benchmarkingblog

Benchmarking and Systems Performance

Archive for the ‘Oracle’ Category

Notes from Oracle, Chapter 3 in the Series

leave a comment »

Once again, I received a marketing email from Oracle this morning. And once again, hoping that it contained exciting new data on the T5, I was sadly disappointed.

  • I can not fathom why they continue to address the email to a bizarre truncation of my first name. I continue to question my confidence in a company that specializes in data.
  • The note stated “According to our records, you have older SPARC systems.” I should really check in my garage. Again, ironic for a company that wants clients to use them for data and record keeping.
  • The email links to a new video. From April.
  • The video claims a humongous performance improvement with SPARC T4. When you watch the video, it’s actually merely a comparison from Oracle’s very own baby M3000s consolidated to T4’s. So I would definitely expect even more than humongous.

I’ve gotten some notes and tweets about how amusing these “Notes from Oracle” are. And we all could certainly use a laugh these days. So please, Mr. Oracle Business Development Manager, keep those cards and letters coming.

************************************************

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.

technorati tags: , , ,,,,,,,,,,,,

Written by benchmarkingblog

September 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Posted in M3000, Oracle, SPARC T4

Tagged with ,

Oracle’s Historical Fiction

leave a comment »

I love reading historical fiction. It’s somewhat like the real thing, but not quite. And definitely more exciting.

This morning I received another email from Oracle that reminded me of just that.

  • The note was once again addressed to “Elis”. I can not fathom why they continue to truncate my first name to only four letters. Doesn’t give me much confidence in a software company that specializes in data.
  • The note contained a quote from an unnamed “Infrastructure Architect” from an anonymous “Major Credit Card” company on Oracle/Sun benefits. I’m thinking that just maybe that architect didn’t really want to be known throughout history for that one.
  • The note stated “Our records show that you have older SPARC systems.” How funny, maybe they’re in my basement hidden behind the washing machine. Again, a data company that surely got that historical data wrong.
  • The note links to an independent report on customer perspectives. The report is from May. May 2011. A lifetime ago in the IT world.
  • The independent report is full of various quotes, all from anonymous people at anonymous companies.
  • This independent report is written by a company called ORC. Hmmm, have I seen those letters somewhere before?

************************************************

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.

technorati tags: , , ,,,,,,,,,,,

,

Written by benchmarkingblog

August 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

Posted in Oracle, SPARC T4

Tagged with ,

You’ve Got Mail, Weird Mail from Oracle

leave a comment »

This morning I received an email from Oracle. Not surprising since I signed up to get some of their communications a few years ago. What surprised me is what the email contained.

  • First of all, the email was addressed to “Elis”. Now I have gone by many nicknames in my past, but never “Elis”. I can only guess that for some reason Oracle’s programs can not handle the 9 characters in my first name and truncate to 4. Doesn’t give me much confidence in a software company that specializes in data.
  • The second part of the email to catch my eye was the picture displayed in the center. Not a cool logo, not a detailed shot of the hardware, but a picture of Larry talking.
  • Finally, and here is the clincher, the email focused on an announcement of a new system. At first I got all excited, what could this one possibly be. And then I read the details. The announcement cited in the letter dated today was actually from back in September 2011, almost 1 full year ago. And I have to ask, is that the best you can do Oracle, is there not anything else more recent than almost a year ago worth having me look at?

 

After I read the note, I decided not to delete it because I enjoyed it so much. And I had to ask myself — Was this even a true communication from Oracle or someone spamming a little fun here?

************************************************

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.

technorati tags: , , ,,,,,,,,,

,,,

Written by benchmarkingblog

July 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Posted in announcement, Oracle, SPARC T4

Tagged with

Oracle, The Dates They are A-Changin´

with one comment

One of the great things about using industry standard benchmarks for performance evaluation is that you can trust the data. It is run according to benchmark kits developed by a committee. It is audited. It produces data and the results don’t change.

Except when they do.

One of the very useful pieces of data that is part of a TPC benchmark result, in addition to performance and price performance, is the availability date. This is the date for which all components, hardware and software are available for purchase. There are TPC rules around this: “The Committed delivery date for general availability (availability date) of products used in the price calculations must be reported. The Availability Date must be reported on the first page of the Executive Summary and with a precision of one day. When the priced system includes products with different availability dates, the reported availability date for the priced system must be the date at which all Components are committed to be Generally Available. Each Component used in the Priced Configuration is considered to be Available on the Availability Date unless an earlier date is specified.”

As a consumer of industry standard benchmarks, we trust that the vendor has made extensive and detailed plans to meet this date and that we can use this date in our own systems planning.

It is not very common to change this date after the result is published. It is not very common to change this date on the exact date that the system is supposed to become available. Oracle just did both — yesterday they delayed the system availability date on a TPC-C Sun Fire X4800 result.(1) If you take a look at the Full Disclosure Report you can see that the components that aren’t ready are no small extraneous part of the configuration — they’re huge DIMMs, memory modules.

I’m going to take a wild guess that these components that are not yet available are very much needed to produce this benchmark result.

************************************************

(1)Oracle Sun Fire X4800 M2 server (8 chips/80 cores/160 threads) – 5,055,888 tpmC, US$.89/tpmC, available 7/10/12.
Source: http://www.tpc.org. Result current as of 6/27/12.
TPC-C ,TPC-H, and TPC-E are trademarks of the Transaction Performance Processing Council (TPPC).
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.

technorati tags: , , ,,,,,,,,,,,,

Written by benchmarkingblog

June 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

Posted in Oracle, TPC-C

Tagged with , ,

What’s Really Behind an Oracle “World Record” ?

leave a comment »

It’s so sweet. Oracle is really trying.

They realize how important it is to have industry standard benchmark proof points. They realize that these proof points should use important workloads. Like SAP.

But that’s where it ends.

In Oracle’s latest press release, they claim a “world record” on the SAP for Utilities Standard Application Benchmark. Here’s what you need to know:

  • This Utilities benchmark is brand spanking new; the predecessor for this benchmark is the SAP Customer Care and Service benchmark, which was retired in January. What’s interesting is that there hasn’t been a result published on this benchmark for almost 10 years. Yes, you heard it, 10 years. Some might question the relevancy here.
  • For the Utilities benchmark that Oracle just published on, some might say that Oracle indeed has a world record. When you are the only one publishing, it’s extremely easy to do this.
  • This benchmark result is announced by Oracle. But it’s not even run on an Oracle system. It’s not run on SPARC. It’s not run on Exadata. It’s on Fujitsu Xeon hardware. Another case of a lack of proof points on the hardware that Oracle is touting.

Is Oracle really trying?

************************************************

Results as of June 6, 2012. Source: http://www.sap.com/benchmark
The SAP for Utilities standard application benchmark: 2-node Fujitsu Primergy RX300 S6, each with two six-Core Intel Xeon X5690 processors, 3.46 GHz, Oracle Database 11g Release 2 with Oracle Real Application Clusters on Linux, 590,035 fully business processed assembly orders per hour. Certification #2012024. The SAP for Utilities standard application benchmark: single-node Fujitsu Primergy RX300 S6, with two six-Core Intel Xeon X5690 processors, 3.46 GHz, Oracle Database 11g Release 2 with Oracle Real Application Clusters on Linux, 298,644 fully business processed assembly orders per hour. Certification #2012025.

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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.

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.

technorati tags: , , , , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

,,,

Written by benchmarkingblog

June 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Fujitsu, Oracle, SAP

Tagged with , ,

Click Here for 10 Million: IBM vs. Exadata Redux

with 4 comments

For a few minutes this morning I thought that I might win 10 million dollars. I had already envisioned inviting Larry Ellison for tea at my second home in the Cayman Islands. I had already reveled in the joy that these funds would bring to the non-profits I support.

And then I read the contest rules.

Oracle is once again sponsoring a contest that is advertised on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. A contest where Oracle claims that if an Exadata Data Warehouse system is not “5x faster” than a Power 795 Data Warehouse system, you win 10 million. Let’s take a look at the official rules to help you decide if you should enter:

  • The contest rules state that “The Data Warehouse must be limited in speed only by database performance and not by application performance.” Realistic, right?
  • Oracle, the “sponsor will select the queries for measurement.” Hmmmmm. Let’s select a couple out of a billion where we know we can win.
  • If the Oracle system does not perform as well as Oracle thinks it should when you run it and there is a chance you might win the 10 million, Oracle runs your application again. Themselves. Just to make sure. Maybe with some extra caching on the side?
  • “Sponsor disclaims any liability for damage to any computer system or other property resulting, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from participation in, or accessing or downloading information in connection with, this Challenge” If IBM wins, we’ll just blow it up.
  • A participant in this contest “acknowledges, understands and agrees that Sponsor will have the unrestricted perpetual right to use, not use, alter, edit, publish, display, and/or post entrant’s entry and information . . .” Interesting that the word alter is in here . . .
  • Oracle makes sure there is an easy out. “If no eligible entry is received that meets the above criteria, no prize will be awarded.” The contest rules also state that the “Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant.”

Once again, this contest distracts the potential contestant from real-world issues such as balanced application performance, real benchmark numbers, software licensing costs, and RAS. I certainly wouldn’t put my money on a winner.

************************************************

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.

technorati tags: , , , , ,,,,,,,

,,,,,,,,

Written by benchmarkingblog

May 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

Posted in Exadata, Oracle, POWER7

Tagged with

Law & Order: Special Benchmarks Unit

leave a comment »

Long ago my dream was to become a math teacher. Or a doctor. Or a computer programmer, whatever that was. But never, never, never a lawyer.

So it’s very interesting that I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the law.

Maybe it’s the Trayvon Martin shooting case. Maybe it’s the sensational John Edwards trial. Maybe it’s the Tyler Clementi surprise verdict. Or maybe it’s just the latest John Grisham book I just finished.

In any case I’ve been thinking a lot about the law. A lot about the law . . . and benchmarks.

  • Like how important it is to read the fine print legal disclaimers so you know exactly what is tuned and what is measured. Some vendors may not perform a valid comparison when comparing systems. I saw a presentation recently that stated “Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors.” Very interesting.
  • Like how important it is to peruse all the court documents. Hard to believe but some vendors allegedly hide server product plans from clients for financial gain.
  • Like how important it is to understand legal clauses containing prohibitions on running certain benchmarks. Some hardware/software vendors expressly prohibit others from publishing benchmarks with their software using severe license restrictions around performance evaluations. Could the software possibly run better on other hardware? And the question becomes “What are they trying to hide?” In fact, years ago a New York Supreme Court ruling barred this practice. “Such clauses censoring speech and criticism chill not only consumers’ speech, but also prevent academics, consumer advocates, and technology experts alike from openly and freely discussing software products,” said then New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer — who ironically faced his own legal circus years later.

So if I had gone to law school I might have a better handle on these legal intricacies with benchmarks. But then I probably wouldn’t know how to program or how to be an IT Specialist. You just never know. I recently read an article in the newspaper about a lawyer who just left the legal profession. He wanted to make more of a difference and found that he really loved his new profession. His new job was in a school. Teaching. 6th grade. Math.

************************************************

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.

technorati tags: , , , , ,,,,,,,,,

,,,,,,

Written by benchmarkingblog

May 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Posted in HP, Intel, Oracle

Tagged with , ,

Is Oracle Fleecing You?

with one comment

A couple of days ago, I bought a new fleece hiking jacket. In small, in black, on sale. With a hood. Made by a high end manufacturer whose name evokes a part of a mountain. The plush is luxuriously thick, the zipper hardware is incredible, and the tailoring just feels so right. I had tried on other jackets that just did not stack up. There was no comparison, apples and oranges, from different planets. And that reminded me once again of how some performance comparisons are made.

This week, Oracle claimed x86 “world-record” performance with the Sun Fire X4800 M2 on industry standard Java middleware and transactional database benchmarks. They compared their results to results from IBM. Here’s what you need to know:

For the Java SPECjEnterprise2010 benchmark, Oracle needed more cores in both the application server and the database server. Oracle used over 4x the storage disks and over 7x the cache that was used in the IBM result. Oracle conveniently cites price/performance (which isn’t even a metric in this benchmark) for the application tier only. The picture would probably look very different if they included the important database tier (with all those costly Oracle licenses). Oracle compares their brand new result with an IBM result from over a year ago.(1) Maybe it’s time for a new . . .

For the transactional TPC-C benchmark, when you analyze the comparison correctly, the IBM result is actually 19% better performance per core than the Oracle result. The IBM configuration has been available for months, the Oracle configuration is not even available. And the Oracle result is 1.5x more expensive.(2)

When I got to the checkout line with my perfect fleece jacket, they told me that the store was having a special one day sale, another 20% off. I got myself superior performance and price/performance — and you can’t get much better than that.

************************************************

(1) WebSphere Application Server V7 on IBM Power 780 and DB2 on IBM Power 750 Express, (64 core app server, 32 core db server), 16,646.34 SPECjEnterprise2010 EjOPS vs. Oracle WebLogic Server 12c and Oracle Database 11g Release 2 with Oracle Linux running on a Sun Fire X4800 M2 server(5U) with eight Intel Xeon E7-8870 2.4 GHz processors, (80 cores, 8 chips, 10 cores/chip, 2 threads/core) 27,150.05 SPECjEnterprise2010 EjOPS.
(2) IBM System x3850 X5 (4 chips/40 cores/80 threads) – 3,014,684 tpmC, US$.59/tpmC, available 09/22/11 vs. Oracle Sun Fire X4800 M2 server (8 chips/80 cores/160 threads) – 5,055,888 tpmC, US$.89/tpmC, available 06/26/12.
Sources: http://www.tpc.org, http://www.spec.org. Results current as of 3/30/12.
TPC-C ,TPC-H, and TPC-E are trademarks of the Transaction Performance Processing Council (TPPC).
SPEC, SPECint, SPECfp, SPECjbb, SPECweb, SPECjAppServer, SPECjEnterprise, SPECjvm, SPECvirt, SPECompM, SPECompL, SPECsfs, SPECpower, SPEC MPI and SPECpower_ssj are trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC).
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.

technorati tags: , , , , ,,,,,,,,,,,,

,,,,,,,,

Written by benchmarkingblog

March 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm

The Benchmark Games: Oracle’s New TPC-C

with 3 comments

How does a place like Manchester, New Hampshire become the epicenter of the world these days? The big P, politics.

I think that many of us are getting tired of the circus. Lately, I don’t really care about what Mitt did to Ron, Rick’s strategy, or all the attacks on Newt. I only truly care about what the candidates stand for and what kind of leaders they would be.

Sometimes the political arena even reminds me of The Hunger Games. A deadly reality show driven by appearances, theatrics, and insane rules. Whether we’re talking about post-apocalyptic Panem or the world today, when we focus more on the game rather than what it means, that’s truly sad.

Oracle just published a new x86 TPC-C OLTP benchmark result, claiming a “world record.” And the mechanics of that claim are just plain sad.

Oracle compares their brand new benchmark result with an IBM Power result from 2007. Yes, 2007. And this very old Power result is still 1.68x the performance per core of the brand new Oracle result. Oracle also compares their new result with an IBM x3850 X5 result that is half the size of the configuration of the Oracle result — if you do the math the IBM result with DB2 is actually 1.25x greater performance per core than the Oracle result. Oracle forgets to mention anything about price performance here — probably because the Oracle result is over 1.6x more expensive than the IBM x86 result. And, if you can believe it, Oracle then proceeds to pick on a poor little HP system.(1)

How sad.

************************************************

(1) Oracle Sun Fire X4800 M2 server (8 chips/80 cores/160 threads) – 4,803,718 tpmC, US$.98/tpmC, available 06/26/12. IBM Power 570 server (8 chips/16 cores/32 threads) -1,616,162 tpmC, US$3.54 /tpmC, available 11/21/2007. IBM x3850 X5 (4 chips/40 cores/80 threads) – 3,014,684 tpmC, US$.59/tpmC, available 09/22/11. HP ProLiant DL580 G7 (4 chips/32 cores/64 threads), 1,807,347 tpmC, US$.49/tpmC, available 10/15/10. Results as of 1/17/12. Source: http://www.tpc.org .
TPC-C ,TPC-H, and TPC-E are trademarks of the Transaction Performance Processing Council (TPPC).

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.

technorati tags: , , , , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Written by benchmarkingblog

January 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Posted in Oracle, TPC-C

Tagged with , ,

I Want to Buy a Zoo, Not an Oracle System

with 5 comments

Most people don’t think about going to the zoo in the middle of winter. But it’s actually the very best time to go.

No crowds, the zebra fried oreo shacks are closed, and the animals are at their very best. And, after all, isn’t that what it’s really all about?

Last week, I had a spectacular visit. The polar bears were playing with dead Christmas trees, the seals and sea lions were playing with their rubber balls, and the grizzly cubs were playing with themselves.

And then there’s the Rainforest. Imagine stepping from a cold snowy Cleveland day into a zoological tropical paradise. Sort of like the feeling you get when the plane doors open, you get your carry-on from the overhead, and you step off in Miami. My rainforest favorites are the tropical monkeys, the river otters, and, of course, the anteaters. But alas, last week, the anteaters were still, lying on their sides, hiding behind a crop of rocks.

And that’s how I’ve been feeling lately about Oracle.

  • See what’s hiding behind the Oracle SPARC SuperCluster and Exadata systems. “Must buy” storage server software.
  • See what’s hiding behind that pricing in the Oracle benchmark. Artificially low support costs.
  • See what’s hiding behind Oracle’s “Itanium roadmap.” An investigation into Oracle’s “potentially abusive” practices.
  • What else do YOU think Oracle is hiding? All thoughts welcome.

    ************************************************

    Oracle SPARC T4-4 server (4 sockets/32 cores/256 threads) 205,792 QphH@3000GB, $4.10/QphH@3000GB, available 5/31/12.
    Source: http://www.tpc.org. Results current as of 1/11/12.
    TPC-C ,TPC-H, and TPC-E are trademarks of the Transaction Performance Processing Council (TPPC).

    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.

    technorati tags: , , , , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Written by benchmarkingblog

    January 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    %d bloggers like this: