Taking the Wind Out of Oracle’s Sails
I don’t always read the sports pages. But lately, with the US Open, the Olympics win for Japan, and college football, how could I not?
And lo and behold — instead of a splashy ad on the front page of the paper, there was an article this week deep into the sports section — about Oracle.
It appears that the Oracle team in the America’s Cup competition was in the news — not for doing well — but for receiving penalties. The penalties, the harshest in America’s Cup history, were imposed for illegally modifying 45-foot catamarans.
One place where we would like to think that “illegal modifications” are also not tolerated is in benchmarking.
Oracle this week claimed performance and price performance leadership based on the Storage Performance Council SPC-2 benchmark. I’m sure that with this being an industry standard benchmark there were no modifications – but that doesn’t mean that there were not some difficulties with comparisons claimed. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 result was just released. The IBM and HP results they compare to are from 2012, a lifetime ago in the benchmarking world.
- The Oracle storage result used a 2-node cluster and 1.6x the physical capacity of the IBM DS8700 result.(1)
- A fit for purpose methodology is needed for these storage comparisons – are you running analytics or critical batch processing? Different workloads require different levels of nonfunctional requirements which translate into different types of storage.
- With storage, it’s essential to compare all the options, including many of the new flash offerings.
- What is the reliability and support for these storage devices? Instead of just price/performance, make sure you study the real TCO.
It matters whether you win or lose. But it also matters how you play the game.
(1) Results as of September 10, 2013, for more information go to http://www.storageperformance.org/results SPC-2. Results for Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 are 17,244.22 SPC-2 MBPS™, $22.53 SPC-2 Price-Performance. Full results are available at http://www.storageperformance.org/results/benchmark_results_spc2#b00067. Results for IBM DS8870 are 15,423.66 SPC-2 MBPS, $131.21 SPC-2 Price-Performance. Full results are available at http://www.storageperformance.org/results/benchmark_results_spc2#b00062. Results for HP P9500 XP Disk Array are 13,147.87 SPC-2 MBPS, $88.34 SPC-2 Price-Performance. Full results are available at http://www.storageperformance.org/results/benchmark_results_spc2#b00056
SPC Benchmark-1 and SPC Benchmark-2 are trademarks of the Storage Performance Council.
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