Thursday Jul 23, 2009

Is Solaris better on AMD or Intel?

"Is Solaris better on AMD or Intel?" As a Technical Marketing guy working with the field and partners, I honestly cannot tell you how many times I was asked that question. The answer, as you most likely already know, is not a straight black or white type answer. Building the best performing solution depends on many components, from the processor architecture to the workload, including compilers and application optimization, type of I/O, network, storage, etc... 

There are general rules of thumb, for example applications with a very high thread count and network I/O are likely to perform very well on Sun Chip Multithreading (CMT) Servers. However, as AMD and Intel architectures evolve, they become more and more similar in many respects (although the low level details and implementations are very different): NUMA architectures, multiple cores, 64-bit, integrated memory controller on cpu die, large cache, etc... therefore generic rules about which architecture performs better tend to turn into an infinite number of case by case benchmarks and proofs of concept.

Sun has been working for years with both Intel and AMD engineers to optimize the Solaris OS on both architectures. In order to help developers leverage these efforts, Sun has published BluePrints articles that provide technical details on how to take advantage of the optimizations for the latest generations of processors: AMD's Opteron 2400/8400 series (aka Istanbul) and Intel's Xeon 3500/5500 series (aka Nehalem-EP) . Although not a straight answer to my initial question, these documents provide developers and sysadmins the guidance they need to optimize the Solaris OS on the latest AMD and Intel processor generations.

So, which is best? How about you have the power of choice and decision. Whatever your choice is, Solaris not only supports it, it has been optimized to help you get the best out of it! Happy reading.

The Solaris Operating System - Optimized for the AMD Opteron Processor

The Solaris Operating System - Optimized for the Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Series

Sun BluePrints articles are free whitepapers, written by engineers, for engineers. Don't miss out, stay up to date and join the Sun BluePrints Community on Facebook or subscribe to the Sun BluePrints Community RSS Feed.

Wednesday Jul 22, 2009

LDoms for Dummies

Do you have a Sun Chip Multithreading (CMT) Server laying around? Would like to take advantage of the massive thread scale of your Coolthreads server? Always wanted to give Logical Domains (LDoms) no-cost virtualization a try?

Today is the perfect day! Your boss is on vacation, things are slow at the office and... Sun has just released a BluePrints article Logical Domains Quick Start Guide. It is so well written and easy to follow that even a dummy like me could use it. Seriously! Give it a try and see how LDoms technology can help you optimize server utilization without paying for proprietary virtualization technologies.

All the details in Logical Domains Quick Start Guide.

Don't have a CMT server available? Try one for free for 60 days. Don't like it? Send it back. Sun will pay the shipping both ways.

Sun BluePrints articles are free whitepapers, written by engineers, for engineers. Don't miss out, stay up to date and join the Sun BluePrints Community on Facebook or subscribe to the Sun BluePrints Community RSS Feed.

Friday Jun 26, 2009

How to Turbo Boost Symantec Brightmail AntiSpam

Running a highly threaded network throughput oriented application suite such as Symantec Brightmail AntiSpam (SBAS) software on Sun SPARC Servers with Chip Multithreading (CMT) Technology (a.k.a. Sun CoolThreads servers) sounds like a no-brainer, since it is exactly what the UltraSPARC T1, T2, and T2 Plus processors with CoolThreads technology are designed for. For example the UltraSPARC T2 Plus processor supports two and four-socket server designs that can support up to 256 threads concurrently.

What the article "Tuning Symantec Brightmail AntiSpam on Sun Servers with CoolThreads Technology" really shows is how to unleash the full potential of CMT Technology running Symantec SBAS. Although running SBAS out-of-the-box on a Sun CoolThreads servers will provide significant performances advantages, the impact of tuning in highly threaded environments is always critical. Read this article and learn how to improve performance up to 2.33x, 3.7x or even 5.2x by following simple steps.

Sun BluePrints articles are free whitepapers, written by engineers, for engineers. Don't miss out, stay up to date and join the Sun BluePrint Community on Facebook or subscribe to the Sun BluePrints Community RSS Feed.

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PierreReynes

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