Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Intel releases Nehalem

Yesterday Intel unveiled the Xeon 5500 chip, which is the server version of the chip codenamed Nehalem. According to Intel, this new chip will have 9 times the performance of the previous chip. It also includes great virtualization-friendly features such as Quickpath interconnect (supposedly 4 times the memory access bandwidth of the Front Side Bus), 10 GigE NICs on board and new virtualization-specific instruction set.

Does this sound like at least quadrupling the # of VM's one can run on a box?? I think it is an awesome development that will help spread the virtualization revolution. According to Intel, by the end of this year this chip will come with 8 cores. Just for the fun of it... One will be able to build a system with 4 sockets, 8 cores each making a 32-core system. Each core should be able to run 7-10 desktop machines... WOW this would potentially mean awesome consolidation of 300+ desktops on a single piece of hardware. Mind boggling. I think the ROI of VDI is going to get pretty attractive.

Btw - here is a great VMware article on the benefits of Intel Xeon 5500 hardware assist technologies as utilized by ESX: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/Perf_ESX_Intel-EPT-eval.pdf

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