I purchased a new single cpu Xeon X5670 (6 core!) application server and diverted a bunch of our load to it just to see how it performs.
The new machine is currently handling 50% of our load without breaking a sweat, and our average response time has improved by 20 milliseconds. This traffic was previously handled by 2 x Xeon 5300 machines (8 cores each) that are over 3 years old. I don’t have enough memory in the new box to figure out how much it can handle before performance starts to degrade – I’ve only got 6 GB in it at the moment due to a build mistake.
Two of these $3000 half-depth single CPU servers could easily run the entire Rails part of the site (Three for redundancy and breathing room)
Here are the specs. It’s an application server so the only disk is a smallish SSD:
- 1 x Xeon X5670 Six-Core 2.93GHz, 12MB Cache, 6.4GT/s QPI
- 12GB RAM (3 x 4GB) @ 1333MHz Max
- 80 GB Intel X25-M SSD
- Power consumption: 1.0 amps (208V)
Normally I load up with as much memory as is reasonable, but this CPU offers the most performance with 3 DIMMs per CPU. At least I’ve got plenty of memory to spare now that those older servers won’t be running Rails anymore.