Xeon vs Opteron for VMWare GSX on Linux


Mar 4, 2004

We are considering using VMWare GSX Server running on Linux for testing our software, and I'm trying to figure out if a dual Xeon or Opteron based system will be better for us. The Guest OS's will largely be Windows. Performance is not the critical thing here, as our tested applications are largely web based with only a few users clicking on pages every few seconds. What we're after is compatibility testing with different environments, and possibly consolidating some other low use servers into VMWare.

We are mostly an Intel shop, but I'm noticing Opteron gaining favorable reviews, so I thought I'd consider AMD for this application.

The target machines will likely be:

Option 1:
Dual Xeon 3.2/533mhz 1mb cache
4gb RAM
4x72 SATA drives

Option 2:
Dual Opteron 2.2 200 series
4gb RAM
4x72 SATA drives

I would consider Opteron if I can get a few more VM sessions out of the hardware. I called VMWare and they said I can get an extra 1-2 images per CPU running if my CPUs are HyperThreaded, but he could not comment on Opteron.

Is anyone running either of these types of platforms for VMWare GSX? How many concurrent guest imges are you running?

Any real world experience is greatly appreciated.