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Lenovo Claims Top VMmark Spot: 2P, 8C

July 1, 2009

The new top spot for VMmark in the “8 core” category is now held by Lenovo’s R525 G2 rack server with a score of 24.35@17 tiles (tile ratio of 1.43 over 102 VMs). As this server appears to be available in the overseas (China) markets only, we can only estimate the street price of the system used in the benchmark based on the reported build-out at to be around $20,330 per server (street):

  • Base Lenovo R525 G2 ($4,900 – 30,000 yuan)
  • 2 x Intel Xeon X5570 Processors ($1,500/ea)
  • 96GB ECC DDR3/1066 (12x8GB) ($900/DIMM from Kingston)
  • 1 x Intel 82575EB dual-port GigabitEthernet (on-board)
  • 2 x Intel 82571EB dual-port GigabitEthernet (2x PCIe slot, $150/ea)
  • 1 x QLogic QLE2462 FC HBA (1x PCIe slot, $1,300)
  • 1 x LSI1078 SAS Controller (on-board)
  • 2 x SAS OS drive ($300 est.)

An EMC CX3-40f was used as the storage backing of the test. The storage system included 4GB cache, 4 enclosures and 55 146GB 15K FC disks (10, 15, 15, 15), and 17 LUNs at 100GB each. Interestingly, a Cisco Linksys SR2024 GigabitEthernet switch was used for the network interconnection (about $299/each at NewEgg) which implies that test results are not being influenced on network performance or latency. Given the use of a 2-port FC HBA for storage, iSCSI network performance is not a factor.

At about $1,094/tile ($182/VM) the new “top dog” delivers its best at a 5% price-per-VM premium over Istanbul’s only VMmark results (1.41 tile ratio) and an 80% system price premium (assuming memory sourced by third parties).  Since we had to go to the street to configure the Lenovo system, the Istanbul system saves about $1,570 [in mark-up] under similar (non-vendor pricing) circumstances:

  • Base HP DL385 G6  ($5,100)
  • 2 x AMD 2435 Istanbul Processors (included)
  • 64GB ECC DDR2/800 (8x8GB) ($370/DIMM)
  • 2 x Broadcom 5709 dual-port GigabitEthernet (on-board)
  • 1 x Intel 82571EB dual-port GigabitEthernet (1x PCIe slot, $150/ea)
  • 1 x QLogic QLE2462 FC HBA (1x PCIe slot, $1,300)
  • 1 x HP SAS Controller (on-board)
  • 2 x SAS OS drive (included)
  • $9,810/system total (versus $11,378 complete from HP)

Street pricing changes Istanbul’s numbers to $892/tile ($149/VM) signifying a 22% per-VM savings and a 52% savings in system price. Given that virtualization systems are generally sold in pairs, this comparison shows that a redundant Istanbul system can be had for less than the cost of a non-redundant Nehalem. For SMB’s getting started in virtualization, Istanbul continues to offer a compelling system value proposition over Nehalem.

3 comments

  1. Updated: clarified $1,570 in savings do to difference in on-line purchase of complete system from HP and base system plus third-party acquisition of memory and HBA.

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  2. […] downward, AMD’s price-performance position is erroding slowly as Q3/2009 approaches. However, the 2-to-1 price penalty for top-bin Xeon/Nehalem platforms will take a lot more time to overcome, leaving the AMD the solid choice for budget concious […]

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  3. […] the best value? The answer depends on the value proposition. From a straight $/VM vantage point, the HP DL385 G6 comparison demonstrated a more economical $182/VM – a difference of $40/VM lower than the BL685c G6 […]

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