The focus of this study is to conduct a performance per watt comparison of the latest (14th generation) 4-socket rack server from Dell|EMC (PowerEdge R940) to the last (13th generation) 4-socket rack server (PowerEdge R930.) Testing was done on Two ESXi clusters each with two server hosts. One cluster made up of 2xPowerEdge R940s. The other made up of 2xPowerEdge R930s.   For this study, VMmark3 which is the latest server virtualization benchmark for VMware was configured to use SPEC rated power meters to measure power draw and ESXTOP counters to measure CPU utilization and other performance counters. VMmark3 generated an aggregate performance score for each cluster. Each with a corresponding performance per kilowatt score. This study compared the scores for various platform performance profiles as well as ESXi host power management settings as in the table below.

ESXi 6.5


High Performance


OS Control

OS Control





A brief overview of VMmark3 is as follows:

  • Multi-Host virtual machine benchmark

  • Simulates multiple simultaneous workloads in a virtualized environment (ESXi cluster)

    • Scalable Web Applications Simulation

    • E-Commerce Applications Simulation

  • Simulates infrastructure operations under load

    • Simultaneous server and storage relocations

    • Deploy Operations

  • Integrates with spec qualified power measurement devices (e.g. Yokogawa WT210)

  • Records ESXtop ( ESXi Perfmon) counters on demand

  • Measures applications transactions rate and associated latencies

  • Calculates performance score by comparing transactions and infrastructures operations rate to a base system

A VMmark3 benchmark run is considered “compliant” if all workload VMs meet the quality of service requirements as defined by the benchmark. A unit of workload in VMmark3 benchmark is called a “Tile.” There are 19 VMs within VMmark3 tile.

  Here are the main parameters of the study:

  • Power & Performance comparison based on the max # of “compliant” tiles per cluster

  • R930 cluster ran 8 compliant tiles

  • R940 cluster ran 11 compliant tiles
  • Used Yokogawa WT210 Power meters to measure power consumption via VMmark3 Power and Temperature Daemon(PTD)
  • Each VMmark3 “Tile” is made up of 19 VMs (CentOS 7.2) consuming a total of

    • 166 GB memory ; 900 GB storage; 35 vCPUs

Systems configurations:

R940 Cluster (2-node DRS)

R930 Cluster(2-node DRS)

4xIntel® Xeon® Platinum 8180 Processor

4xIntel® Xeon® Processor E7-8890 v4

48x32GB Micron DDR4-2666(1.5TB)

64x16GB Hynix DDR4-2400 (1TB)

2x2700 Series
FCAL 32Gb, PCI-Express-v3-x8, 2-Channel, SFP+

2x2700 Series
FCAL 32Gb, PCI-Express-v3-x8, 2-Channel, SFP+

5x6TB LUNs behind 5xDell ION Appliances configured for VMmark3 workload data store

5x6TB LUNs behind 5xDell ION Appliances

configured for VMmark3 workload data store

2xIntel 82599EB 10Gigabit SFP+

2xIntel 82599EB 10Gigabit SFP+

ESXi 6.5 Update 1

ESXi 6.5 Update 1

The following charts each show the results of the testing.