Without expert advice, building a server for a business project or to handle a specific workload can be a bit of a hit and miss affair. While you might nail the hardware needed for the intended job’s compute performance, you might incorrectly gauge the storage or I/O requirements and end up with physical hardware that’s only partially able to deliver on your service level agreements.
The risk of getting any initial server configuration wrong is that it could feasibly lead to a mid-life server refresh – something that can seriously disrupt everyday business activities and is something no IT department wants to deal with.
Specific Workloads Addressed
Intel, on realising this, set about building a tool intended to provide advice around the kind of server hardware needed to handle specific workloads. Using a quantitative model, the company poured a lot of effort into analysing exactly how compute, memory and I/O impact on the utilisation of server resources, the results of which were used to create the tool and ensure its accuracy.
The end product is based on Intel IT Best Practices, and is called the IT Server Sizing Tool. It’s available for free; anyone can use it to figure out what sort of server hardware they should be investing in.
The tool is located online at estimator.intel.com/serversizing, and to use it the end user simply enters a few details about what their desired server would be doing, and the tool does the rest. It asks for data like the length of the project, the maximum server utilisation required to deliver on the promised SLAs, the peak-average ratio, the projected year-on-year growth rate and other vital indicators; it then uses that data in its calculations, which ultimately lead to recommendations.
After telling the tool what they want, the user chooses if they would like the results in a PDF or PowerPoint presentation. The chosen file type is then generated, and it contains the tool’s recommendations for the exact hardware that will meet the specified requirements.
Those recommendations take the form of three separate server configurations that include a mix of pre-built Intel servers as well as create-your-own custom versions. They are presented side-by-side to give the end user the best-possible overview, and allow them to decide on the hardware that best matches their performance, budgetary and duration requirements.
Intel also built a forum around the IT Server Sizing Tool, intended to be a mechanism for providing feedback and even feature requests to the developers. It’s a repository of answers for curious end-users, who can pose their questions directly to the developers who are monitoring the forum and the community that has sprung up around the tool.
Tarsus has a longstanding relationship with Intel and we are well positioned to assist you with your requirements; please contact our Intel Account Managers for a solution tailored to suit your needs.