This post was written by Narasimha Reddy Gopu


Dell recently launched its 12th Generation PowerEdge™ servers, which feature advanced server innovations that address various needs and pain points for all types of customers.

The 12th Generation servers are compact and energy- efficient systems powered by the Intel® Xenon® E5 series processors. They support many features like highly expandable memory, PCIe Gen3 slots, 10GbE onboard network cards etc. They equipped with agent-free server management tools like Dell™ iDRAC along with DELL™ LCC to efficiently manage, monitor, update and deploy to Dell servers.

The Dell PowerEdge R720xd is a 2 socket 2U server designed to address pain points of Entry level & SMB based customers who want significant server use flexibility & common single server platform to host mission critical Online Transaction Transaction Processing (OLTP) workloads. A quick question that strikes our mind when we think of deploying CPU & IO intensive applications on a single R720xd server is:

Is a single PowerEdge R720xd capable of offering the CPU & storage bandwidth required by business mission critical OLTP workloads?

Yes.

Since OLTP workloads are very much characterized by the faster drives and underlying spindle count; The R720xd offers a flexible storage chassis that allows customers to choose a drive type and the number of drives based on their application IO requirements.

To meet the high IO performance required by OLTP workloads, R720xd supports twenty-six 2.5 inch 15000RPM 6Gbps SAS drives to host the high performing OLTP workloads. The image below shows how the front loaded 24 SAS drives can fit in a R720xd single server. Two additional drives are loaded at the back of the system.

By combining the processing power of the dual multi-core Intel E5 series processors (up to 32 logical processors) and high performing internal storage and highly expandable memory (up to 768GB), the R720xd provides an excellent single-platform for hosting high performing OLTP applications that require high processing power, memory and storage.

The Power Edge™ H710P mini RAID controller (PERC) can be used to manage all the internal drives of R720xd efficiently and effectively. PERC H710P has 1GB of battery-backed cache and supports different RAID levels, Online Capacity expansion, dedicated & global hot spares and many other Features.

With 24 front loaded 15000RPM 146G SAS drives, PERC H710P delivered up to 6000 Random writes and 9000 Random reads which is good enough to host high performing OLTP workloads deployed on R720xd internal storage.

The PowerEdge R720xd is the right choice for the customers who want to start with a minimal server configuration and then later scale up the CPU and storage based on the application requirements. R720xd also supports enough PCIe slots for network cards/HBAs to connect to external storage such as DAS or SAN (FC or iSCSI).

To analyze the R720xd’s scalability and its performance impact for OLTP workloads, we did couple of comparisons with different processor and storage configurations with Microsoft SQL Server databases. TPC-E standard benchmarking was used to simulate the user workload.

We considered two most common factors: storage scalability and processor scalability.

Storage Scalability: In this scenario, we compared how the R720xd performs with half-populated vs. fully-populated disks. Full population of internal disks yielded up to a 150% improvement in TPS and as much as an 18% improvement in transaction response time when compared with half the disks populated.

Processor Scalability: In this scenario, we compared how the R720xd performs with single vs. dual processors. Dual processor system yielded up to a 200% improvement in TPS and as much as an 85% improvement in transaction response time when compared with single processor system.

This table describes the performance benefits achieved from R720xd in its half vs. full configurations.

R720xd Configuration

TPS improvement

Response Time Improvement

Storage Scalability: Full vs. Half populated storage

150%

18%

CPU scalability: Dual vs. Single Processor System

200%

85%

 

For complete details for SQL Server database configurations and settings that are being used in the above test scenarios and for other hardware details of R720xd Server, please refer the white paper: http://content.dell.com/us/en/enterprise/d/business~solutions~whitepapers~en/Documents~poweredge-r720xd-scalability-sql-2008-r2-databases.pdf.aspx