Sun charges Sun Fire T2000 with UltraSparc
Midrange server is primed for running multithreaded appsFollow @pvenezia
In the rack, the T2000 is loud but runs cool, being very adept at climate self-management and running the fans only when necessary. I racked the T2000 just above a 4P dual-core Opteron server, and the noise and power-draw difference was noticeable.
In testing the T2000, I ran some benchmarks to get a feel for how it drives. All in all, these results show the UltraSparc T1 and the Sun Fire T2000 as a solution to fit a specific need. Heavily threaded applications that are light on floating-point computations will perform well on the T2000, whereas less- or single-threaded applications will perform quite poorly when compared to Intel or AMD dual-core systems.
My first order of business was to compile and run Apache 2.0.54 on both the T2000 and on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 running on the quad dual-core Opteron. Here, there is no contest. The Opteron finished the configuration and building of Apache in approximately 2.12 seconds, which was less time than it took the T2000 to finish the configuration. These compilations were only utilizing a single thread and definitely highlight the Achilles’ heel of the T1.
Next, I ran 32 concurrent 4K DSA (Digital Signature Algorithm) crypto key generations on each server. Where the Opteron server took 44 seconds, the T2000 took 22 minutes. Based on this alone, it’s obvious the FPU performance of the UltraSparc T1 isn’t so great.
Next came the Apache Web serving benchmarks. This is where the T2000 held its own. Although the T2000 did not eclipse the quad-Opteron, it ran consistently at 85 to 90 percent of the performance of the Opteron system.
In real numbers, this meant that the quad dual-core Opteron server served approximately 2,500 pages per second of an 8KB static page with 10 image elements while the T2000 averaged 2,200 pages per second. A similar test on a dual 3.4GHz single-core Intel Xeon server running Windows 2003 and IIS was slightly lower than the T2000, at 2,025 pages per second.
My SSL tests showed the T2000 suffering slightly as compared to the dual-core Opteron, averaging 115 operations per second, with the Opteron server dishing out 379 requests per second. The dual-Xeon Windows 2003 server held the middle at roughly 270 ops per second.
In the T2000’s literature, Sun draws some financial comparisons to large Web frameworks built with Intel Xeon servers and then migrated to T2000 servers. One case study shows the cost reduction of a Web farm migrated from 1,000 dual-CPU Intel servers running Windows and WebSphere to 406 Sun T2000 servers running Solaris.
The claim is that the Sun Fire T2000s provided seven times the overall performance and nine times the performance per watt than the old farm, which is possible, depending on the clock speed of the old farm, reducing operating costs from $2.63 million to $550,000 per year. Even if the performance between the two farms was equal, that’s a big pile of money back in the budget.
The newest member of the Sun family might be considered a boutique server, but the UltraSparc T1 is truly a revolutionary processor. If it’s threaded performance you’re after, give the T2000 a look.