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chnapo

Why servers need so fast CPUs?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I wonder what benefit it brings you when you have 48-core dual Xeon server versus celeron or some other weakling, if you only use it for data storage.

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1 minute ago, chnapo said:

I wonder what benefit it brings you when you have 48-core dual Xeon server versus celeron or some other weakling, if you only use it for data storage.

A typical server, in a business environment, handles hundreds of requests at the same time from systems all over the network. That's why


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well, servers can do more than just data. they can run many systems virtualised, have to do other jobs than data storage or just have 100 to up to millions of requests to handle in a cluster. that's why


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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Radium_Angel said:

A typical server, in a business environment, handles hundreds of requests at the same time from systems all over the network. That's why

Goodness this is the fastest forum ever! I usually wait DAYS for reply on other forums.

So if the only thing I want is to have lots of storage, I don't have to care about which CPU do I have? I need to store lots of data, but only for 2-3 computers that will have access to it.

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2 minutes ago, chnapo said:

I wonder what benefit it brings you when you have 48-core dual Xeon server versus celeron or some other weakling, if you only use it for data storage.

Well server are not used only for storage but even if they are, many request can be resource intensive

And what is qualified as cold storage are on lower end hardware, because it is meant to be low cost and energy efficient.

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1 minute ago, chnapo said:

Goodness this is the fastest forum ever! I usually wait DAYS for reply on other forums.

So if the only thing I want is to have lots of storage, I don't have to care about which CPU do I have? I need to store lots of data, but only for 2-3 computers that will have access to it.

yeah, then is a dual or quad core enough for you. is it business use or just private?


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Just now, chnapo said:

Goodness this is the fastest forum ever! I usually wait DAYS for reply on other forums.

So if the only thing I want is to have lots of storage, I don't have to care about which CPU do I have? I need to store lots of data, but only for 2-3 computers that will have access to it.

Yeah then you can slide down to something less powerful, or even a dedicated NAS device.

If you actually need the sever software then a NAS won't do, but you don't need the latest and greatest Xeon system.

Cheap PowerEdge servers will do you fine


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1 minute ago, chnapo said:

Goodness this is the fastest forum ever! I usually wait DAYS for reply on other forums.

So if the only thing I want is to have lots of storage, I don't have to care about which CPU do I have? I need to store lots of data, but only for 2-3 computers that will have access to it.

This kind of request, in a home environment can even be handled by ARM cpu (raspberry, ...), or some older CPU. It all depend on the usage of the data.

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A file server will never have that many cores. It's useless, even when running 40gig mellanox connections to it. 

 

Servers with such specs are meant to do hard work. They're often hypervisors that are clustered to many other servers to host virtual machines. To support the workloads in those virtual machines, you need as much CPU and RAM as possible. Local storage is often not used on situations like that, but a SAN is used so when a server goes down, there's no storage migration needed and the VM can auto-migrate to another server.


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If you have hundreds of users accessing files at the same time, you need a CPU that can handle all of those requests. If you're a home user with only a couple of users/clients accessing data, then you can use a cheaper processor.

 

This is one of the reasons why home NAS devices are much cheaper than enterprise level SAN devices. They have much lower specs.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, Belzebuth said:

This kind of request, in a home environment can even be handled by ARM cpu (raspberry, ...), or some older CPU. It all depend on the usage of the data.

What about 100TB home environment? The purpose will be - download videos to fast NVME storage and edit them. After finishing, upload them back to the server. So 99% of use will be just storage. Sometimes I will play some movies from the server.

 

4 minutes ago, chiller15 said:

If you have hundreds of users accessing files at the same time, you need a CPU that can handle all of those requests. If you're a home user with only a couple of users/clients accessing data, then you can use a cheaper processor.

 

This is one of the reasons why home NAS devices are much cheaper than enterprise level SAN devices. They have much lower specs.

Thanks, that makes lots of sense.

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1 minute ago, chnapo said:

What about 100TB home environment? The purpose will be - download videos to fast NVME storage and edit them. After finishing, upload them back to the server. So 99% of use will be just storage. Sometimes I will play some movies from the server.

 

Thanks, that makes lots of sense.

No problem. :)

 

The CPU in a storage device is mainly about processing requests and dealing with transfers. You will reach a point where if you don't have enough RAM or CPU performance, it will bottleneck the transfer speeds.


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9 minutes ago, chnapo said:

What about 100TB home environment? The purpose will be - download videos to fast NVME storage and edit them. After finishing, upload them back to the server. So 99% of use will be just storage. Sometimes I will play some movies from the server.

well, what would a pc need to do that? there you have your answer


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They don't.

There's servers with dual core processors, and there's servers with multiple cpu sockes and 48+ core processors.

 

Some software is licensed per cpu socket, so it makes sense to buy a cpu with as many cores as possible - such software is often way more expensive than the cpu itself , like 9999$ a "seat" each year, or whatever... you won't care that your cpu costs 2k , a one time purchase. 

other software is licensed per core, in which case some may go for small blade servers with processors running at super fast freqencies.

 

Then you various purposes for servers ... you could have database servers, which basicaly receive queries and return data, this is stuff that can be made in parallel so lots of cores helps.

But you could also have servers which only serve static content, like thumbnails, avatars on this forum for example ... instead of accessing the hard drive or SSD each time a person on this forum loads a page, you could set up a server with a huge amount of RAM and keep the avatars and pictures in RAM and that could be the server's only job.. and that doesn't require lots of cores.

 

Servers with lots of cores are also used for virtual machines ... for example think of a website like reddit which has a fairly average number of users but there may be events like earthquakes or school shootings or whatever which increase the number of views on the site which could slow down or kill the website - a site like reddit can quickly (and automated) contact a service like Amazon which starts up a bunch of virtual machines which boot an operating system from a hard disk image, then each virtual machine copies the code and stuff needed to operate as a reddit server and starts serving users as if those Amazon servers belong to reddit.

When the demand decreases, reddit can turn off those virtual machines and pay Amazon for the number of hours those virtual machines ran.

So for example, Amazon can buy 48 core processors, and they create 11 virtual machines on each server, each with 4 cores and 8-16 GB of memory allocated to them

One server could have virtual machines rented by 10 different web sites, or for whatever purpose (maybe to crunch a few TB of data, doesn't have to be a website).

 

 

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37 minutes ago, chnapo said:

What about 100TB home environment? The purpose will be - download videos to fast NVME storage and edit them. After finishing, upload them back to the server. So 99% of use will be just storage. Sometimes I will play some movies from the server.

A media server and file server won't need more than, say, a base level Xeon CPU (when talking strictly server hardware). Even a Xeon Bronze 6 or 8 core would be more than sufficient. 


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If you plan to use SMB over a 10gb+ link you'll need a little beefier processor (but certainly not very many cores). If you plan to host Plex or some other encoder directly from the storage server, you'll again need a more modern faster processor. Modern helps with transcoding the latest solution (hvec / 265 these days), and have enough oomph for tomorrow's codec.

 

**Also it helps to have a little bit better processor if you plan to do software/os-level RAID. More parity = more calculations.

 

Xeons typically only add 1-2 features, are slowed down, and go through a slightly lengthier QA process. Otherwise they're the same as their counterparts.

 

You may want a heavier core count if you want to add multiple virtual machines / docker instances. Though in a home environment I would expect most of these instances to be idle, so you can get away with middle of the road solutions.

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50 minutes ago, chnapo said:

What about 100TB home environment? The purpose will be - download videos to fast NVME storage and edit them. After finishing, upload them back to the server. So 99% of use will be just storage. Sometimes I will play some movies from the server.

 

Thanks, that makes lots of sense.

How fast is your internet? NVMe storage for downloading is a waste of resource when an HDD/RAID array would be better suited for the task and keep up with the data rate on download. If you want faster a SATA SSD would be fine too and is cheaper. NVMe is only nice if you have a 10GbE or better connection for the transfers and even then, SATA will still do over 500MB/s.

 

For just file file transfers you don’t need much. A cheap dual core Celeron or something like that is more than enough. I have over 105TB of usable space in my DIY NAS and it’s on a quad core, but I run multiple VMs and even then it is just sitting at 5-10% usage at most at times. Capacity doesn’t affect CPU requirements. As long as you are simply transferring data without transcoding on the NAS, CPU performance doesn’t matter much. Even watching multiple 4K videos at once through my 10GbE connection it doesn’t matter


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7 hours ago, chnapo said:

Goodness this is the fastest forum ever! I usually wait DAYS for reply on other forums.

So if the only thing I want is to have lots of storage, I don't have to care about which CPU do I have? I need to store lots of data, but only for 2-3 computers that will have access to it.

if YOU are looking to do a home server for your media files then your requirements are WAY WAY less then what big business's use them for, you aren't the target user for a 48 core CPU, remember virtually ALL computers can be used as a server, the kinds of servers you are talking about are being used by multi-million or even billion dollar companies to run everything the company does with hundreds of people accessing data from 1 server, just like you don't need the super expensive 10 GB data links for your home use, you don't need the 48 core CPU's.

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7 hours ago, chnapo said:

I wonder what benefit it brings you when you have 48-core dual Xeon server versus celeron or some other weakling, if you only use it for data storage.

You wouldn't use a 48-core just for storage. If you had an enterprise environment large enough to need that sort of power, you would have a SAN because you'd run into disk and network I/O issues. 

 

People want 24-48 core dual CPU servers at home for things like virtualization lab environments, plex transcoding on the fly for multiple streams, their own home adobe render farms, their own physics & chemistry simulations, 3d model rendering, etc.....


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