size matters

Big things come in small packages! In today’s tech world everything is getting smaller and more powerful – except for smart phones they seem to be getting bigger ;). From PCs to servers, the difference in size and power in the last 10 years has been nothing short of astonishing.

From the first time I saw the Moonshot system I knew that it was a game changer due to size and choices. Over the years the cartridges have become more powerful with faster chipsets and faster storage, which equals a better compute story. All this happens with a simple piece of hardware that is only 7 inches long by 7 inches wide! Over the years the scalability for each cartridge has only gone up while the size of cartridge has stayed the same which is a testament to HPE Moonshot engineering effort. As with my previous Moonshot cartridge blogs lets break down the new hardware in more depth.

The m510 is without a doubt the most powerful cartridge to date delivered by the HPE Moonshot and Intel teams! This amazing piece of hardware has the Intel Broadwell 8 or 16 core and delivers up to 128GB of RAM!

Moonshot 1

This beast of a cartridge offers more compute resources than all of its predecessors. While the m510 doesn’t include Iris Pro graphics likes it brother the m710x, its gains in memory and processing allow it to handle lots of non-GPU based applications without even a blink. For those customers whose applications are hosted in XenApp and are compute and memory intense, this solution meets and exceeds those challenges all while being bare-metal! Now if the thought of using XenServer crossed your mind then you’re in luck as the m510 can also run XenServer for delivering virtual desktops.

Like the m710x the m510 also has HPE iLO functionality so installing Windows Server 2012R2 or XenServer is simple and fast. iLO can be accessed either indirectly from the chassis manager IP.  Alternatively, to access the ILO of cartridge directly, simply browse using the syntax https://CM IP:/735 + (cartridge #) or https://10.95.1.21:765. 10.95.1.21 is my chassis manager IP address, 765 is =735+ cartridge #. For my m750 its cartridge # is 30.

Recent scalability testing using Login VSI 4.1.5 show that this mega cartridge can scale extremely well. Let’s take a look at the Login VSI and cartridge performance results. The performance results below are from a series tests with the m510 bare-metal and Windows 2012R2 installed, XenDesktop 7.8, PVS 7.8 as well as UEFI boot. A series of repeated Login VSI tests were run with the Knowledge worker workload and applications such Office 2013, Adobe, and the others basic as part of that workload.

The average amount of users for Knowledge worker workloads Login VSI max was around 138 with 145 users being active at the time of the test. The baseline of 780 was consistent with additional tests that were repeated. The High Scalability policy template was applied to the desktop group for all Login VSI users.

Moonshot 2

CPU performance of the m510 during the 145 user test. The max CPU utilization was around 93% during the peak of the test without fully saturating the processor.

XenApp Knowledge Worker

With 128GB of DDR4 RAM the knowledge worker workload left more than enough memory. An average of 71GB of RAM was used for 145 sessions with 57GB of RAM being left over. Since there was plenty of RAM and NVME drive storage available, the PVS cache type of RAM with overflow on hard disk was leveraged.

XenApp Knowledge Worker 2

Power consumption was gathered from the chassis manager for the m510 cartridge every 15 to 30 seconds with a maximum of 102 watts used. The chart below shows the power consumed as sessions were logged in. Since we have RBSU access now with iLO we also ensured that maximum power settings were applied to the m510 cartridge.

Power Consumption

The average XenApp session was using around .74 of 1 watt per session! To put this into perspective a VCR in stand-by mode uses 7x times more watts than a XenApp session in our tests.

145 user test

Now let’s look at the traditional office worker. In the Office Worker tests were 178 active XenApp sessions with a series of tests repeated and a VSI MAX of 167.

Moonshot

CPU performance of the m510 during the 178 user test. The max CPU utilization was around 92% during the peak of the test with a maximum of 97% without fully saturating the processor.

Moonshot

An average of 81GB of RAM was used for 178 active XenApp sessions with 42GB of RAM being left over. Since there was plenty of RAM and NVME drive storage available, the PVS cache type of RAM with overflow on hard disk was leveraged.

Moonshot

Power consumption was gathered from the chassis manager web ILO this time for the m510 cartridge with a maximum of 91 watts used. The chart below shows the power consumed as sessions were logged in with an average of .61 of 1 watt per user.

178 user test

In summary, you can see that new advancements with the HPE m510 Moonshot cartridge, Citrix XenApp thin wire technologies and the Intel Broadwell chipset have made major strides in delivering what could be the lowest watt per user, lowest cost per user, and best user experience – all in such a small device. Indeed, size matters!

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