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Hardware Tips

Consider the following recommendations related to the Zing hardware requirements.

Limitation Description Recommendation

Processor support insufficient for Zing (constant_tsc support required)

Zing requires a specific feature of modern X86 chips in order to function properly. This feature, constant_tsc, provides a reliable, fast time-source even in the presence of power-saving operations performed by modern processors. This reliable time source is required by ZVM.

 

Solution:

Run Zing on a processor supporting the constant_tsc feature. Nearly all server-class X86 processors made in the last five years have this feature. See the Zing System Requirements and Compatibility References for a list of supported processors.

Known Intel chip errata can cause spurious system-wide delays.

Recent Intel chips in combination with some aggressive power-saving driver techniques are known to cause sporadic system lockups, up to a minute long. This is an issue which can occur with or without Zing present but can be more noticeably manifest in the high-performance, low-latency applications commonly deployed in Zing environments.

This issue appears with RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.1 and its integrated Intel Idle Driver. The Intel Idle Driver aims to improve power efficiency but can lead to system lockups when run on some recent Intel CPUs (some Nehalems and Westmeres have been reported to have problems). Note that this issue does not occur on all Nehalem and Westmere processors.

Solution:

To solve the issue, you can simply boot your system with the Intel idle driver disabled. To do so, modify your kernel boot parameters and add the argument "intel_idle.max_cstate=0" to the boot line. See Disabling the Intel Idle Driver for directions on RHEL, SUSE, and Ubuntu systems.


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