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[Xen-users] is Intel VT-d "really" necessary?

To: xen-users <xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Xen-users] is Intel VT-d "really" necessary?
From: Rudi Ahlers <Rudi@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 11:20:00 +0200
Delivery-date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 02:21:38 -0700
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Hi all,

I'm just curios and would like some input from the community on this
one. We're busy budgeting for a couple of new servers and I thought it
would be good to try out the Core i7 CPU's, but see the majority of
them don't offer VT-d, but just VT-x. Looking at the LGA1366 range,
only the "Intel lga1366 i7 980XE" (from the list of what our suppliers
stock) have VT-d, and it costs 4x more than "Intel lga1366 i7 930" or
2x more than "Intel lga1366 i7 960". From a budget perspecitve I could
purchase 4 more CPU's, which could translate to 40x - 80x more VM's
being hosted for the same capital outlay. Experience has shown that we
under-utilize CPU's by a great margin and memory / HDD IO is our
biggest bottleneck on any server.

So, if VT-d really necessary?
We mainly host XEN virtual machine for the hosting industry, i.e. we
don't need / use graphics rendering inside VM's, or need DAS on the
VM's, etc.

Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers

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