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[Xen-users] is Intel VT-d "really" necessary?

  • To: xen-users <xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: Rudi Ahlers <Rudi@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 11:20:00 +0200
  • Delivery-date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 02:21:38 -0700
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  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>

Hi all,

I'm just curios and would like some input from the community on this
one. We're busy budgeting for a couple of new servers and I thought it
would be good to try out the Core i7 CPU's, but see the majority of
them don't offer VT-d, but just VT-x. Looking at the LGA1366 range,
only the "Intel lga1366 i7 980XE" (from the list of what our suppliers
stock) have VT-d, and it costs 4x more than "Intel lga1366 i7 930" or
2x more than "Intel lga1366 i7 960". From a budget perspecitve I could
purchase 4 more CPU's, which could translate to 40x - 80x more VM's
being hosted for the same capital outlay. Experience has shown that we
under-utilize CPU's by a great margin and memory / HDD IO is our
biggest bottleneck on any server.

So, if VT-d really necessary?
We mainly host XEN virtual machine for the hosting industry, i.e. we
don't need / use graphics rendering inside VM's, or need DAS on the
VM's, etc.

Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers

Website: http://www.SoftDux.com
Technical Blog: http://Blog.SoftDux.com
Office: 087 805 9573
Cell: 082 554 7532

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