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A Quantitative Approach to ERP Server Platform Sizing

Intel Develops Quantitative Model to Assist with Server Sizing

White Paper: Intel Information Technology, Computer Manufacturing and Enterprise Resource Planning

Under-sizing server platforms for an environment may lead to mid-life refresh, resulting in significant disruption to business operations, added logistical complexity, and an increase in total cost of ownership. Intel IT developed a quantitative model to assist with server sizing by analyzing the effects of many different factors on enterprise resource planning (ERP) server utilization. Our analysis shows that the headroom advantage offered by four-socket servers can increase flexibility and help avoid mid-life refresh in situations where there is greater uncertainty in workload growth forecasts and larger demand peaks. This headroom is also important when targeting longer server refresh cycles of four years or more and when using active-active cluster designs to provide high availability.

Server sizing and selection is a critical element of Intel IT’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) infrastructure strategy, which makes use of both two-socket and four-socket servers. Under-sizing servers may result in the need for mid-life server refresh, which can result in significant disruption to business operations, added logistical complexity, and increased total cost of ownership.

• When there is greater uncertainty in workload growth forecasts, including larger workload peaks.
• With longer refresh cycles: Four-socket servers can accommodate greater workload growth over a longer period of time. The high logistical complexity of an upgrade makes it very desirable to plan for a refresh cycle of four or more years and to avoid mid-life refresh.
• With active-active cluster designs, which necessitate planning for greater headroom.
• We need to consider the combined effect of multiple factors when determining whether a server has enough headroom to support mission-critical ERP applications without requiring a mid-life refresh. Based on our evaluation of these factors, Intel IT uses four-socket servers for our most demanding ERP instances.

Read the full Quantitative Model White Paper.

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