this 48-core box...

Dennis Glatting dg at
Thu Sep 19 19:05:23 UTC 2013

On Thu, 19 Sep 2013, Vincent Schut wrote:

> On Tue, 17 Sep 2013 12:08:43 -0500
> Michael Chen <michael at> wrote:
>> I'm considering bidding on this 48-core box:
>> Does anyone have experience with it and can I use all the cores?
>> Thanks!
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> I recently bought one like that (48 cores but 'only' 96 Gb ram). It was
> meant to play a double role as both zfs file server and data processing
> server (we do lots of satellite image processing), running FreeBSD 9.1.
> It connects with a SAN and we'll use it to process about 36TB of
> satellite data in the next months. (In a couple of weeks we will
> probably have budget to split those roles, and buy a dedicated file
> server.) After several weeks of tweaking and testing, I can say that:
> - the zfs/file server part runs without problems
> - the satellite data processing had problems scaling to all 48 cores, I
>  got max performance when running about 18 processes in parallel,
>  scaling up more would lower the overall performance. However, this
>  (sorry guys) appeared to be a FreeBSD problem, and not a hardware
>  problem. As a test I switched to linux with ZoL (ZFS on Linux), and,
>  though zfs performance is less compared to freebsd, data processing
>  is much much better, like a factor 12 or so.

I've noticed this same scaling problem on 32+ core servers but haven't had 
a chance to look into the detail. From the performance graphs I am 
confused whether my problems are processing problems or a data I/O 

> Conclusion: the hardware is alright, however when needed to do lots of
> heavy calculations on terabytes of data, the combination with FreeBSD
> appears not ideal.
> Of course it is you get what you pay for. Decent, OK working hardware,
> but none of the special handy-dandy features expensive brands will give
> you. If you don't need them, in my experience it is decent hardware for
> a good price.
> regards,
> Vincent.
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