Measuring Real-World Power Consumption

The Equal Workload (EWL) version of vApus FOS is very similar to our previous vApus Mark II "Real-world Power" test. To create a real-world “equal workload” scenario, we throttle the number of users in each VM to a point where you typically get somewhere between 20% and 80% CPU load on a modern dual CPU server. The amount of requests is the same for each system, hence "equal workload". The CPU load is typically around 30-50%, with peaks up to 65% (for more info see here). At the end of the test, we get to a low 10%, which is ideal for the machine to boost to higher CPU clocks (Turbo) and race to idle.

We used the "Balanced" power policy and enabled C-states as the current ESXi settings make poor use of the C6 capabilities of the latest Opterons and Xeons.

First let's check out the response times.

vApus FOS Response times (ms)
CPU PhpBB1 PHPBB2 MySQL OLAP Zimbra
AMD Opteron 6276 101 30 3.8 41
AMD Opteron 6174 118 41 3.8 45
Intel Xeon X5650 45 18 2.4 29
Intel Xeon E5-2660 41 18 2.5 25
Intel Xeon E5-2690 27 14 2.3 23

It's worth noting that enabling the C-states in ESXi improves the performance/watt ratio of the Opteron 6276 quite a bit. Not only is the power consumption lower (see below), but enabling C6 allows higher turbo clocks, which in turn benefits response times. Compared to our previous test (standard out of the box "Balanced") all response times improve by 10% except for MySQL (which is already very low).

Even with that improvement however it is not enough to beat the Xeon E5. The Xeon E5 delivers extremely low response times....

vApus FOS EWL Power consumption

... while sipping very little power, despite being run inside a feature rich server. Kudos to Intel for a job very well done.

Virtualization Performance: Linux VMs on ESXi SQL Server 2008 R2 "OLAP" Workload
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  • dilidolo - Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - link

    Link not working on first page - THE SPECS AND THE SKUS Reply
  • yvizel - Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - link

    For some reason I cannot go beyond the first page... Reply
  • yvizel - Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - link

    Second page, in the Intel table, the 2630 is listed as an eight core CPU.
    But then: "...Based on the paper specs, AMD's 6276, 6274 and Intel's 2640 and 2630 are in a neck-and-neck race. AMD offers 16 smaller integer clusters, while Intel offers 6 heavy, slightly higher clocked cores with SMT..."
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - link

    Fixed, thanks for letting me know!

    -Johan
    Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - link

    Ah man, the 2630L error totally got my hopes up. 8 cores for $662 would be very reasonable. Reply
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  • Kjella - Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - link

    ...just got bulldozed. And this isn't even on the 22nm 3D transistors they're launching next month, it's like they just got a dizzying punch and know the KO punch is coming. Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - link

    It'll probably be awhile before the Ivy Bridge Xeons are out. Reply
  • Kjella - Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - link

    Of course, I'm guessing Q1 2013 before we'll see those but we already know from all the leaked SB -> IB details roughly what SB-Xeon to IB-Xeon will be like. All AMD has on their roadmap for 2013 is the "Abu Dhabi" with the "Piledriver" core promising 10-15% performance boost but still on 32nm. So you can see the punch coming a year away, but I don't think AMD has the capability to do anything about it. Reply
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