Does anyone know how Dell 2900 server perform for running VM ESX and then oracle 11g databases?

Any reviews on this.

It sounds to me it is pretty cheap server. I am not sure if it is designed for database work or not.
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kevinhsiehConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I don't know what your IOPS requirements for the databases are, but you most likely have more than enough CPU power. You have 8 15K SAS drives, which may deliver up to 1200 IOPS (8 x 150). That's as good as you can get unless you go to external storage for more drives, or go to SSD.

RAM would be the only concern, since it is limited to 48 GB. The 2900 has 12 memory slots. My 2950 has 8 slots and is running 32 GB, so I stand corrected on the max RAM. It is 48 GB according to Dell documentation at

The R series is better in the fact that they are newer, support Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors, and also support much larger amounts of RAM because they tend to have more slots (up to 9 per processor), and higher capacity DIMMS (up to 16 GB currently). Database and virtualization workloads tend to be limited by RAM and disk IOPS.


Status Launched
Launch Date Q4'07
Processor Number E5430
# of Cores 4
# of Threads 4
Clock Speed 2.66 GHz
L2 Cache 12 MB
Bus/Core Ratio 8
FSB Speed 1333 MHz
FSB Parity Yes
Instruction Set 64-bit
Embedded Options Available No
Supplemental SKU No
Lithography 45 nm
Max TDP 80 W
VID Voltage Range 0.850V-1.3500V
Recommended Channel Price $455 - $491

Package Specifications
Package Size 37.5mm x 37.5mm
Processing Die Size 214 mm2
# of Processing Die Transistors 820 million
Sockets Supported LGA771
Low Halogen Options Available Yes

Advanced Technologies
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology No
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology No
Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x) Yes
Intel® Trusted Execution Technology No
Intel® 64 Yes Idle States Yes
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology Yes
Intel® Demand Based Switching Yes
Thermal Monitoring Technologies Yes
Execute Disable Bit Yes
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
We really cannot answer this for you.  There are way to many variables when spec'ing out a server.

Also for the link you posted:  Out of Stock - do not order this
product at this time

You need a LOT of RAM and disk to run several VMs.  Even more when the VM's run Oracle (as I've posted in your other questions:  I still think this is a bad idea becuase of support).

The one in the link shows 2GB ram.  NO WAY that will be enough.
That server does not look like it has much to it, specs are not all that great for running a Virtual Environment unless you plan on upgrading the ram etc.  For our environment I have dell r510's in place for my cluster.  I guess how many VM's do you plan on putting on this machine or is it only going to be a standalone host with a single VM?
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sam15Author Commented:
Here are the spec od the server. There are 3 XM servers and oracle runs in 1 of them.

I personally do not hink 8GB is enough for running 5 oracle 11g instances. it is also 32 bit machine.
We need at least 16GB RAM.

# VMs      3
Memory (GB)      8
Physical Procs      2
Storage Space      1.1TB
Core Speed (GHz)      2.66
Chip Manfacturer      Intel
Chip Model      E5430
CPUs for Licensing  (Processor Sockets)      2
64 Bit?      No
Drives      8
Drive Sizes      8x 300GB 15K
Raid      10
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
You can run an Oracle instance with very little memory.  It depends on what the database will be doing and what OS the VMs will be running.

Is that 1 VM running 5 Oracle instances?

At a BARE minimum: probably 2Gig for the OS and 1G per Oracle instance.  If the Oracle database actually do a fair amount of work, more per instance.

The DBA/application folks should be able to spec out how much per instance.

32Bit?  You might want to really look at moving to 64Bit so you can leverage more memory.
sam15Author Commented:
Yes one VM server bit I belive you can allocate RAM and CPU to each VM server as you wish.

I think this Poweredge 2900 is old stuff. I am trying to see if some people or dell experts worked with it.
Yes the industry is moving to 64-bit even for desktops.
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
>>you can allocate RAM and CPU to each VM server as you wish

Yes for memory but only if the host server has it free to allocate.

If the ESX Server has 8 Gig of ram to share acorss 3 VMs and one VM is Oracle running 5 instances, good luck.

Not an ESX Expert so I'm not sure how CPU Cores are allocated across VMs.
That's a 64 bit processor, and a pretty good one, too. The downside I see is that the 2900 is limited to 32 GB of RAM (8 slots, 4GB each). With 8 15K drives in RAID 10, that would be a very capable machine for running database VMs. The only downside I see is the RAM, which is getting more expensive because production has switched to newer RAM types. I have switched most of my VMs to R710 platform only because they have 18 DIMM slots, and are currently populated with 72 or 144 GB of RAM for running many VMs.
sam15Author Commented:
They told us this is 32-bit processor. Are you sure this is 64-bit?

They also told us the machine is upgradeable to 16 GB only.

so R710 is the newer server and much better than 2900?

it sounds to me you can get a very powerful server for $5,000 these days. I am looking also to support 200 - 250 concurrent user on the server.
sam15Author Commented:
Ok thanks, great info. so he only issue is RAM (not CPU, I/O, or storage disks).

Do you have rough price range on both machines.

it sounds to me the 2900 model is cheap if is listed at $1000.
Dell will charge me $248 per 300 GB 3.5" 15K SAS drive, so if you can actually get the whole thing for $1000, it is a steal.

It seems that Dell is offering 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) memory upgrades, which means the PE2900 can go to 96 GB of RAM. At the price of $900 per 16 GB, going to 96 GB means that you can buy a new T710 with 8 3.5" 15K 300 GB drives for about the same price as the memory upgrade.

Going to 48 GB will cost about $1379 at NewEgg, and $1839 from Dell. If you want to go higher that the 48 GB, it looks like a new server is cheaper.
sam15Author Commented:
I though you said the 2900 cant be upgraded more than 32 GB. The guy here tells me it is 16 GB (kind of strange).

But do you think a rough estimate for Poweredge T710 with 32GB would be 5K and i believe that is a powerful server machine for database stuff and/or VM ware. right?
The Dell Documentation says 48 GB, 32 for 2950. It looks like the documentation on the web site hasn't been updated to reflect the availability of 8 GB DIMMs for those servers. I don't know how you would ever max out at 16 GB with 12 slots on the 2900.

Whether a machine will perform well enough for you depends on your disks and then your RAM. I can't tell you what will be enough for your environment. What does your vendor say you need for disk IOPS and capacity? The differences between 7.2K NL-SAS, 10K SAS, 15K SAS, and SSD are huge in both performance and cost. Yes, $5K will get you a lot of machine, but I can't tell you if it's too much or not enough.

a T710 with singel processor and 32-40 GB RAM is discounted down to aaround $2200 without any disks or RAID controllers.

sam15Author Commented:
so if you add a 2nd processor and all disk i think we will get to 5-6 K.

The link you had for 2900 show a 64 bit machine. They told me it is 32 bit machine.

Could ther be an older model of this. 32 bit machine will limit the RAM upgrade. I am not sure if the 64 bit machines are faster or not.
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
32Bit = 2 Gig Oracle SGA max size per instance.  Don't believe the PAE trick everyone posts about.

sam15Author Commented:
Are you serious? You cannot have a 4GB instance with 32 bit machines.

hwo about 64 but machines? i was thinking you can allocate as much RAM as you want for oracle instances.
slightwv (䄆 Netminder)Connect With a Mentor Commented:
4gig for OS.  2gig of that for Oracle.

From Dell itself:

Limitations of the 32-bit Architecture for Oracle Databases on Microsoft Windows Server

Available memory is even less, due to OS overhead. By default, on Windows 2000 and Server 2003, 2 GB of the available 4 GB of memory is reserved for the 32-bit OS and 2 GB is shared for User Threads (i.e. the Oracle SGA). One implication of this limitation is that the Oracle SGA must be smaller than 2 GB in size in order to start the database successfully. Even if the SGA is smaller than 2 GB, there may still be insufficient memory for Oracle threads. This is because all memory utilized for Oracle user sessions must also fit inside the 2 GB limit, along with the SGA.
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
>>hwo about 64 but machines?

Yes.  That is why you should go 64.  I never looked back when I made the move!

Also, when I was 32bit Windows, I could not get close to 2gig on the sga or Oracle did weird things.  I had to stay around 1.7gig.
The 2900 series have ALWAYS been 64 bit. My 5100 series processors are 64 bit with hardware virtualization. We're talking about quad core E5430 processors here. Does anyone think that Intel made 32bit quad core processors? Looks at the processor specs I posted above. This talk about the PE2900 in question being 32bit only is silly. Your vendor is mis-informed. Just look at this review from March 2007.
sam15Author Commented:
Excellent Answers.
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