On June 16, 2009 I wrote about the results of virtualization performance tests with 32-bit XenApp and XenServer 5.5 on a dual quad core Intel Xeon x5570 (Nehalem) host server (http://community.citrix.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=73564465). I had mentioned that Intel’s Hyperthreading technology on the x5570 produced sufficient logical CPU threads to allow us to build eight 2 vCPU, 3.6Gb XenApp VMs vs. only four on the x7350. It required adding another 16Gb of RAM to the x5570, but in doing so, we now had a single host server density of 554 concurrent users vs. only 188 on the x7350 host. That’s three times as many users on a dual quad core system with only 16Gb more RAM. Not a bad trade off.
We recently posted a white paper to the XenServer product section of citrix.com highlighting the details of the test project. You can find it here: http://citrix.com/%2Fsite%2Fresources%2Fdynamic%2Fsalesdocs%2FXenApp_XenServer_Intel_Xeon_x5570_WP_Final.pdf. Here’s the key takeaway: Virtualizing XenApp servers on the x7350 host created a 4:1 32 bit XenApp server consolidation opportunity. However, that same server consolidation opportunity was now nearly 12:1 when using the x5570! The graph below illustrates the reusults from the whitepaper. Note, we showed the effects of consolidation on the x5570 both with and without Hyperthreading.
If you are one of the many 32 bit XenApp customers still running your farm on physical servers and want to reduce your footprint in the data center, reduce your server energy consumption and cooling requirements, and take advantage of the many management benefits that virtualization with XenServer 5.5 offers, this might be all the incentive you need to get started.