Thursday, June 28, 2007
Enterprise Millicomputer Server Comparisons
To provide a competitive comparison two high end 1U Enterprise servers were priced online at http://www.sun.com - one Opteron and one low power Niagara SPARC. The Sun x4100 Opteron server uses about 400W. Its CPU performance is probably double that of an ARM at the same GHz so 2.8 GHz four cores x 2 = 22.4 GHz. Configured with the maximum of 32 GB RAM results in a $13K list price. The Sun T1000 Niagara uses about 200W of power. Its 1.0 GHz 8 core CPU has 32 threads. Lets call this 32 GHz, which is quite optimistic. With a maximum of 16 GB RAM it has a $15K list price. The Enterprise Millicomputer with OPiuM i.MX31 based modules uses less than 160W, probably much less. 532 MHz x 112 = 60 GHz and 256MB x 112 = 28GB RAM. With modules and flash costing perhaps $130 each, lower cost power supplies etc., a similar price point around $15K seems plausible.
Millicomputer networking has higher network bandwidth and there is a big additional saving as there is no need for an external load balancer appliance.
Millicomputer Storage wins with no contest! 2x146GB disks 240 IOPS vs. ~500000 IOPS, 448 GB Flash.
This is all on paper, actual benchmarks are needed, but the point is that the raw performance looks interesting enough to make it worth running the benchmarks....