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author's profile photo Former Member
Former Member

x64 or IA64

Wasn't sure whether to post this on the SQL forum but feel it is relevant especially as regards SQL 2005.

We're currently running SAP R/3 4.7 on W2K3 and SQL2000 on x86 hardware. The application servers are already running on 64-bit hw, o/s and SAP kernel. The next step is for us to upgrade the backend CI and database server platform to 64-bit hw, o/s and SQL 2005.

In our case, the preferred target is industry standard HP D585 servers running 4-way AMD64 dual-core CPUs and W2K3 64-bit. More specifically the very latest DL585's that will have the upgrade path to quad-core when it is released.

We are also considering the Integrity/Itanium option and this is what I'd be interested in people's views on.

Basically, from a pure SAPS sizing point of view the dual-core DL585 give us plenty of scope for growth, especially with the quad-core upgrade available. So there's no reason to choose Integrity from a pure power point of view. Yes, there may well be a time (4 years + away) when we outgrow the 585 but maybe we think about that nearer the time.

The alternative - and there are other drivers for this which I'll explain - would be to put in two superdomes now and grown into them. The other key driver is that we will shortly be starting BW and EP projects which will require their own infrstructure. Consolidating all of this onto 2 Integrity's is obviously quite appealing. And expensive. Haven't got the exact price details in yet but reckon is about 50% more for equivalent SAPS. Mmmm. Tricky one. (50% more of the X64 option isn't necessarily a huge number but still more)

Any thoughts?

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  • author's profile photo Former Member
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    Posted on Sep 27, 2006 at 03:09 PM

    I advise you not to go for Itanium platform. This is a dead end, although HP and Intel will deny this. They heavelly investigated in this platform. Most server vendors have abandoned this processor. DL585 revF machine very good machines. One you outgrow the DL585, you have plenty of oppertunities to select the successor of these AMD processors. For IA-64 you're not sure whether it will still be around in 5 years from now 😊

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    • Former Member Former Member

      Hi NPC,

      Thanks for your response. Yes, I would be interested in a more detailed review.

      Our R/3 Production System is currently 2.2TB used and growing at around 100GB per month. So I'd expect to be 3TB by next summer.

      We have about 150 concurrent users (600 named) and this may grow to 600 concurrent by 2Q 2008.

      In terms of availability we're currently live in two timezones - GMT (BST) and JST (Tokyo). The next implementation on the single instance will be to U.S - New York and LA.

      We have 3 hours of planned maintenance a month and 24 hours reserved every quarter - although we don't always use this. I would expect these availability requirements to remain broadly the same even with the USA on board. In temrms of unplanned downtime our SLA target is Achieve > 99.5 % of planned availability, however, we aim much higher and unplanned downtime is rare.

      It would be interesting to hear your views on a comparison of the two architectures.

      My own personal view has always been to regard Integrity as an expensive, proprietary technology that not many people purchased. The recent HP Integrity Event in London would have you believe otherwise but then why would they go to so much effort if it was selling well?

      The key advantage I can see for us would be that it would allow us a greater level of flexibility in the face of rapidly changing and often increasing requirements. It would also I imagine reduce the frequency of technology refreshes as we could remain on a common platform and still scale up the DB server CPU beyond that available on a 585.

      Anyway, look forward to hearing from you.



  • Posted on Oct 02, 2006 at 02:58 PM

    At CLP Power Hong Kong we made excellent experiences with the x64 platform. We are also porting on HP DL585's. We have already a number of BW 3.1 systems and Corp ERP 2005 live on SQL 2005 on a full x64 stack, and next in line is customer care and billing which we will migrate off Itanium 8-ways to DL585 G2's. The price performance of these x64 boxes is truly outstanding and with standard MSCS clustering etc. you reach very satisfactory availability figures. The cost of ownership of a mixed platform landscape (e.g. DB on Itanium, SAP app instances on x64) is too high, so we standardize on x64 throughout.

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  • author's profile photo Former Member
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    Posted on Oct 03, 2006 at 04:39 AM

    Looking at the direction x64 servers are going makes sense to use them. We are considering the same.

    With x64 you also have the advantage of competition between AMD and Intel. They seem to be running neck to neck with every release in terms price/performance ratio.

    You could also switch between the hardware vendors HP, Sun, Dell and who ever.

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