Tuesday 5 February 2008

SBS on dual Xeon E5345 Quad vs. 5130 Dual Core + Symantec EndPoint Memory Costs

Initially, when we were offered a choice between the Dual Core 5100 series Xeons and the 5300 series Quad Core Xeon processors, we generally aimed for the 5100 series due to cost differences.

Not too long ago, Intel lowered the 5300 series Quad Core Xeon price to the point where there was very little difference in cost between Dual and Quad Core Xeon processors.

That is when we started to implement Quad Core 5300 and now 5400 series Xeon processor rigs.

As a side note: We never supply a dual socket server with only one processor installed. There are a number of very important reasons:

  1. In this day and age of consumer level power house servers the "upgrade path" no longer exists
  2. 18 months from now when the client would otherwise want to "upgrade", one must source a processor with the correct stepping. One cannot just install a Xeon 5150 with stepping B2 with a Xeon 5150 with stepping G0 onto the same server board.
  3. In the case of Tier 1/2, the cost of an extra processor at the time of server build is relatively small compared with plugging the "upgrade" CPU in later. Check with Teir 1/2 and their Post Sale CPU prices. We are generally talking two to three times the initial cost.
A screen shot of the Xeon 5130 2.00GHz:

Intel Xeon 5130 2.00GHz Dual Core Series

And, a screen shot of the Xeon E5345 2.33GHz:

Intel Xeon E5345 2.33GHz Quad Core Series

Both parts share the same Front Side Bus speed of 1,333MHz (MT).

In this case, there is a little difference in the Core speed between the two parts.

In our experience, the GHz/MHz rates are a limiter on raw speed for events such as booting the server. Generally, the higher the GHz, the faster (incremental) the server will boot. The number of cores on the CPU does not seem to make too much difference one way or another here.

There is, however, one place we are seeing a marked improvement in performance between the Xeon Dual Core and Xeon Quad Core servers where the Quad Cores triumph: Database driven applications.

For those of us who work with SBS 2K3 R2 on an ongoing basis, a question for you: How long does the R2 integrated WSUS that has been upgraded to V3 take to come up on an older box? The older the machine, the longer it can take. In some cases, we are talking minutes.

The following is a screen shot of the Xeon 5130 Cores:

Intel Xeon 5130 Cores

The above screen shot was taken during a regular work day for about 20 clients.

The following is a screen shot of the Xeon E5345 Cores:

Intel Xeon E5345 Cores

The above screen shot was taken during a regular work day for about 30 clients.

On this particular dual Xeon E5345 Quad Core server, the R2 WSUS V3 will come up quite quickly. When the Update Services link is clicked, we can actually watch SQL work across all 8 cores setting things up for the console. Relative to the Xeon 5130 Dual Core, the Quad Core is not quite twice as fast, but there sure is a marked difference.

Symantec EndPoint Security

Note the huge step in memory usage on the Xeon E5345 Quad Core based system. The Xeon 5130 Dual Core system has Symantec AntiVirus Enterprise 10.2 and all of the management facilities installed. The memory footprint for this product on the server is relatively minimal.

The Xeon E5345 has Symantec's new EndPoint product and management system installed. Note that EndPoint is hogging up almost 1.0GB more RAM than the previous version. The new system is almost entirely database driven.

Here is a screen shot of the Processes:

Symantec EndPoint Security Memory Usage

Take note of the number of EndPoint related services running:
  • SMSUtilityService.exe 158MB
  • SemSvc 140MB
  • dbsrv9 80MB
  • SAVFMSETask 58MB
  • SAVFMSESp (x 9) 56MB (~500MB total)
There are also a number of lesser services tied to EndPoint that are not itemized above.

For smaller SBS boxes with less than 4GB of RAM, EndPoint will definitely be a struggle to run comfortably along side the standard SBS services.

Keep this in mind for clients that request a Symantec EndPoint solution on the SBS box and desktops.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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