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RE: [Xen-users] Which do you recommend AMD or Intel for HVM?

To: "Robert Hulme" <rob@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Xen-users" <xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] Which do you recommend AMD or Intel for HVM?
From: "Petersson, Mats" <Mats.Petersson@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 12:12:55 +0200
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Thread-topic: [Xen-users] Which do you recommend AMD or Intel for HVM?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
> Robert Hulme
> Sent: 28 September 2006 11:02
> To: Xen-users
> Subject: [Xen-users] Which do you recommend AMD or Intel for HVM?
> Hi everyone,
> We're looking at getting a / some boxen in to run Windows server in
> Xen. I was wondering what thoughts / experience you guys have had with
> that?
> We're also wondering if we should get the Intel or AMD chips with VT?
> The Intel chips seem at first glance to be cheaper and better
> performing than the AMD chips so it looks a bit like a no-brainer, but
> I am aware that the memory bandwidth on the Intel chips is much worse.
> Are there any benchmarks / anecdotal experiences of using either with
> Xen HVM?

They are pretty equal implementations at the technological level. Memory
bandwidth will have more of an effect in a virtual machine than it does
in the regular system, as you get more memory accesses to do with the
switching between hypervisor and guest and page-table management in the
guest/hypervisor, compared to the bare-metal system. [How well this is
cached depends very much on the amount of work done between HV/guest

Unfortunately, I can't point you to any direct benchmarks or such... 

> We're not overly concerned with the cooling / power draw aspect.
> The big question for us though is the level of support for the VT in
> AMD chips in Xen. I know that it hasn't been around as long, is the
> HVM implementation for Intel on Xen production ready?

I strongly disagree with this statement - the HVM architecture was put
in place for the purpose of supporting the AMD-V architecture with the
same infrastructure that Intel put in. Xen has several AMD-V boxes
provided by AMD for testing, and whilst there may be bugs in any code, I
don't agree that the AMD-V support is immature - it's been in Xen
officially since the 3.0.1 release - which is 0.0.1 release later than
the Intel VT support was introduced officially. 

> Thanks a lot everyone.
> -Rob
> -- 
> ------------------------------------------------------
> "I am a strong advocate for free thought on all subjects, yet it
> appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments
> against christianity & theism produce hardly any effect on the public;
> & freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of
> men's minds, which follow[s] from the advance of science. It has,
> therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, & I
> have confined myself to science." - Darwin
> http://www.robhulme.com/
> http://robhu.livejournal.com/
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