Choice of CPU and etc (for Linux based IDS server)

Choice of CPU and etc (for Linux based IDS server)

Post by dark » Tue, 21 Nov 2006 18:14:45


I am about to choose the hardware platform for IDS server on Linux. I
am used to HP Proliants regarding Intel and AMD based hardware, so the
choice is between HP DL380 G5 (with Intel Dual-Core Xeons) and DL385 G5
(with AMD Dual-Core Opterons). I've seen that even Quad-Core Intels are
available within DL380s, but I am not sure if they are available in my
country yet, nor if we really need four cores. The database space will
be alocated on a SAN, internal disks will be used only for boot/root
and transient data.

Is there a recommendation regarding the choice among these listed
above? Can I expect to gain performance similar to conventional 2-way
servers, when using Dual-Core CPUs? What about licensing, regarding
annonced new IBM policies?

The server will keep archival data, so it is expected to have rather
long life time (say, 5 years; I hope that the server that will inherit
it will also have some version of IDS :-). That is the reason why I
think we should pick IDS Express 10, since I expect that that is the
version that will be supported even then. Am I right?

I am used to SuSE for Informix related deployments, is there a reason
to pick another distro?

Darko Krstic

Choice of CPU and etc (for Linux based IDS server)

Post by Neil Trub » Tue, 21 Nov 2006 20:17:16

Express is restricted to 2 "processors" and 4g memory, so be sure that this
satisfies your need. There is an upgrade path from Express to Workgroup
(which has more generous hardware limits), but these upgrades tend not to be
great value as they cost significantly more than the differential between
the two products, so it pays to get this decision right first time.

Licensing of multi-core processing of software is now a minefield for all
vendors. IBM has responded to a this by introducing model based upon
"Processor Value Units". I think it's fair to say that the new scheme has
not exactly simplified matters, so my advice is to speak to someone who
really understands it or you could easily end up under- (or over-) licensed.

There is no guarantee that IDS 10 will be supported in 5 years' time but,
being the most recent, it will certainly be the last currently-available
version to go out of support. Also, if you want to use Express Edition I
think I'm right in saying this is only available for in v10. Finally,
WorkGroup on v10 has substantially more generous hardware limits than v9.
So all indications are that v10 should be your choice.

IDS is certified for specific versions of RedHat and SuSE only (or more
accurately) specifc kernel and glibc versions within only those
distributions: either should be a valid choice.



Choice of CPU and etc (for Linux based IDS server)

Post by Obnoxio Th » Tue, 21 Nov 2006 20:33:28

Neil Truby said:

That famous British understatement again... :o)

Bye now,

"... no bill is required as no value was provided."
-- Christine Normile

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Choice of CPU and etc (for Linux based IDS server)

Post by dark » Tue, 21 Nov 2006 21:20:22

Neil Truby wrote:

Thanks for explanation, Neil,

I have also looked to document "Compare Informix Dynamic editions" by
C. Normile and related IBM's document ENUS206-063. It seems to me that
for our purpose Express should suffice. I would say that for Dual-Core
Xeons or Opterons 1 CPU license is needed.

Current server used for the similar purpose has 1 GB RAM and 1.1 GHz
Pentium III. It's not in memory shortage, and usually not CPU bound. So
I expect that 4 GB RAM and Dual-Core Xeon or Opteron should suffice for
few/several years. I could add second CPU later, if a need arise. The
amount of data is large but the concurrency of usage is low, and
usually the load is low also.

In my country (and even region), it is not easy to speak to someone
with good understanding of licensing terms related to Informix. IBM's
interface to us is mostly sales force, and partners are also focused to
amount of sales. And yes, they push DB2 and WebSphere related stuff
heavily. Users of Informix are next to extinct, usually being in some
phase of transitioning to some other DBMS. Usually the most valuable
information I collect from Web, mostly from this newsgroup and IIUG.

After reading the specs, I like DL380 G5 (with Xeons) more than DL385
G5 (with Opterons), since there are some nice things like Gigabit
Ethernet NICs with TCP/IP offload capabilities and more modern design.
But those Dual-Core Xeons (51XX series) are rather fresh CPUs, and I
know noone with experience of using them with IDS. I have heard of good
experiences with Opterons. Any comment?

Darko Krstic