Explain why simply doubling CPU speed has such a minimal impact on overall server system performance.
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It has been established that CPU speed beyond 33 MHZ has minor impacts on file server performance (InfoWorld 1993). InfoWorld continues to outline that when it comes to moving vast amounts of data to or from a server, doubling the speed of a CPU especially DX2’s is ineffective (1993). The magazine continues to say that additional CPU speed plays only a minor role in file server performance (InfoWorld, 1993). InfoWorld established that the logic behind this observation is that “while the original DX (33 MHZ) operates at the clock rate which is signaled by the system bus, doubling that signal elevates the CPU, internal 8K cache on-board math coprocessor to 66MHz” (1993, 58).
As a result it executes the code and operates on data at 66MHz when at the same time working from the on-chip cache but drops to 33MHz during input/output operations involving other circuitry on the motherboard (InfoWorld, 1993). Doubling this speed means that all operations in the server performance involving system RAM, SRAM based second level cache, the disk subsystem, ports and adapter slots are still held to 33MHz. InfoWorld (1993) established that “running all this operations at 50MHz instead of 66MHz which is the double of 33MHz does improve the server performance” (58). This implies that CPU speed beyond 33MHz has only minor impact on the server performance hence it is better and economical to invest money in the server subsystems. (InfoWorld,1993).
Where do you get the most bang for the buck to increase server performance?
Handy (1998) says that “a 20% increase in speed on a dynamic RAM would support a increase in speed in the CPU” (3) This is an important consideration as it can considerably increase server performance. In order to get the most bang of buck it is important to look for CPU options which will improve the throughput by increasing the CPU clock frequency. InfoWorld indicated that some specifications with high second level CPU cache and a disk drive subsystem utilizing several fast SCSI drives in an array configuration can help one to achieve optimum performance with the server. The speed of the CPU is not the only important factor that should be considered in order to get the most bangs for the buck but also other design architectures.
What are some typical costs to upgrade for a cost effective increase in server performance
InfoWorld states that depending on how important the data is the extra expanse of having a second server mirroring the primary server before doing the upgrade. It is important to note that purchasing some additional NetWare or SFT III which helps to set up a mirrored link between the two servers before doing the upgrade so the if any part of the mirrored server fails the other server shuts down and operations continue without failures (InfoWorld, 1993). Hennessy, Patterson &Goldberg established that apart from the performance and the cost of doing the upgrade it is important to put into consideration the cost of implementing of new server technologies. Hennessy, Patterson &Goldberg thus said in order to perform a cost effective server performance upgrade, one should put into consideration the impact of future cost and determine the how long the architecture will be supported before performing another upgrade.
Hennessy, Patterson &Goldberg (2003) stated that server machines cost more to upgrade. They continue to say that the issue of cost and server performance is a complex one. Hennessy, Patterson &Goldberg (2003) stated that “high performance design of the motherboard and processor spares no cost in achieving its goal hence supercomputers or server computers have to traditionally fit in this category. Hennessy, Patterson &Goldberg commented that “the cost of upgrading these server computers must balance their performance which is generally high” (24). This upgrade must take into account the cost of purchasing new hardware and software which should be replaced. Therefore it is equally important to evaluate all these factors before carrying out the upgrade of server because they come along considerable costs.