Collaboration and infrastructure software: MS Exchange 2007
Operating System Windows 2008 Enterprise RTM (64-bit)
Software MS Exchange 2007 SP1 (64-bit)
Benchmark software LoadGen 08.02.004
Typical error margin 1-2%

Collaborative and infrastructure servers are good for about 50% of the server market. Even if we subtract the fileservers and print servers (which rarely demand a lot of processing power), it is still the most important market for servers. Today we're introducing MS Exchange 2007 in our server CPU benchmark suite.

For our Exchange 2007 test we used Microsoft LoadGen in stress mode. This means instead of actually simulating a business day, LoadGen will fire as many actions at the server as it can handle for the specified duration of the test, which in our case is slightly more than 1 hour. We limited the mailbox for each of the 2000 users to 30MB instead of the default 750MB to reduce the load on our storage system. All users are logged on before the actual test started.

The LoadGen test results tend to vary wildly when you use the default settings. Even when we tested for 8 hours, the results were not within an acceptable margin of error. To remedy this, we limited the different actions to just SendMail, ReadAndProcessMessages, BrowseContacts, and BrowseCalendar. It is not perfect, but at least we get very repeatable results. As we are relative newbies when it comes to benchmarking the Exchange groupware, expect some improvements to this benchmark in the future.

MS Exchange 2007 LoadGen

Our testing shows that the Opteron 2384 achieves the same initial throughput as the Xeon 5472, but for some reason the testing breaks off or slows down to an incredibly slow pace. That is why we cannot give you the final results right now; we'll update the results when we solve this problem. Nevertheless, there is little doubt in our minds that the newest Xeon X5570 is running circles around everyone else: it is capable of performing twice as many operations as its older brother.

Website - MCS eFMS Rendering - 3ds Max 2008
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  • gwolfman - Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - link

    Why was this article pulled yesterday after it first posted? Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - link

    Because the NDA date was noon in the pacific zone and not CET. We were slightly too early... Reply
  • yasbane - Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - link

    Hi Johan,

    Any chance of some more comprehensive Linux benchmarks? Haven't seen any on IT Anandtech for a while.

    cheers
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - link

    Yes, we are working on that. Our first Oracle testing is finished on the AMD's platform, but still working on the rest.

    Mind you, all our articles so far have included Linux benchmarking. All mysql testing for example, Stream, Specjbb and Linpack.
    Reply
  • Exar3342 - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the extremely informative and interesting review Johan. I am definitely looking forward to more server reviews; are the 4-way CPUs out later this year? That will be interesting as well. Reply
  • Exar3342 - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Forgot to mention that I was suprised HT has such an impact that it did in some of the benches. It made some huge differences in certain applications, and slightly hindered it in others. Overall, I can see why Intel wanted to bring back SMT for the Nehalem architecture. Reply
  • duploxxx - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    awesome performance, but would like to see how the intel 5510-20-30 fare against the amd 2378-80-82 after all that is the same price range.

    It was the same with woodcrest and conroe launch, everybody saw huge performance lead but then only bought the very slow versions.... then the question is what is still the best value performance/price/power.

    Istanbul better come faster for amd, how it looks now with decent 45nm power consumption it will be able to bring some battle to high-end 55xx versions.
    Reply
  • eryco - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    Very informative article... I would also be interested in seeing how any of the midrange 5520/30 Xeons compare to the 2382/84 Opterons. Especially now that some vendors are giving discounts on the AMD-based servers, the premium for a server with X5550/60/70s is even bigger. It would be interesting to see how the performance scales for the Nehalem Xeons, and how it compares to Shanghai Opterons in the same price range. We're looking to acquire some new servers and we can afford 2P systems with 2384s, but on the Intel side we can only go as far as E5530s. Unfortunately there's no performance data for Xeons in the midrange anywhere online so we can make a comparison. Reply
  • haplo602 - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    I only skimmed the graphs, but how about some consistency ? some of the graphs feature only dual core opterons, some have a mix of dual and quad core ... pricing chart also features only dual core opterons ...

    looking just at the graphs, I cannot make any conclusion ...
    Reply
  • TA152H - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Part of the problem with the 54xx CPUs is not the CPUs themselves, but the FB-DIMMS. Part of the big improvement for the Nehalem in the server world is because Intel sodomized their 54xx platform, for reasons that escape most people, with the FB-DIMMs. But, it's really not mentioned except with regards to power. If the IMC (which is not an AMD innovation by the way, it's been done many times before they did it, even on the x86 by NexGen, a company they later bought) is so important, then surely the FB-DIMMs are. They both are related to the same issue - memory latency.

    It's not really important though, since that's what you'd get if you bought the Intel 54xx; it's more of an academic complaint. But, I'd like to see the Nehalem tested with dual channel memory, which is a real issue. The reason being, it has lower latency while only using two channels, and for some benchmarks, certainly not all or even the majority, you might see better performance by using two (or maybe it never happens). If you're running a specific application that runs better using dual channel, it would be good to know.

    Overall, though, a very good article. The first thing I mention is a nitpick, the second may not even matter if three channel performance is always better.
    Reply

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