So I built a VMware ESX 3.0.2 server on the Stoakley box. The box itself had 16GB RAM, two 136GB U320 SCSI drives, and two Intel gigabit NICs. The onboard NICs weren't supported by VMware until just a week ago or so, and the SuperMicro case was low-profile, so I was limited to the dual-port LP Intel NIC I had. I dedicated one NIC to VM storage, and the other as the front end for all servers. I then built out six CentOS 5-based VMs: A two-CPU MySQL server, four single-CPU Apache servers, and a single-CPU load-balancer. Using LVS for load balancing, I nailed the box with HTTP requests for the Web test app installed on all four Apache servers. The load on all boxes grew substantially, delivering up to 4,000 requests per second, a number that's very dependent on the parameters of the test script, but certainly showed that the box was running on all eight cores, and running them hard. Over 200 million requests and nearly 15 hours later, the box showed no signs of distress, and each VM was still running like mad.
I kept the tests running over the next week, simulating a scenario that should never happen in real life, but occasionally does. After finally stopping the attack, I let the system quiesce, and then proceeded to load it up with more VMs for other tests I needed to do in the lab. I've wanted to run other benchmarks on the server, like compression and encoding tests, but that means that I have to power it down. I won't be able to realistically do that for another few days -- at this point, it's already indispensable.
So for now, I'm lacking raw numbers on standard tests, but I can tell you that my love affair with AMD is on shaky ground. I don't yet have a Barcelona system to run against Stoakley, and I really need to run those tests before I make any hasty moves. From what I've seen of Stoakley and Penryn this past month, my AMD honeymoon may be over.