Get ready your Vmware infrastructure for 6 or more core processors

For quite some time Intel and AMD has released 6 core processors and their cost has gone down. You should evaluate your server infrastructure carefully if you need to buy these new 6 core or more powered servers.

From my own experience, CPU resources are not the bottleneck for most of the applications we are running on Vmware vSphere – it’s performance is great and CPUs are fast nowadays. We are usually running out of the RAM with our vSphere 4 ESXi servers and thus, recommend a minimum of 128GB RAM for Vmware Enterprise license powered servers and at least 64GB for Vmware Standard Edition license powered servers. The more RAM you can get for the servers (please see RAM limitations per server below) the more you will save in Vmware license cost and yearly support plans.

Please keep in mind that Vmware vSphere 4 Standard and Vmware Vsphere 4 Enterprise edition CPU license supports a maximum of 6 cores per CPU. Vmware vSphere 4 Advanced and Vmware vSphere 4 Enterprise Plus does support CPUs with a maximum of 12 cores per CPU. There are 256GB of RAM limitation for Vmware vSphere 4 Standard; Advanced and Enterprise licenses and no RAM limit for Vmware vSphere 4 Enterprise Plus license.

For reference, I am providing a few 6 core CPU rackmount server models available on the market right now as of May 7th, 2010:

HP: DL580 G5 (6 cores), DL165 G6 (6 cores), DL165 G7 (8 or 12 cores), DL180 G6 (6 cores), DL360 G6 (6 cores), DL360 G6 (6 cores), DL385 G6 (6 cores), DL385 G7 (8 or 12 cores), DL580 G5 (6 cores), DL580 G6 (6 cores), DL785 G6 (6 cores) AMD powered.

IBM: x3650 M3 (6 cores) Intel powered, x3755 (6 cores) AMD powered.

Dell: PowerEdge R805 (6 cores) AMD powered, PowerEdge 2970 (6 cores) AMD powered, PowerEdge R900 (6 cores) Intel powered, PoweredEdge R905 (6 cores) AMD powered, PowerEdge R910 (8 core) Intel powered, PowerEdge R810 (8 cores) Intel powered.


  1. garcemac says:

    Good overview. I just had my server upgraded to 100Mb/s and – although I’ll never push that much traffic to it – I was looking for a concise overview of bandwidth usage.

    You provided it – thank you.

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