Doing More with Less: Web 2.0 Consolidation the Sun Way


By Yan Fisher, Systems Technical Marketing

Web2.0 data centers are typically filled with racks of x64 servers: single apps per box--an architectural convenience, but a decision that leads to inefficiencies of utilization, power, and space. Sun has been working this challenge with a unique and effective approach for several years: chip multithreading, or CMT. First introduced with our UltraSPARC CMT-based systems over three years ago, we have consistently demonstrated that architectures with multiple cores, each supporting multiple threads at the hardware level, can introduce significant efficiencies for some application environments. Web 2.0 turns out to be one such example.

Last month our Performance and Applications Engineering (PAE) team at Sun compared a single Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 server (UltraSPARC T2 processors @ 1.4 GHz) against eight lightly loaded (about 40% CPU utilization) Sun Fire V20z systems (AMD Opteron Model 248 processors @ 2.2 GHz). While both configs were driving 2,400 users they presented several  interesting points of comparison:


  • System density: 1 rack unit versus 8 rack units

  • Chip density: 1 chip versus 16

  • Core density: 8 versus 16

  • Thread density: 64 versus 16

In other words, the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 server occupies 1/8th the space, has  half the number of CPU cores, but 4 times the number of threads.  Measured CPU utilization on CMT server was about 65% in this case.

Testing was done using the Olio web2.0 benchmark. Specifics include:


  • 64 GB memory

  • Operating System: Solaris 10 5/08

  • Coolstack 1.3.1 software: PHP, MySQL, Apache, Memcached, Tomcat

  • Faban benchmark driver v0.9

  • Web2.0 benchmark kit - 082108

The results  were pretty dramatic: the same user load was reached with one-eighth the rack footprint. Furthermore, the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 used 0.20 watt per user, versus 1.163 watt per user for the Sun Fire V20z, or less than 18% of the power! In fact, further testing showed that the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 server could achieve 3,200 users with about 95% CPU utilization. This represents a remarkable 10 to 1 consolidation . We have seen similarly dramatic results with our UltraSPARC CMT-based systems with other applications elsewhere at Sun and customer's sites. For example, you might want to take a look at the blueprint Tuning Symantec Brightmail AntiSpam on UltraSPARC T1 and T2 Processor-Powered Servers. CMT seems to be ideally suited to many Web2.0-like activities, a perfect match for consolidation. 

Comments:

I am trying to use the FABAN test harness... I have the web20php installed and I get the faban harness web page and can 'deploy' without issue, but when I try to schedule a test run, I get the following:

type Exception report

message

description The server encountered an internal error () that prevented it from fulfilling this request.

exception

javax.servlet.ServletException: XForms xml parsing error. Please check the XForm for xml errors.
com.sun.faban.harness.webclient.XFormServlet.shutdown(XFormServlet.java:348)
com.sun.faban.harness.webclient.XFormServlet.doGet(XFormServlet.java:231)
javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:689)
javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:802)
com.sun.faban.harness.engine.InitFilter.doFilter(InitFilter.java:48)

root cause

org.chiba.xml.xforms.exception.XFormsException: could not create document container
org.chiba.xml.xforms.ChibaBean.setXMLContainer(Unknown Source)
org.chiba.adapter.AbstractChibaAdapter.setXForms(Unknown Source)
com.sun.faban.harness.webclient.XFormServlet$Adapter.init(XFormServlet.java:396)
com.sun.faban.harness.webclient.XFormServlet.doGet(XFormServlet.java:220)
javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:689)
javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:802)
com.sun.faban.harness.engine.InitFilter.doFilter(InitFilter.java:48)

note The full stack trace of the root cause is available in the Apache Tomcat/5.0.27 logs.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated...

Bruce Mathews

Posted by Bruce Basil Mathews on December 16, 2008 at 07:08 AM PST #

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