Posts Tagged ‘servers’

Avishay Traeger from the IBM Haifa Research Lab and Erez Zadok from Stony Brook University are raising awareness of issues relating to proper benchmarking practices of file and storage systems.  They hope that with greater awareness, standards will be raised, and more rigorous and scientific evaluations will be performed and published.

acm_imagesIn May 2008 they published a paper in the ACM Transactions on Storage entitled “A Nine Year Study of File System and Storage Benchmarking'” in which they surveyed 415 file system and storage benchmarks from 106 papers that were published in four highly-regarded conferences (SOSP, OSDI, USENIX, and FAST) between 1999 and 2007.  They found that most popular benchmarks are flawed, and many research papers used poor benchmarking practices and did not provide a clear indication of the system’s true performance.  They have provided a set of guidelines that they hope will improve future performance evaluations. An updated version of the guidelines is available.

Traeger and Zadok have also set up a mailing list for information on future events, as well as discussions.  More information can be found on their File and Storage System Benchmarking Portal


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drupalAccording to a benchmark test run by John Quinn &  Cailin Nelson,

Drupal systems perform very well on amazon ec2, even with a simple single machine deployment. The larger hardware types perform significantly better, producing up to 12,500 pages per minute. this could be increased significantly by clustering as outlined here.  The apc op-code cache increases performance by a factor of roughly 4x.  The average response times were good in all the tests. The slowest tests yielded average times of 1.5s. again, response times where significantly better on the better hardware and reduced further by the use of apc.

Amazon uses Xen based virtualization technology to implement ec2. The cloud makes provisioning a machine as easy as executing a simple script command. when you are through with the machine, you simply terminate it and pay only for the hours that you’ve used. ec2 provides three types of virtual hardware that you can instantiate.

Source: John & Cailin Blog, “lamp performance on the elastic compute cloud: benchmarking drupal on amazon ec2”, January 28, 2008.

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Amazon Virtualization

Amazon Virtualization

Virtualization Benchmark

Amazon sold storage to external customers for 15 cents/GB/month (estimated).

Bechtel’s internal storage costs were $3.75/GB/month.

WHAT BECHTEL LEARNED: Amazon could sell storage cheaply, Ramleth believes, because its servers were more highly utilized.

Source: CIO Magazine, Bechtel’s New Benchmarks, October 24, 2008.

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Does a thumb rule exists for “server administrators to a number of servers for a large and distributed enterprise infrastructure.”

I know this cannot be applied in every situation, but is there some reference than can be used to derive a head count for 24×7 support operations.

1) check out the paper: “How Many Administrators are Enough” http://www.verber.com/mark/sysadm/how-many-admins.html

2) If there is a remote mangement tool to access the same. then the number is around 200-300.
if no software is present and physical present is required, then not more than 50-100 servers per server administrator. I am assuming these servers to be windows servers.
in case of Unix boxes, more servers can be managed even without management software, as patches to be applied are less often and they hardly need to be rebooted. so zero admin scenarios can exisit with unix boxes.
3) Administrators vs no. of servers depends on the stability of the organization and the stability of the OS being used. I have driven an initiative where I could drive the ratio from 150 per SA to 900 per SA. This involved a lot of standardization on the OS level as well as a focus effort to reduce known problems and working on eradication of the problems rather than break fix efforts. A lot of focus was also driven on the quality and training of the SA’s.

Source: LinkedIn Answers (March 2008) http://www.linkedin.com/answers/hiring-human-resources/staffing-recruiting/HRH_SFF/184490-5730787?browseCategory=&goback=.ahp

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Google employs one systems administrator for about 20,000 servers.

Bechtel employed one systems administrator per 100 servers.

Source: ‘Bechtel’s New Benchmarks’, CIO Magazine, October 24, 2008

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