by November 7, 2009 0 comments



With the increase in the number of employees in an organization, the demand
for better collaboration and resource sharing also starts raising high . This in
turn calls for powerful servers at your datacenter. Again, piling up servers
only on your rack doesn’t solve the issue. What you need is cost effective
server for your enterprise. For example having an Intel Dunnington Server at
your workplace as a file server does not makes any sense, because this Intel
server is suitable for work which requires high processing power.

Performance
The first thing you should know about a server before you actually buy it is
that what is the processing power and can the server take the load of the
enterprise? The Dunnington Server has six cores in a single processor and the
server comes with 4 distinct processors -a total of 24 cores. Performance-wise,
(as per our test results) it was 100-time better than that of a decent Core 2
duo machine with 2 GB of RAM. You can view the detailed review of this server at
http://pcquest.ciol.com/content/search/showarticle.asp?artid=107755. So, it is
important to match the performance of a server with your requirement before
buying it. For example, a decent desktop machine will work for file sharing
among 20-25-user, but if the number of users go beyond this, then the
configuration of the machine should be upgraded accordingly .

Space requirement and RAID
Today, servers come with 500GB of storage space, while some come with 1 TB
with a bit extra cost. While buying a server, look out for the storage space the
server provides, and options for expandability, so that you can add up more
space in future. Check if the server has expansion ports such as USB, external
SATA or SCSI ports which allow you to add more storage space.
Almost all server comes with RAID controller which enhances the efficiency and
reliability of the data that are being stored. This technology provides various
level of data protection. For example in RAID 1, the data is written onto two
HDDs at the same time. If one crashes, the data can be recovered from another
HDD.

Power consumption
Power has become a major concern for CIO’s. It’s always important that you
buy power efficient server for your data center. Apart from manufacturing
powerful servers, vendors are also looking into building power efficient
servers. For example, Intel’s 5400 series of chips consumes as low as 12.5 watts
per core.

There are vendors who provide power management solutions that allow you to
remotely manage power inside you datacenter. Also, some rack comes with inbuilt
power management solution. You can find more on racks on other section.

Virtualization
Virtualization has now become pretty old technology for organizations to
start relying on. Now enterprises run applications on virtual platform to ensure
more savings and less time in deployment and management. Virtualization
technologies are available both as software and hardware. In software category,
the most well known names include VMWare, Xen, and Microsoft, while the hardware
virtualization vendors include Intel, AMD, IBM, and Sun. Earlier virtualization
was used to be the simulation of hardware for guest OS, in which the guest OS
had to be modified. The guest OS uses some APIs to access the required hardware.
Now things are different; with the help of new technologies, the guest OS need
not be modified and they can access the hardware natively.

Virtual appliance is one of the most powerful concepts of virtualization.
With this technology, one can deploy software solution in just a couple of
minutes. It is basically a virtual hard-disk image of any virtualization
software that can be deployed on any machine, with the same virtualization layer
that used to run on the machine on which it was created. For example, if you
need to deploy a mail server within your organization, there are preconfigured
virtual http://www.pc quest.com/2007//2009/images// available, which you just need to
download from the Internet for the respective virtual machines and then run
them.

HyperTransport 3.1
HyperTransport technology is a high speed, point-to-point technology to connect
processors to each other or processors to I/O or peripherals in servers,
embedded systems, computers, etc. This technology is licensed by HyperTransport
Technology Consortium which includes members like AMD, Cisco, Apple, Sun, etc.
HyperTransport 3.1 aims to provide improved power management and performance;
this new specification will provide maximum clock speeds up to 3.2 GHz which is
a significant improvement from its HTX3.0 that provides clock speeds up to 2.6
GHz. Also the specification will provide maximum aggregate bandwidth up to 51.2
GB/s. And as per the new specification, HyperTransport link can split into two
links on a single connector. This enables HTX subsystem to connect to separate
CPUs, and offer RAS support as well as improved clustering performance. If you
want to know more about this specification, you can find complete specification
at http:// www.hyper transport.org

Services and warranty
Check out the services and warranty provided by the vendor. Are they providing
door services or you need to send the server to them to fix it. Well the door
service is obviously good. Moreover check out the warranty period they offer,
mostly the 3-year warranty period is provided. In addition to this, many vendors
provide enhanced warranty with faster response time. This will cost you some
extra penny but it is worth if you are running mission critical application on
it.

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