WHITE PAPER
Intel® Xeon® Processor
5500 Series
Total Cost of Ownership/
Return on Investment
Reducing TCO for
Web-Based Applications
Performance-based server consolidation based on the Intel® Xeon® processor
5500 series lowers operating costs and achieves positive return on investment
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Servers based on the Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series deliver both intelligent
performance and energy efficiency. Migrating to the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series
platform can enable server consolidation in the deployment of database-driven Web
applications, resulting in operational cost savings that far exceed the cost of server refresh.
Minimizing TCO for Database-Driven
Applications
Database-driven applications with multi-tier
architectures are the norm in many ecommerce businesses. Deploying these
applications can involve a heterogeneous
mix of server hardware, operating systems,
storage technologies, and connectivity. The
total cost of ownership (TCO) can be very
high due to performance, scalability,
availability, and security requirements. This
poses a challenge for IT departments: how
to deploy these applications within budget
constraints and environmental guidelines. A
key to minimizing TCO is using servers that
deliver high performance, power efficiency,
and low maintenance overhead.
Kam Lee
Intel Corporation
Manoj Punamia
Intel Corporation
Yoshinao Shimizu
Intel Corporation
Noriko Yamada
Intel Corporation
Servers based on the Intel Xeon processor
5500 series provide a high-performance yet
cost-effective solution to meet the requirements of today’s large-scale Web database
applications. This paper analyzes the
economics of server refresh using two application scenarios involving Oracle* software.
The results suggest positive ROI in both
scenarios when refreshing to the Intel Xeon
processor 5500 series platform.
The Intel® Xeon® Processor
5500 Series Server Platform
Hardware Innovations
The Intel Xeon processor 5500 series twosocket server platform has:
•
Two Intel Xeon processors 5500 series
•
Up to 8MB of L3 cache
•
Up to 144GB of memory capacity
(18 x 8GB DIMMs)
Figure 1 shows the platform.
Based on the newest-generation Intel®
microarchitecture, the Intel Xeon processor
5500 series brings together several innovative technologies:
• Intel® QuickPath Interconnect (Intel® QPI):
CPU-to-CPU and CPU-to-chipset bandwidth supports up to 25.6GB per
second, enabling faster data movement, calculations, and queries.
• Integrated memory controllers: DDR3
memory connects locally to each
processor with minimal latency, allowing higher performance on memoryintensive computations.
Reducing TCO for Web-Based Applications
Table of Contents
•
dynamically increases operating
frequency according to software needs,
enhancing the performance of singlethreaded workload.
Minimizing TCO for Database-Driven
Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
The Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 Series
Server Platform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology: It
•
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology:
With up to 16 software threads per
platform, it enhances the performance
of multi-threaded workloads.
Hardware Innovations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Software Performance Improvements . . .2
Server Refresh ROI Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Assumptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Scenario 1: Consolidating Single-Core
Application Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Scenario 2: Consolidating Database
Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Server Refresh: Green Computing . . . . . . . . .6
Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
•
Intel® Intelligent Power Technology:
Providing real-time adaptation of
processor and memory power states
based on workload, it reduces energy
consumption on the system.
Together, these technologies improve the
execution speed and throughput of software
programs and maximize performance according to real-time workload, at the same time
optimizing power consumption at all operating points. They are well suited for largescale software systems for e-commerce
applications. Typically, such software is composed of multiple processes, with each
process spawning a large number of worker
threads to handle many transactions simultaneously. A transaction may involve logic
execution, data computation, and database
queries and updates. Software like this readily benefits from the additional processing
cores, large cache size, and ultra-high-memory bandwidth on the Intel Xeon processor
5500 series platform.
Software Performance Improvements
Intel provides a software compiler that has
been enhanced to support the new features
of the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series
platform. Software binaries generated by
the compiler can take advantage of the
hardware-level performance-enhancing
capabilities, achieving faster code execution
and higher data throughput.
It is possible to further enhance software
performance with direct, code-level
optimizations that fully exploit the underlying hardware architecture. These optimizations include locking, threading, and querylevel improvements, among others. To help
facilitate this area of software development,
Intel has code optimization and performance
Up to 25.6 GB/Second
Bandwidth per Link
Intel® Xeon®
Processor 5500
Series
Intel® Xeon®
Processor 5500
Series
Memory
Memory
Up to 18 Slots
DDR3 Memory
Intel® 5520
Chipset
2
Figure 1. Intel® Xeon® processor
5500 series two-socket processor/chipset block diagram
Up to 42 Lanes PCI Express*
(36 Lanes PCI Express 2.0)
Reducing TCO for Web-Based Applications
analysis tools, including the Intel® VTune
Performance Analyzer.
There is also ongoing collaboration between
Intel and independent software vendors
(ISVs) to develop new versions of ISV
software that run at the optimal performance level and provide higher scalability on
the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series platform.
Server Refresh:
Performance Consolidation
In a typical application deployment, multiple
servers are often needed to meet a
performance target for a given application.
When refreshing with Intel Xeon processor
5500 series-based servers, an organization
may be able to deploy the same application
with fewer servers because of the performance advantage of the Intel Xeon processor
5500 series processors over previous generations of processors. The consolidation ratio
(CR) can be determined as:
Application
Performance on
New Server
Number of
Legacy Servers
~
~
CR =
Number of
New Servers
Application
Performance on
Legacy Server
Server consolidation produces operational
savings, including:
•
Lower costs for hardware warranty and
software support
•
Lower electricity bill for powering and
cooling of servers
•
Less IT time spent on server
administration and maintenance
Overall, the TCO of application deployment
may be reduced by refreshing to the Intel
Xeon processor 5500 series-based servers.
Server Refresh: ROI Analysis
Objective
To better understand the business case for
refreshing servers to the Intel Xeon
processor 5500 series platform, consider two
application scenarios representing real
deployments and workloads. In each scenario,
we analyze the return on investment (ROI) of
replacing the existing servers with new Intel
Xeon processor 5500 series-based servers.
Assumptions
Methodology
The first example is an online stock
trading application. As shown in Figure 2,
it has a three-tier architecture consisting
of Web servers in the front end, application
servers in the middle tier, and database
servers in the back end. In this application,
the application servers are the most
computationally intensive since they run
the application logic and Oracle Coherence*
middleware. The application logic processes
the stock transactions, while the Oracle
Coherence middleware maintains and
manages an in-memory cache of database
data objects. The application logic can
read and write directly to the cache
with minimal latency, thereby achieving
high throughput.
Step 1: Determine the server consolidation
ratio based on measured performance data
characterizing application-level performance
against workload.
Step 2: Quantify the benefits of server
consolidation. This includes savings in hardware warranty and software support, IT labor
for server administration and maintenance,
and electricity.
Step 3: Estimate the cost of server refresh.
This includes the capital cost of the new
server hardware, software upgrade, and IT
labor costs for setting up and testing the
application on the new hardware.
Step 4: Calculate the N-year ROI:
ROIN =
BenefitNPV — CostNPV
CostNPV
BenefitNPV is the net present value of the
aggregate benefits over one server life cycle;
costNPV is the net present value of the server
refresh cost over the same period.
Table 1 lists the key parameters and their
assumed values in the ROI analysis of the
two scenarios.
Scenario 1: Consolidating Single-Core
Application Servers
Consider a scenario where 20 one-socket,
Intel Xeon processor-based servers are
required in the middle tier to support the
workload. The Intel Xeon processor used
is a single-core processor based on an
older-generation microarchitecture. We
evaluate the benefits of refreshing these
servers with the new-generation Intel
Xeon processor 5500 series-based, twoway servers.
Table 1. Assumptions in ROI Analysis
Server life cycle
Four years
Hardware warranty fee
US$500 per server per year
Operating system support fee
US$120 per server per year
Server busy time
Seven hours per day
IT hourly wage
US$40 per hour
Time cost of money
10 percent
Electricity cost
US$0.1 per kWh
Server management cost
Ten person-minutes per server per day
Power use efficiency (for cooling)
Two
3
Reducing TCO for Web-Based Applications
NS Solutions Corporation has measured the
performance of this Web application with the
application logic and Oracle Coherence middleware running on these two types of servers.1
Figure 3 compares the application throughput
at 50 percent CPU utilization. The data shows
that the Intel Xeon processor 5500 seriesbased server can process 2,400 requests per
second at 50 percent CPU utilization, while the
single-core Intel Xeon processor-based server
can handle only 200 requests per second at 50
percent CPU utilization. In other words, the
application runs 12 times faster on the Intel
Xeon processor 5500 series-based server. The
performance improvement is due in large part
to the efficient execution of the multi-threaded
application and middleware on the microarchitecture. As such, the 20 Intel Xeon processorbased servers in the scenario under considera-
tion can adequately be replaced by four Intel
Xeon processor 5500 series-based servers.
With this replacement, reduced spending on
hardware warranty fees and software support
licenses will save up to US$14,000 per year.
Also, reduced IT overhead in the administration,
management, and maintenance of the application servers will save up to 1,800 person-hours
per year. Finally, much lower server power consumption and cooling costs will save up to
19,000 kWh per year. As shown in Figure 4,
over a four-year period, these operational savings will far exceed the cost of the new server
hardware and software upgrade and the project cost to migrate the applications to the new
servers. The four-year ROI is estimated to be
about 410 percent, with a pay-back in only
nine months.
Scenario 2: Consolidating Database
Servers
The second example is a Web-based ticket
ordering application. It is implemented in two
tiers, as shown in Figure 5. The front-end Web
servers process customer requests and submit
information queries and data updates to the
back-end database servers running Oracle
Database Enterprise Edition*.
Consider a scenario where four two-socket,
Intel Xeon processor 5355 series-based servers
are required to run the database software to
handle peak workload. The Intel Xeon processor
5355 series is a quad-core processor based on
the original Intel® Core™ microarchitecture. We
evaluate the benefits of refreshing these
servers to the Intel Xeon processor 5500
series platform.
Application Servers with
Oracle Coherence*
Web Servers
Database Servers
Figure 2. Intel Xeon processorbased application servers for
processing stock transactions
Figure 3. Application performance
improvement on the Intel Xeon
processor 5500 series platform1
4
Normalized Response Throughput
14 —
12 —
10 —
8—
6—
4—
2—
0—
Single-Core
Intel® Xeon®
Processor-Based
One-Socket Server
Intel® Xeon®
Processor 5500
Series-Based
Two-Socket
Server
Online Trading
Application Throughput
at 50 Percent
CPU Utilization
Reducing TCO for Web-Based Applications
NS Solutions Corporaton has measured the
Oracle Database performance on these two
servers.2 Based on the measured data shown
in Figure 6, the application can handle up to
approximately 10,000 transactions per second
when the database software runs on an Intel
Xeon processor 5355 series-based server. In
comparison, the application can sustain up to
approximately 23,000 transactions per second
when the database software is running on an
Intel Xeon processor 5500 series-based server.
This throughput increase of 2.3 times is a direct
result of the execution performance increase
of the database software on the newer
microarchitecture. Instead of four Intel Xeon
processor 5355 series-based servers, only two
Intel Xeon processor 5500 series-based servers
are required to run the database software for
this application.
With the number of physical servers reduced
by half, we estimate that the hardware and
software warranty cost can be reduced by up
to US$70,000 per year. IT server support time
can be reduced by up to 200 person-hours per
year; energy consumption can be reduced by up
to 9,900 kWh per year. As shown in Figure 7,
these savings over four years will be much
greater than the cost to acquire the new hardware and to migrate the database software to
the new hardware. This corresponds to a fouryear ROI of 45 percent and a pay-back period
of 32 months.
Power cost savings
US$400,000
Server operations and
administration labor
cost savings
US$300,000
$US200,000
Support, maintenance,
and service contract
cost savings
Benefits
US$100,000
Migration/project change
cost savings
0
Figure 4. Cost and benefits of
migrating to Intel® Xeon® processor
5500 series-based servers
(over four years)5
Server software
licensing costs
Costs
-US$100,000
Server hardware cost
DatabaseServers
Servers with
Database
with
Oracle Database*
Oracle Database
Web
Web Servers
Web
Server
Figure 5. Intel® Xeon® processorbased database servers for an
online ticket ordering application
Database
Web
Server
5
Reducing TCO for Web-Based Applications
Server Refresh: Green Computing
The Intel Xeon processor 5500 series has
superb, power-efficient performance. As
shown in the two scenarios, migrating to the
Intel Xeon processor 5500 series-based
platform results in substantial reduction in
electricity consumption by server operation
and cooling. This helps to reduce carbon
dioxide (CO2) emission by power plants. The
amount of CO2 reduction per year (VC) can
be simply calculated as:
VC = Energy to CO2 Conversion Factor
Energy Savings Per Year
x
The conversion factor depends on the type
of fuel and the power generation process. In
Japan, approximately 0.41 kg of CO2 is emitted per kWh of energy generated3.
From a different perspective, the amount of
CO2 reduction can be quantified as the number of trees required to absorb the equiva-
lent amount of CO2 from the environment. It
is known that a 50-year-old cedar tree
removes about 0.14 kg of CO2 annually4. So,
VC in kg
Number of Trees =
0.14
Table 2 shows the estimated CO2 reduction
realized as a result of server consolidation in
the two scenarios (assuming deployment in
Japan). In both scenarios, the environmental
Table 2. Estimated Reduction in Carbon Footprint
Scenario
Reduction in CO2 Emissions/Year
No. Trees Needed to Absorb CO2
Application servers
~ 12,000 kg
~ 800 trees
Database servers
~ 6,000 kg
~ 400 trees
Figure 6. Online ticketing
application throughput
performance1
6
Normalized
Transaction
Throughput
Normalized
Transaction
Throughput
2.5
Intel Xeon Processor 5500
(Two-Socket)
2
1.5
1
Intel Xeon Processor 5355
(Two-Socket)
0.5
0
0
100
0
200
0
300
0
400
0
500
0
Load
Virtualized
Clients)
Load(No.
(# Virtual
Clients)
Virtual
Clients)
600
0
700
Reducing TCO for Web-Based Applications
effect of server power saving is just as good
as planting hundreds of trees.
Conclusions
Use of energy-efficient, high-performance
Intel Xeon processor 5500 series-based
servers can drive down the TCO of today’s
large-scale, database-driven applications. As
illustrated in the two example scenarios, a
cluster of single-core or multi-core servers
can be replaced by a smaller cluster of Intel
Xeon processor 5500 series-based servers,
leading to savings in hardware warranty and
software support fees, server power consumption, facility cooling costs, and IT overhead. Over four years, these cumulative
operational savings easily exceed the initial
hardware and migration costs, leading to
positive ROI—in some cases, in as soon as
nine months. In addition, using more
efficient servers helps to reduce the carbon
footprint and CO2 emissions into the environment. By refreshing to Intel Xeon processor 5500 series-based servers, an organization may not only achieve operational excellence, but also meet its corporate social
responsibility goals.
For more information on Intel Xeon
processor 5500 series, visit
www.intel.com/business.
Power cost savings
US$300,000
Server operations and
administration labor
cost savings
US$250,000
$US150,000
Benefits
US$50,000
-US$50,000
Costs
-US$150,000
Figure 7. Costs and benefits of
migrating to the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series (over four years)5
Support, maintenance,
and service contract
cost savings
Migration/project change
cost savings
Server software
licensing costs
-US$250,000
Server hardware cost
1Source: NS Solutions Corporation (March, 2009). Performance comparison data in Scenario 1 were measured by NS Solutions Corporation with a test setup consisted of a
web server, an application server (running stock transaction software) and an database server. The following application server platforms were compared in the test:
Legacy platform: Intel® server platform with one single-core Intel® Xeon® processor, 2.80GHz with 2M L2 cache, 800 FSB, 8x1GB DDR2-400 memory,
one hard drive, one power supply, Oracle Linux*, Oracle Coherence* middleware,
New platform: Intel® server platform with two Intel® Xeon® processors 5500 series, 2.80GHz, 8MB L3 cache, 6.4QPI, 12 GB memory (6x2GB DDR3-1333),
one hard drive, one power supply, Oracle Linux*, Oracle Coherence* middleware.
2Source: NS Solutions Corporation (March, 2009). Performance comparison data in Scenario 2 were measured by NS Solutions Corporation with a test setup consisted
of a database server responding to direct database queries. The following database server platforms were compared in the test:
Legacy platform: Intel® server platform with two Intel® Xeon® processors 5355 series, 2. 66 GHz with 2M L2 cache, 800 FSB, 8x1GB DDR2-400 memory,
one hard drive, one power supply, RedHat Enterprise Linux* 4 Update 4 , Oracle Database* 10g R2 10.2.0.4 Enterprise Edition.
New platform: Intel® server platform with two Intel® Xeon® processors 5500 series, 2. 8 GHz, 8MB L3 cache, 6.4QPI, 12 GB memory (6x2GB DDR3-1333),
one hard drive, one power supply, Oracle Enterprise Linux® R5.2 , Oracle Database® 11g 11.1.0.7 Enterprise Edition.
3“Energy and Environment 2007-2008” published by The Federation of Electric Power Companies in Japan.
4“Sink Measures to Prevent Global Warming” by the Ministry of the Environment and the Forestry Agency of Japan.
5Performance tests and ratings are measured using specific computer systems and/or components and reflect the approximate performance of Intel products as
measured by those tests. Any difference in system hardware or software design or configuration may affect actual performance. Buyers should consult other sources
of information to evaluate the performance of systems or components they are considering purchasing. For more information on performance tests and on the performance of Intel products, reference www.intel.com/performance/resources/benchmark_limitations.htm or call (U.S.) 1-800-628-8686 or 1-916-356-3104.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
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