SPARC T4 to the core
Yesterday I went apple picking in rural Ohio. That makes sense.
It’s not something that most people associate with California even though California is actually one of the top apple-producing states. But it works rather well for this SPARC analysis.
I usually love apple picking – with the doomed sun of autumn, the crunchy sweetness of the fruit, the dog wolfing down the cores. But there were certain aspects of my trip yesterday that were plainly unimpressive.
Sort of like the latest SPARC T4 benchmark results announced by Oracle today:
Oracle claimed nine T4 world records. 7 of the 9 are not industry standard benchmarks but Oracle’s own benchmarks, most based on internal testing. Sort of like when we called the orchard and they said that many varieties were available for picking. When we got there, only a few could really be picked. Where was that renowned low hanging fruit? Some Oracle claims compared the new T4 results with previous benchmark versions, never a good idea. Like encouraging your kids to climb on the fruit-bearing trees. Some results compared Oracle to Oracle. If you read carefully, some didn’t compare to anything. Oracle claimed a “generational increase in performance” over previous versions. Note that this claim (which has no published benchmarks behind it) focuses on single threaded applications – how many of those do you have? And you can easily get a 5x improvement when you start from a very very small seed. Oracle’s SPECjEnterprise2010 Java T4 benchmark result, which was highlighted, needed four times the number of app nodes, twice the number of cores, almost four times the amount of memory and significantly more storage than the IBM POWER7 result.(1) Oracle’s price performance and space metric claims (which are not even official benchmark metrics) were calculated only for the application tier of this benchmark, basically ignoring the all important database server, software and storage. Sort of like eating only the pulp of the apple and ignoring all the vitamins in the skin. Oracle’s T4 TPC-H 1TB BI benchmark result, another benchmark which was highlighted, actually had a longer load time than the IBM result from last year. Oracle’s storage use was ludicrous, like the number of apples my Labrador ended up eating; Oracle’s total storage needed to the database size ratio was 10.80 compared to the IBM value of 3.97. Oracle needed 128 streams of queries, IBM only 9. And make sure to note the extremely low and unrealistic Oracle maintenance costs used to get to the price performance number.(2)
The range and results of these benchmarks are ultimately disappointing. Instead of making a wonderful pie and apple rings last night, we swept up chips of dried orchard mud in the dark.
(1)Oracle WebLogic Server 11g and Oracle Database 11g Release 2 with Oracle Real Application Clusters and Oracle Solaris running on a four-node SPARC T4-4 cluster, each system with four SPARC T4 3GHz processors, (128 core app server, 64 core db server), 40,104.86 SPECjEnterprise2010 EjOPS vs. 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.
(2)SPARC T4-4 server (4 sockets/32 cores/256 threads) 201,487 QphH@1000GB, $4.60/QphH@1000GB, available 10/30/11. IBM POWER 780 Model 9179-MHB server (8 sockets/32 cores/128 threads) 164,747.2 QphH@1000GB, $6.85/QphH@1000GB, available 3/31/11.
Sources: http://www.spec.org, http://www.tpc.org. Results current as of 9/26/11.
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).
TPC-C ,TPC-H, and TPC-E are trademarks of the Transaction Performance Processing Council (TPPC).
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