System design: quad (full height) vs dual (half height) processor blade systems?

asked 2017-07-15 14:34:52 -0600

nbritton gravatar image

updated 2017-07-16 11:54:34 -0600


I'm trying to build an OpenStack compute cluster and I'm having a system engineering design dilemma. I'm trying to leverage used 11th generation Dell M1000e gear, and I have two options in front of me for the nova compute nodes...

  • Option 1: Eight M910 with four Intel Xeon E7-8867L processors.
  • Option 2: Sixteen M710HD with dual Intel Xeon X5670 processors.

I've run several benchmarks on both the M910 and M710HD systems and both appear to offer fairly equivalent performance if you factor in that you can fit twice as many M710HD into a M1000e.

Which would you choose for a compute cluster? I'm currently leaning towards the M710HD because they are a bit cheaper and easier to find on the 2nd hand market. Also based on the default overcommit ratios, the M910 would allocate 640 vcpus while the M710HD would allocate 192 vcpus. Keeping in mind that this is used equipment, I'm wary of deploying 100+ virtual machines on a single physical node due to reliability and single point of failure concerns.

Key facts:

  • The M910 are full height blades (8x per M1000e).
  • The M710HD are half height blades (16x per M1000e).
  • Both processors are based on the Westmere microarchitecture, and support hyperthreading.
  • The M910 has 40-cores @ 2.13 GHZ with a TDP of 420 Watts.
  • The M710HD has 12-cores @ 2.93 GHZ with a TDP of 190 Watts (2x = 380 Watts).
  • The M910 supports up to 512 GB of RAM at 1066 MHz.
  • The M710HD supports up to 192 GB of RAM at 1333 MHz (2x = 384 GB).
  • The M910 has a Geekbench score of 33,473.5.
  • The M710HD has a Geekbench score of 20,459.5 (2x = 40,919).
  • The M910 has a linpack score of 239.3 Gflops.
  • The M710HD has a linpack score of 115.9 Gflops (2x = 231.8 Gflops).
  • The M910 can support up to eight 10GbE links (four mezzanine boards).
  • The M710 can support up to four 10GbE links (two mezzanine boards).
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