Oracle’s SPARC T5 and M5 Benchmarks: Lather, Rinse, Repeat
I think I’ve said this before but one of my most absolute favorite movies is Groundhog Day. (Attention: spoiler is coming but since the fricking movie is from 1993 and most of us were old even way back then, I don’t think I will be ruining it for anyone.) Groundhog Day is an American comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell (who by the way I’ve been told that I sort of look like which is really cool since she does L’Oréal ads). In the film an arrogant and egocentric TV weatherman, covering the annual Groundhog Day event, finds himself repeating the same day again and again.
The phrase “Groundhog Day” now has entered common lexicon as a reference to an unpleasant situation that continually repeats, or seems to.
And I would say that is exactly what we have with Oracle’s new SPARC T5 and M5 benchmarks.
Just as with every Oracle processor announcement, the benchmark results do the same thing. Many of the claims are Oracle’s own benchmarks that are not published and audited. There are a small number of industry standard benchmarks — and of course these are ones where it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to compare to other relevant results. For price claims, Oracle, as they’ve done in the past, only factors in the price of the pizza box – make sure you add in the all-important software and storage.
Let’s take a look at the T5 and M5 benchmark results:
SAP: The IBM POWER7+ with DB2 10 SAP SD 2-tier result from back in September was 1.3x greater per core than the M5 and 1.9x greater than the T5 result.(1) The IBM average database request time was also much better and the CPU utilization of the IBM system was also more effective. TPC-C: An IBM POWER6 result from 2008, 2 generations ago, is 42% higher per core than the new T5 result on this OLTP benchmark. An IBM POWER7 result from 2010, 1 generation ago, is 2.2x better performance per core than the Oracle result. (2) The price for all Oracle database software support used in computing the price/performance for this benchmark is $2300/year – I can only guess what you get for that. Also note that this benchmark used Oracle Partitioning which may not be realistic for your real world workloads. The Oracle database software is not even available until September. SPECjEnterprise2010: Oracle’s T5 result needed four times the number of database cores, four times the amount of memory and significantly more storage than the IBM POWER7 result. (3) SPECjbb2013: For Java business, let’s run a benchmark that can only be compared with a couple of ProLiants, one of our old T4s, and a Supermicro. (4) SPECcpu: IBM Power Systems is #1 – don’t forget to look at number of cores for integer and floating point claims. TPC-H: Ha, got you. There is no TPC-H. Funny, was expecting one based on what we saw for the T4. I wonder why . . . The other benchmark claims? These are once again ones that either are Oracle’s own benchmarks or ones nobody cares about because they don’t look like anything we actually run. Chance of departure from useful benchmark results: 100%.
Don’t let these claims distract from asking about the business value delivered by these systems.
I wake up every day, right here, right in Cleveland, and it’s always snowing, and there’s nothing I can do about it. “Winter, slumbering in the open air, wears on its smiling face a dream… of spring.”
(1)IBM Power 780 (3.72 GHz) two-tier SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark result (SAP enhancement package 5 for the SAP ERP 6.0 application: 12 processors / 96 cores / 384 threads, POWER7+, 1536 GB memory, 57,024 SD benchmark users, running AIX® 7.1 and DB2® 10, dialog resp.: 0.98s, line items/hour: 6,234,330, Dialog steps/hour: 18,703,000, SAPS: 311,720, DB time (dialog/ update): 0.009s / 0.014s, CPU utilization: 99%, Certification #2012033
Oracle SPARC Server M5-32 SAP SD 2-tier result of 85,050 users, Average dialog response time: 0.80 seconds, Fully processed order line items per hour: 9,452,000,Dialog steps per hour: 28,356,000,SAPS: 472,600,Average database request time (dialog/update): 0.018 sec / 0.044 sec,CPU utilization of central server: 82%,Operating system, central server: Solaris 11,RDBMS: Oracle 11g,SAP Business Suite software: SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0,32 processors / 192 cores / 1536 threads,SPARC M5, 3.60 GHz, 16 KB (D) and 16 KB (I) L1 cache and128 KB L2 cache per core, 48 MB L3 cache per processor,4096 GB main memory,Certification #2013009
Oracle SPARC Server T5-8 SAP SD 2-tier result of 40,000 users,Average dialog response time: 0.86 seconds,Fully processed order line items per hour: 4,419,000,Dialog steps per hour: 13,257,000,SAPS: 220,950,Average database request time (dialog/update): 0.049 sec / 0.131 sec,CPU utilization of central server: 88%, Operating system, central server: Solaris 11,RDBMS: Oracle 11g,SAP Business Suite software: SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0, 8 processors / 128 cores / 1024 threads,SPARC T5, 3.60 GHz, 16 KB (D) and 16 KB (I) L1 cache and 128 KB L2 cache per core, 8 MB L3 cache per processor,2048 GB main memory,Certification #2013008.
(2) IBM Power 780 (2 chips, 8 cores, 32 threads) with IBM DB2 9.5 (1,200,011 tpmC, $.69/tpmC, configuration available 10/13/10); IBM Power 595 (5 GHz, 32 chips, 64 cores, 128 threads) with IBM DB2 9.5 (6,085,166 tpmC, $2.81/tpmC, configuration available 12/10/08); vs. Oracle SPARC T5-8 (8 chips, 128 cores, 1024 threads – 8,552,523 tpmC, $.55/tpmC, configuration available 9/25/13).
(3) 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. SPARC T5-8 server (SPARC T5-8 server base package, 8x SPARC T5 16-core processors, 128x16GB-1066 DIMMS, 2x600GB 10K RPM 2.5” SAS-2 HDD result of SPARC T5-8, 57,422.17 SPECjEnterprise2010 EjOPS.
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