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  • TRodgers - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    I like the way you have broken this subject it to small succinct snipets of value information. I work in a place where many of our physical resources are being converted into virtual ones, and it is so often difficult to break down the process, the reasoning, and benefit trees etc to the many different audiences we have. Reply
  • johnsom - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    You said:
    Renting 5GB of RAM is pretty straightforward: it means that our applications should be able to use up to 5GB of RAM space.

    However this is not always the case with IaaS. vSphere allows memory over committing which allows you to allocate more memory across the virtual machines than the physical hardware makes available. If physical RAM is exhausted your VM gets swap file space tanking your VM memory performance. Likely killing performance when you need it most, peak memory usage.
  • GullLars - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    If the pools are well dimentioned, this should almost never happen.
    If the pagefile is on something like an ioDrive, performance wouldn't tank but be a noticable bit slower. If the pagefile is on spinning disks, the performance would be horrible if your task is memory intensive.
  • duploxxx - Sunday, June 05, 2011 - link

    THat is designing resource pools, if a service company is that idiot they will run out of business.

    Although swapping on SSD (certainly on next gen vsphere) is another way to avoid the slow performance as much as possible it is still slower and provides Hypervisor overhead.

    Ram is cheap, well chosen servers have enough memory allocation.
  • ckryan - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    I'm quite pleased with the easy, informative way the article has been presented; I for one would like to see more, and I'm sure future articles on the way. Keep it up, I think it's facinating. Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Sunday, June 05, 2011 - link

    Thank you for taking the time to let us know that you liked the article. Such readers have kept me going for the past 13 years (started in 1998 at Ace's ) :-). Reply
  • HMTK - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link

    Yes, you're old :p The main reason I read Anand's these days is exactly for your articles. I liked them at Ace's, like them even more now. Nevertheless, nostalgia sometimes strikes when I think of Aces's and the hight quality of the articles and forums there. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Hi, please include costs of the systems benchmarked... in the case of the Cloud, in $/hour or $/month, and in the case of the server, a purchase price and a lease price would be ideal.

    Thanks for all the articles!
  • bobbozzo - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Oh, and include electric consumption for the server. Reply
  • krazyderek - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    i agree, showing a simple cost comparison would have really rounded out this article, it was mentioned several time "you pay for bursting" but how much? put it in perspective for us, relate it to over purchasing hardware for your own data center. Reply
  • benwilber - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    this is a joke, right?

    there is not one bit of useful information in this article. if i wanted to read a Terremark brochure, i'd call our sales rep.

    speaking as an avid reader for more than 12 years, it's my opinion that all these braindead IT virtualization articles are poorly conceived and not worthy of anandtech.
  • krazyderek - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    submit a better one then Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    I guess it's a good thing then that your opinion doesn't matter. Reply
  • HMTK - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I also prefer yet another vidcard benchmark fest.

  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Still waiting for that $100 tablet that can provide me a remote desktop that is so responsive you cant even tell it is a remote desktop. I want it to be able to stream video at 480p. With good compression, this only requires a 1 mbps connection. I dont think this is too much to ask for $100. I dont care that much about HD. Streaming a desktop at 30 fps should only require a small fraction of my bandwidth. Reply
  • tech6 - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    As you mentioned, Terremark cloud benchmarks vary greatly depending on the underlying hardware. We did some tests on their Miami cloud last year and found the old AMD infrastructure to be a disappointing performer. The software is very clever but, like all clouds, some benchmarking and asking the right questions is essential before making a choice. Reply
  • duploxxx - Sunday, June 05, 2011 - link

    as usual this is very debatable information you provide. How did you bench and what storage platform? what is your compare a 2008 vs 2010? What kind of application did you bench? Specint? :) Just like Anandtech has greatly shown in the past is that appplications performance can be influenced by the type of cpu (look at the web results within the vApp that is clearly showing it likes faster cache architecture and to certain extend influences the final vApp result to much) you need to look at the whole environment and applications running in the environment, this requires decent tools to benchmark your total platform. (We have more code written by dev to automaticaly test any functional and performance aspect then the applications by themselves) everything in a virtual layer can influence the final performance.

    Our company has from 2005 till now always verified the platforms between intel and AMD on virtualization every 2 and 4 socket machine. Currently approx 3000 AMD servers on line all on Vmware private clusters from many generations. They are doing more then fine. The only timeframe that the Intel was faster and a better choice was just at launch time of the Nehalem Xeon for a few months. Offcourse one also need to look at the usecase for example the latest Xeon EX is very interesting with huge amount of small vm's, but requires way more infrastructure to handle for example load and the failure of a server. (Not to mention license cost from some 3th party vendors like Oracle.....)
  • lenghui - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    A very well thought-out comparison betwen the in-house and IaaS environments. Even those who have the in-house resources would need to spend a lot of research time to reach a conclusion. In that sense, your review is most invaluable -- saving hundreds of hours or otherwise guess work for your readers. You probably can include a price analysis as the other readers have suggested.

    Thanks, Johan, for the great article.
  • brian2p98 - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    This is, imo, the biggest unknown with cloud computing--and the most critical. Poor performance here could result in degradation of performance on the scale of several orders of magnitude. Website hosting, otoh, is rather straightforward. Who cares if 5Ghz of cloud cpu power is equivalent to only 1Ghz of local, so long as buying 25Ghz still makes economic sense? Reply
  • duploxxx - Sunday, June 05, 2011 - link

    depends on how good or bad your app can scale with cpu cores.....

    if it doesn't and you need more vm's to handle the same load you also need other systems to spread the load between apps.
  • Mxlasm - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    This question is probably not to Anand but to some fellow readers who may wish to educate the uneducated :)

    In the setup descibed, can one virtual computer/OS span many physical systems? Can someone please point me to a good (wiki?) article about how that is done? There are many text about the subject of virtualization in general, but hard to nail some specific questions.

    Also, how many cores max can one virtual system get? Or, in other words, if the physical system has so many cores, can you request more cores, and how can your virtual system can be efficiently scaled up if you are already reaching the max of one physical server?

  • bobbozzo - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    Currently, a single virtual server cannot span more than one physical server, BUT VMs can be MIGRATED between multiple physical servers in case one physical server is too busy or is failing.

    You can pretend you have more cores than you really do by limiting the GHz for each VM, or possibly by just over-allocating VMs and hoping they don't all get busy at once.
    Regardless, if the server is maxed out, all you can do to get more performance is to migrate VMs to another server.
  • HMTK - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link

    vSphere can currently use 6 or 12 CPU CORES (HT does not count as a core) per physical CPU. The exact number is determined by licensing. If you want to use 12 cores be prepared to pay a lot. Personally I think this is idiotic and hopefully VMware changes this in vSphere 5 later this year.

    VM's can use 4 or 8 vCPU's with 8 vCPU's limited to the expensive Enterprise Plus SKU.
  • Kid98 - Sunday, June 05, 2011 - link

    You don't have to look very hard to find others with similar solutions. ( is one)
    Seems a bit like Terremark is being presented as the premier choice. How can that be ascertained without comparison to others?

  • sushanthr77 - Tuesday, June 07, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the excellent article. Most articles about cloud are too vague and dwell into the abstracts that the details. This was well structured and presented. Reply
  • ProDigit - Sunday, June 12, 2011 - link

    I find cloud computing nothing more than taking a bus or train in public transport!
    The caveats are more than the benefits. There's nothing like having your own vehicle to drive!

    So with computing!
    Have your own hardware, and don't depend on your internet connection to provide what hardware should!
  • vinaywagh - Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - link

    I enjoyed reading this article. But what it lacks is a cost benefit analysis. If I were to setup a small datacenter today, I would need to hire IT engineers and pay for the power and space for it which would cost me $x. What I want to know is to get the same performance as the local server, what would it cost me to move it to the cloud ? Reply
  • vlang :: - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Thank you for details re Terremark from your perspective. Reply

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