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Server design recommendations

This section summarizes the recommended specifications and deployment guidelines for servers hosting the Pexip Infinity platform.

Management Node

Recommended host server specifications

  • 2 cores* (most modern processors will suffice)
  • 4 GB RAM*
  • 100 GB SSD storage
  • The Pexip Infinity VMs are delivered as VM images (.ova etc.) to be run directly on the hypervisor. No OS should be installed.

* Sufficient for deployments of up to 30 Conferencing Nodes. For larger deployments, consult your Pexip authorized support representative or your Pexip Solution Architect for guidance on Management Node sizing.

Conferencing Node

Below are our general recommendations for Conferencing Node servers. For some specific examples, see Example Conferencing Node server configurations.

Recommended host server specifications

  • AVX instruction set required; we recommend Intel Xeon E5-2600 series (Haswell architecture) or similar Xeon processors from 2012 or later
  • 2.3 GHz (or faster) clock speed
  • 10-12 physical cores per socket
  • 1 GB RAM for each vCPU that is allocated to the Conferencing Node
  • 4 memory modules per processor socket, with all memory channels populated
  • 50 GB minimum per Conferencing Node; 500 GB total per server (to allow for snapshots etc.)
  • RAID 1 mirrored storage
  • Hypervisors: VMware ESXi 5.5 or 6.0; KVM; Xen; Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 or later
  • The Pexip Infinity VMs are delivered as VM images (.ova etc.) to be run directly on the hypervisor. No OS should be installed.

General deployment recommendations

Cores, CPU and RAM

  • Prefer processors with high core count (10 cores or more per CPU).
  • Prefer processors with a high clock speed (2.3 GHz and higher).
  • Prefer a smaller number of large Conferencing Nodes (e.g. 4 x 10-core nodes), rather than large number of small Conferencing Nodes (e.g. 10 x 4-core nodes).
  • A single Conferencing Node must not be assigned more vCPU than the amount of physical cores on each processor socket. (An exception to this rule is when NUMA affinity is enabled.)
  • For each physical CPU core (or logical thread, if employing NUMA affinity):
    • configure 1 vCPU
    • assign at least 1 GB RAM

    For example, on an E5-2680v2 CPU with 10 physical cores (i.e. 20 logical threads) per CPU, either

    • assign 10 vCPU (one per physical core) and 10 GB of RAM, or
    • enable NUMA affinity, and assign 20 vCPU (one per logical thread) and 20 GB of RAM
  • A Conferencing Node must have 4 vCPU and 4 GB RAM as an absolute minimum.
  • Do not over-commit either RAM or CPU resources on hardware hosts. In other words, the Conferencing Node and Management Node each must have dedicated access to their own RAM and CPU cores. Pexip Conferencing Nodes use real-time media, which needs dedicated capacity.
  • We recommend 8 memory modules for a dual E5-2600 configuration, as each CPU has 4 memory channels. 8 x 4 GB should be sufficient for most deployments as we recommend 1 GB RAM per vCPU. Some vendors do not provide modules smaller than 8 GB, so in that case we suggest 8 x 8 GB. (This is more than required, but it could be useful if the server is repurposed in the future.)
  • Populate memory equally across all NUMA nodes/sockets on a single host server. All memory channels (typically 4 per CPU for E5-2600) must be populated.
  • For high performance clusters dedicated to Pexip Infinity, you can achieve 30-50% additional performance by using NUMA affinity and taking advantage of hyperthreading (for CPUs supporting this). For more information, see NUMA affinity and hyperthreading.

Hyperthreading

  • Hyperthreading (also referred to as Hyper-Threading Technology), if supported, should always be left enabled by default.

BIOS performance settings

  • Ensure all BIOS settings pertaining to power saving are set to maximize performance rather than preserve energy. (Setting these to an energy-preserving or balanced mode may impact transcoding capacity, thus reducing the total number of HD calls that can be provided.) The actual settings depend on the hardware vendor; some examples are given below:

    Typical HP settings

    • HP Power Profile: Maximum Performance
    • Power Regulator modes: HP Static High Performance mode
    • Energy/Performance Bias: Maximum Performance
    • Memory Power Savings Mode: Maximum Performance

    Typical Dell settings

    • System Profile: Performance Optimized

    Typical Cisco UCS B-Series settings

    • System BIOS Profile (Processor Configuration) - CPU Performance: Enterprise
    • System BIOS Profile (Processor Configuration) - Energy Performance: Performance
    • VMware configuration: Active Policy: Balanced

Network

  • Although the Conferencing Node server will normally not use more than 1-2 Mbps per video call, we recommend 1 Gbps network interface cards or switches to ensure free flow of traffic between Pexip Infinity nodes in the same datacenter. We do not recommend 100 Mbps NIC.
  • Redundancy: for hypervisors that support NIC Teaming (including VMware), you can configure two network interfaces for redundancy, connected to redundant switches (if this is available in your datacenter).

Disk

  • Pexip Infinity will work with higher speed SAS or Near-Line SAS drives but we recommend SSD drives.
  • Deployment on SAN/NAS storage should in most cases work well. Disk access is only required by the operating system and logs, so a normal fair performance is expected.
  • Redundancy: For RAID 1 mirroring for disk redundancy, remember to use a RAID controller supported by VMware or your preferred hypervisor. Most vendors can advise which of the RAID controllers they provide are appropriate for your hypervisors.

Power

  • Sufficient power to drive the CPUs. The server manufacturer will typically provide guidance on this.
  • Redundancy: Dual PSUs.