have described. The server we are currently using
    > supports approximately 40 Calendar and related LDAP requirement
    > instances; we expect this need to grow 5-10 times before we commit to
    > a new infrastructure.


    It almost certainly will not. The E3500 was a very nice machine, but
    the 400MHz processors you have are over 10 years old. Almost any
    machine today can have the I/O and RAM that the 3500 could, and can
    destroy it CPU-wise.

    > If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    > solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    > performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?


    I wouldn't say the "architecture" is the better solution, but the
    specific server you have is "slow" by today's technology. I would
    expect better performance from any modern x86-64 system on almost any
    workload, presuming it had suffcient RAM and decent I/O.

    --
    Darren Dunham ddunham@taos.com
    Senior Technical Consultant TAOS http://www.taos.com/
    Got some Dr Pepper? San Francisco, CA bay area
    < This line left intentionally blank to confuse you. >

  5. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server

    In comp.sys.sun.hardware Damon Getsman wrote:
    > At this point what I am wondering is whether or not the requirements
    > for the server I have described would be better served by an x86
    > server, with the same amount of RAM (64-bit, obviously), that won't
    > have the power requirements of this piece. I know that the Sparc
    > processors support multiple threads per CPU;


    Some processors do. The SPARC II modules you have do not.

    > I do not know if this
    > will give significant improvement over the x86 architecture for the
    > applications I have described. The server we are currently using
    > supports approximately 40 Calendar and related LDAP requirement
    > instances; we expect this need to grow 5-10 times before we commit to
    > a new infrastructure.


    It almost certainly will not. The E3500 was a very nice machine, but
    the 400MHz processors you have are over 10 years old. Almost any
    machine today can have the I/O and RAM that the 3500 could, and can
    destroy it CPU-wise.

    > If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    > solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    > performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?


    I wouldn't say the "architecture" is the better solution, but the
    specific server you have is "slow" by today's technology. I would
    expect better performance from any modern x86-64 system on almost any
    workload, presuming it had suffcient RAM and decent I/O.

    --
    Darren Dunham ddunham@taos.com
    Senior Technical Consultant TAOS http://www.taos.com/
    Got some Dr Pepper? San Francisco, CA bay area
    < This line left intentionally blank to confuse you. >

  6. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server

    On 2008-04-07, Damon Getsman wrote:
    > I have recently installed Solaris 10 on a Sun Enterprise 3500 server
    > system that was sitting unused in our hardware stores here. Primarily


    [snip]

    > If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    > solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    > performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?


    [snip]

    You'd need to use an x86 of similar vintage to the E3500 to compare the
    architecture, really. The E3500 is an old machine indeed, despite having more
    RAM than the average PC. A new x86 based machine will have a lot more CPU
    power than the E3500, especially if it has the same number of CPUs. A quad
    Opteron with 8Gb of RAM would kill it completely. On the other hand, a quad
    Pentium Pro wouldn't get anywhere near the throughput of the E3500.

    It's not a reasonable comparison, but I will note that even the old E3500 will
    still churn through a good amount of work, and the hardware is very reliable -
    they tend to live on for a long time.

    If you do want to benchmark it, I'd suggest using one of the Oracle benchmarks
    - they're a good workout for the system. Why not post the results back here?

    --
    |
    /\ ._ _|.__ | http://www2.purplecow.org
    /--\| |(_||(/_ | email: andre at purplecow dot org


  7. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server

    On 2008-04-07, Damon Getsman wrote:
    > I have recently installed Solaris 10 on a Sun Enterprise 3500 server
    > system that was sitting unused in our hardware stores here. Primarily


    [snip]

    > If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    > solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    > performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?


    [snip]

    You'd need to use an x86 of similar vintage to the E3500 to compare the
    architecture, really. The E3500 is an old machine indeed, despite having more
    RAM than the average PC. A new x86 based machine will have a lot more CPU
    power than the E3500, especially if it has the same number of CPUs. A quad
    Opteron with 8Gb of RAM would kill it completely. On the other hand, a quad
    Pentium Pro wouldn't get anywhere near the throughput of the E3500.

    It's not a reasonable comparison, but I will note that even the old E3500 will
    still churn through a good amount of work, and the hardware is very reliable -
    they tend to live on for a long time.

    If you do want to benchmark it, I'd suggest using one of the Oracle benchmarks
    - they're a good workout for the system. Why not post the results back here?

    --
    |
    /\ ._ _|.__ | http://www2.purplecow.org
    /--\| |(_||(/_ | email: andre at purplecow dot org


  8. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86 server

    On 2008-04-07, Damon Getsman wrote:
    > I have recently installed Solaris 10 on a Sun Enterprise 3500 server
    > system that was sitting unused in our hardware stores here. Primarily


    [snip]

    > If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    > solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    > performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?


    [snip]

    You'd need to use an x86 of similar vintage to the E3500 to compare the
    architecture, really. The E3500 is an old machine indeed, despite having more
    RAM than the average PC. A new x86 based machine will have a lot more CPU
    power than the E3500, especially if it has the same number of CPUs. A quad
    Opteron with 8Gb of RAM would kill it completely. On the other hand, a quad
    Pentium Pro wouldn't get anywhere near the throughput of the E3500.

    It's not a reasonable comparison, but I will note that even the old E3500 will
    still churn through a good amount of work, and the hardware is very reliable -
    they tend to live on for a long time.

    If you do want to benchmark it, I'd suggest using one of the Oracle benchmarks
    - they're a good workout for the system. Why not post the results back here?

    --
    |
    /\ ._ _|.__ | http://www2.purplecow.org
    /--\| |(_||(/_ | email: andre at purplecow dot org


  9. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86server

    Andre van Eyssen wrote:
    > On 2008-04-07, Damon Getsman wrote:
    >> I have recently installed Solaris 10 on a Sun Enterprise 3500 server
    >> system that was sitting unused in our hardware stores here. Primarily

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >> If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    >> solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    >> performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > You'd need to use an x86 of similar vintage to the E3500 to compare the
    > architecture, really. The E3500 is an old machine indeed, despite having more
    > RAM than the average PC. A new x86 based machine will have a lot more CPU
    > power than the E3500, especially if it has the same number of CPUs. A quad
    > Opteron with 8Gb of RAM would kill it completely. On the other hand, a quad
    > Pentium Pro wouldn't get anywhere near the throughput of the E3500.
    >
    > It's not a reasonable comparison, but I will note that even the old E3500 will
    > still churn through a good amount of work, and the hardware is very reliable -
    > they tend to live on for a long time.
    >
    > If you do want to benchmark it, I'd suggest using one of the Oracle benchmarks
    > - they're a good workout for the system. Why not post the results back here?
    >


    Doesn't Oracle prohibit publication of such benchmarks? The last time I
    had any contact with Oracle was 2004 and, at that time, publishing
    benchmark results involving Oracle was prohibited. Check your contract
    with Oracle before you get into expensive legal trouble!!


  10. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86server

    Andre van Eyssen wrote:
    > On 2008-04-07, Damon Getsman wrote:
    >> I have recently installed Solaris 10 on a Sun Enterprise 3500 server
    >> system that was sitting unused in our hardware stores here. Primarily

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >> If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    >> solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    >> performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > You'd need to use an x86 of similar vintage to the E3500 to compare the
    > architecture, really. The E3500 is an old machine indeed, despite having more
    > RAM than the average PC. A new x86 based machine will have a lot more CPU
    > power than the E3500, especially if it has the same number of CPUs. A quad
    > Opteron with 8Gb of RAM would kill it completely. On the other hand, a quad
    > Pentium Pro wouldn't get anywhere near the throughput of the E3500.
    >
    > It's not a reasonable comparison, but I will note that even the old E3500 will
    > still churn through a good amount of work, and the hardware is very reliable -
    > they tend to live on for a long time.
    >
    > If you do want to benchmark it, I'd suggest using one of the Oracle benchmarks
    > - they're a good workout for the system. Why not post the results back here?
    >


    Doesn't Oracle prohibit publication of such benchmarks? The last time I
    had any contact with Oracle was 2004 and, at that time, publishing
    benchmark results involving Oracle was prohibited. Check your contract
    with Oracle before you get into expensive legal trouble!!


  11. Re: Enterprise 3500--benchmarking and usefulness as opposed to x86server

    Andre van Eyssen wrote:
    > On 2008-04-07, Damon Getsman wrote:
    >> I have recently installed Solaris 10 on a Sun Enterprise 3500 server
    >> system that was sitting unused in our hardware stores here. Primarily

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >> If, indeed, the x86-64 architecture does seem to be the better
    >> solution, what kinds of server implementations would I see better
    >> performance from the sparc with 4 processors on?

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > You'd need to use an x86 of similar vintage to the E3500 to compare the
    > architecture, really. The E3500 is an old machine indeed, despite having more
    > RAM than the average PC. A new x86 based machine will have a lot more CPU
    > power than the E3500, especially if it has the same number of CPUs. A quad
    > Opteron with 8Gb of RAM would kill it completely. On the other hand, a quad
    > Pentium Pro wouldn't get anywhere near the throughput of the E3500.
    >
    > It's not a reasonable comparison, but I will note that even the old E3500 will
    > still churn through a good amount of work, and the hardware is very reliable -
    > they tend to live on for a long time.
    >
    > If you do want to benchmark it, I'd suggest using one of the Oracle benchmarks
    > - they're a good workout for the system. Why not post the results back here?
    >


    Doesn't Oracle prohibit publication of such benchmarks? The last time I
    had any contact with Oracle was 2004 and, at that time, publishing
    benchmark results involving Oracle was prohibited. Check your contract
    with Oracle before you get into expensive legal trouble!!


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