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Cisco Virtualization, the Price You Pay

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We were lucky enough recently to have two comparable Cisco SAP SD benchmark results published. The results used pretty much the same hardware, the same software, the same benchmark kit. The big difference was that one was virtualized and one was not.

The performance metric for this benchmark is the number of SAP benchmark users. For the regular configuration the number of users was 6530. The virtualized version was 1000 less.(1)

That’s a considerable difference when it comes to running your business.

Compare that to the legacy results of PowerVM performance on this very same benchmark. The results of both the virtualized and non-virtualized versions are essentially the same.(2)

Power Systems servers implement a virtualization architecture with components embedded in the hardware, firmware and operating system software. The capabilities of this integrated virtualization architecture are thus significantly different and in many areas more advanced.

Without paying the performance price.

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(1) SAP SD 2-tier Cisco UCS B200 M3, 2 processors / 16 cores / 32 threads, Intel Xeon Processor E5-2690, 2.90 GHz, 64 KB L1 cache and 256 KB L2 cache per core, 20 MB L3 cache per processor, 256 GB main memory; SAP SD benchmark users: 6,530 , Average dialog response time: 0.98 seconds, Throughput: Fully processed order line items/hour: 713,670, Dialog steps/hour: 2,141,000, SAPS: 35,680. Average database request time (dialog/update): 0.015 sec / 0.036 sec, CPU utilization: 99%, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3, Sybase ASE 15.7, SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0, Certification #2013001.
SAP SD 2-tier Cisco UCS B200 M3, 2 processors / 16 cores / 32 threads, Intel Xeon Processor E5-2690, 2.90 GHz, 64 KB L1 cache and 256 KB L2 cache per core, 20 MB L3 cache per processor, 256 GB main memory; 1 virtual machine (VM) using 32 virtual CPUs. CPU utilization of VM1 (DB/Dia/Upd/Msg/Enq): 97%, Number of SAP SD benchmark users: 5,530; Average dialog response time:0.96 seconds;Throughput: Fully processed order line items/hour: 605,330; Dialog steps/hour:1,816,000;SAPS:30,270; Average database request time (dialog/update):0.021 sec / 0.045 sec; CPU utilization of central server:97%; Operating system, central server:Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 on KVM; RDBMS: Sybase ASE 15.7; SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0; Certification #2013007.

(2) SAP SD 2-tier IBM Power 570, 2 processors /4 cores / 8 threads, POWER6, 4.7 GHz,Number of SAP SD benchmark users: 2035, users/core = 508.75; Average dialog response time: 1.99 seconds;Throughput:Fully Processed Order Line items/hour: 203,670;Dialog steps/hour: 611,000;SAPS: 10,180;Average DB request time (dia/upd): 0.011 sec / 0.015 sec;CPU utilization of central server: 99%;Operating System central server: AIX 5L Version 5.3;RDBMS: Oracle 10g;SAP ECC Release: 6.0;Certification #2007037.
SAP SD 2-tier IBM Power 570, 2 processors /4 cores / 8 threads using 2 virtual cpus, POWER6, 4.7GHz; Number of SAP SD benchmark users: 1020, users/core=510;Average dialog response time: 1.99 seconds;Throughput:Fully Processed Order Line items/hour: 102,000;Dialog steps/hour: 306,000;SAPS: 5,100;Average DB request time (dia/upd): 0.005 sec / 0.009 sec;CPU utilization of central server: 50%;CPU utilization inside virtual machine: 99%;Operating System central server: AIX 6.1 on IBM Power VM (using 2 virtual CPUs);RDBMS: DB2 9.5;SAP ECC Release: 6.0; Certification #2008080

http://www.sap.com. Results current as of 3/20/13.

The postings on this site solely reflect the personal views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of IBM or IBM management.

SAP and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Written by benchmarkingblog

March 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Posted in Cisco, SAP

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