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Determine hardware configuration

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Ninad_1
Honored Contributor

Determine hardware configuration

Hi All,

I want to know how to determine what hardware configuration should I use for a particular system/application , are there any standard set of rules/guidelines for doing this ?
Basically we have some old systems which need upgrade to latest platform and OS version as the current configuration is either EOL or near EOL.
If I have a V2500 with 18 CPUs (440 MHz) , 24 GB RAM with around 75 % CPU utilisation and 75 % Memory utilisation with HP-UX 11.00 running Oracle database of around 1.2 TB with approx 200 users , what should be the configuration I can look for in the new hardware so that it is capable of handling this load safely.
Can I do the calculation of CPUs as follows
18 * 440 MHz = 6160 MHz
Hence if the CPU speed within new server is say 1 GHZ then I can go for having 6 CPUs and still have the utilisation of around 75 % ?
and memory can still be 24 GB ?
Will changing hardware and OS version cause changes to configuration required ?

Please advice and guide me.

Thanks.
Nad
13 REPLIES
Bernhard Mueller
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Nad,

with fewer faster CPUs you are even better off since you typically use a scaling factor of 0.9 i.e. 2CPUs=1.8, 4CPUs=3.6

wrt memory I'd be more conservative because in most cases you will have SW upgrades also (sooner or later) and/or more users which all will require more memory.

So IMHO a suitable replacement would be e.g. an rp4440 with 3 dualcore CPUs and 32GB RAM.

you *might* consider adding one more dualcore and even more RAM to be totally on the safe side because with the initial buy you will get better offers for the whole big package than for a smaller one plus an additional upgrade later on.

Regards,
Bernhard

P.S. you did not mention your storage. consider your maintenance costs for it vs. new storage as well.
Peter Godron
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Nad,
the processor speed is only a partial solution. The better way to estimate future requirements is to look at the TPM (transactions per minute).
Also OS footprints tend to get bigger, so you may want to spec your new machine to allow for both application and OS growth.
In basic terms: Buy the biggest machine you can get money for !
Ninad_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Bernhard,

Thanks for the good advice. One thing I was not able to understand was - u said for faster CPUs u use a scaling factor of 0.9 - what does this mean ?
Yes Storage is also being considered for upgrade.
One more query - what if I want to run 2 different applications (for that matter multiple apps )currently running on different servers can be made to use the same upgraded server. In such a scenario should I consider the formula CPUs required = Server 1 CPUs + Server 2 CPUs and same for memory , or there are any different rules and what other factors I need to take into consideration - other than the increased memory that may be needed due to growth in OS and apps requirement.

Are there any guidelines for designing ? Also If I want to migrate from say Sun to HP is the same rule for CPU/Memory calculation valid ?

Peter,
Thanks for brining to my notice of the trends of increasing memory requirement by OS and apps - ( because the newer Oracle versions may need more memory , is it same for CPU ? - I mean is CPU requirement also increased in the latest s/ws scenario )
I did not quite understand the TPM - how can I determine that ?

Thanks again,
Nad
Peter Godron
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Nad,
the TPM count is an indicator how quickly a standard task is performed on a given platform. For more details have a look at http://www.tpc.org/

As far as I know most HP boxes would fulfill the CPU requirements for Oracle, so no problem running it. It is more about response times, which can be more impacted by I/O rather than CPU speed.
Eric Antunes
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Hi Ninad,

One of the questions you may also want to be answered is to which processor type to go: PA_RISC or Itanium?

I think it will depend of your RDBMS version and what applications you are running: Oracle 10g runs on Itanium but most applications don't...

Best Regards,

Eric Antunes


Each and every day is a good day to learn.
Bernhard Mueller
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Nad,

what I meant is that with PA-RISC CPU machines (in general) you use a scaling factor of 0.85 to 0.9 (the scaling is not totally linear though...)

this is also done by HP wrt the TPM figures (most of them are not tested but calculated)

The TPM calculation is more or less based on the tpc-c benchmark I believe. This figure should indicate somewhat "typical" database server performance.

tpm values
for a V2500 w/ 12x440Mhz HP states 53,000
for the same w/ 24 CPUs 92,000

for an rp4440/4 it is 93,000 i.e. from those figures you would require only two dualcores....

Regards,
Bernhard
Bernhard Mueller
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

one more note:
fewer CPUs may save $$$ on oracle licenses! and potentially other SW related costs
Ninad_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Hi,

Bernhard - Thanks for the explanation.
Can you answer my other queries as well -
1. About consolidating multiple apps on single server - CPU requirement
2. If I want ot migrate from say Sun to HP will the CPU requirements will still be done using earlier method of calculations ?
3. Where can I get the TPM rating for each server wrt CPUs.
4. Is compatibility on Itanium a major issue for many softwares ? Why is that so ? In that case isnt it a bad option to upgrade with PA processors currently and then again upgrade to Itanium as PA will not be supported in future (Is this true)?

Eric,
Thanks for the suggestion. Whats your views on above - on PA and Itanium. Wont this affect HP customer base ?

Thanks,
Nad
Arunvijai_4
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Hi,

TPM rating is available here, http://www.tpc.org/tpcc/results/tpcc_results.asp?orderby=hardware

-Arun
"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for"
Arunvijai_4
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Hi Nad,

Q 3). Where can I get the TPM rating for each server wrt CPUs.

See my previuos reply. Also, more about TPC, http://www.tpc.org/information/about/about.asp

4. Is compatibility on Itanium a major issue for many softwares ? Why is that so ? In that case isnt it a bad option to upgrade with PA processors currently and then again upgrade to Itanium as PA will not be supported in future (Is this true)?

Nope, Not now a days since many software vendors started supporting Itanium by default. PA-RISC processors and servers will be supported till 2011 or 2012. Itanium is the future of HP's server paltform.

-Arun
"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for"
Eric Antunes
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Hi Ninad,

I have lots of questions about this too since I'm planing to do this next year...

Take a look at this thread in which this is discussed:

http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=983117

Best Regards,

Eric Antunes
Each and every day is a good day to learn.
Bernhard Mueller
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Nad

1) yes
2) yes and no, in your case you would compare any officially published tpc-c figures (www.tpc.org) and TPM values vendors claim for their machines
3) ask your HW vendor to provide you with the required or any available figures
4) it is an entirely different processor architecture, hence different compilers etc. etc
whether you go itanium now or later or never depends on you midterm plans. If you are sure that this DB/app will still exist in 5 or even 10 years *and* your OS choice will definitely be HP-UX you should evaluate a migration to itanium now and make sure you know all risks and dependencies, since this will be a platform change. If you just want to save maintenance cost and are comfortable with an easy move to a current HW using the *same* platform (PA-RISC) which eliminates almost any pitfalls regarding the application you are running and gives you reserves for a few years you still go for PA-RISC. The rp series will still be sold until at least 12/31/2007.

Maybe in a few years you would rather port the whole thing to Linux or Windows? (could use commodity HW then) or drop it? or whatever options there may be.

Just my 0.02$
Regards,
Bernhard
Christopher Caldwell
Honored Contributor

Re: Determine hardware configuration

Here's somthing else to consider:

What's the run profile of the application(s)? When you consolidate, do you have a high number of quick hit apps or a low number of batch oriented jobs, or something in between.

You lose efficiency when applications context switch. If you shrink the number of processors too far, you may impact performance because of more context switching, even though the power of the remaining processors is higher.

For a database application that's accessed from the web with off hours batch jobs, I found that an rp4440x4x1G was more than equivalent to an rp7400x6x750M