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Elisabeth Stahl on Benchmarking and IT Optimization

Archive for the ‘announcement’ Category

More Super POWER8: The Long and Short (grain) of IT

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I know this may sound corny — but I was recently working on a project where I needed to find proverbs. Yes, you read that right, proverbs. Actually several proverbs to introduce several subjects.

At first I thought — this is really contrived, how will this help move the subject along. In fact, this idea really sucks. And then suddenly after spending a few days wading deep into the proverbial proverb sea, I came to realize the deep dark truth: I love proverbs.

Proverbs are short and sweet and speak to our inner feelings better than we could ever express ourselves.

One of my absolutely favorite proverbs is a simple one and I think of it pretty much all the time these days: Talk doesn’t cook rice.

I love this one because it is short and sweet and gets right to the point. Talk does not open the box of rice. Talk does not measure out the rice and the water. And talk certainly does not turn on the stove.

Talk is cheap. Many of us love to talk — at meetings, on the phone, about claims for new products. But is anything really getting cooked ? That’s where the rubber meets the road.

IBM today announced amazing new OpenPOWER based POWER8 systems and a portfolio of outstanding solutions.

Like the scale-out accelerated Linux Power S824L, the scale-up E870 and E880, the IBM Data Engine for Analytics, Power Enterprise Pools for cloud infrastructure. And not just with the talk but with real data, measured out and cooked.

  • As just one example, with the SAP Sales and Distribution benchmark, the new Power E870 POWER8 system was over 2.1x better performance per core than Dell’s x86 system with the brand new “Haswell” chip and over 2.7x better performance per core than the Oracle SPARC M6. (1)
  • See all the new benchmark data in the IBM Power Systems Performance Report. Includes outstanding SPEC CPU and Java results, CPW, and rPerf (now for multiple SMT values !)
  • The new Power E870 and Power E880 Systems support up to 1,000 VMs per system.
  • And the OpenPOWER Foundation now has 59 members – all working together to leverage the IBM POWER processor’s open architecture for broad industry innovation.

You may have seen other new announcements over the past few weeks from a variety of IT providers. But as you read through the claims that have a clear lack of data — you just may find the rice crunchy.

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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.

(1)IBM Power Enterprise System E870 on the two-tier SAP SD standard application benchmark running SAP enhancement package 5 for the SAP ERP 6.0 application; 8 processors / 80 cores / 640 threads, POWER8; 4.19GHz, 2048 GB memory, 79,750 SD benchmark users, running AIX® 7.1 and DB2® 10.5, dialog response: 0.97 seconds, order line items/hour:  8,722,000, dialog steps/hour: 26,166,000, SAPS: 436,100, Database response time (dialog/update): 0.013 sec / 0.026 sec, CPU utilization: 99%, Cert #2014034.  Result valid as of October 3, 2014. Source: http://www.sap.com/benchmark. vs. Dell PowerEdge R730, on the two-tier SAP SD standard application benchmark running SAP enhancement package 5 for the SAP ERP 6.0 application; 2 processors/36 cores/72 threads, Intel Xeon Processor E5-2699v3; 2.30 GHz, 256 GB memory; 16,500 SD benchmark users, running RHEL 7 and SAP ASE 16; Certification # 2014033.vs. Oracle SPARC Server M6-32 on the two-tier SAP SD standard application benchmark running SAP enhancement package 5 for the SAP ERP 6.0 application; 32 processors/384 cores/3072 threads, SPARC M6; 3.60 GHz, 16 TB memory; 140,000 SD benchmark users, running Solaris® 11 and Oracle 11g; Certification # 20014008. Source: http://www.sap.com/benchmark. Results current as of 10/3/14.

SAP and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

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)

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October 3, 2014 at 7:47 am

Posted in announcement, POWER8, SAP

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War and Peace with HP’s New Gen9

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I love my book club. We vote on what books to read and we always choose interesting and enlightening fiction and non-fiction. We always serve great food and drink. And, best of all, you don’t even have to read the book.

So I was really excited last month to hear about the book we would be reading. My good friend said she liked the book and the cover showed a woman in an olive grove. What could be better? Until I actually read the book and realized that there was nothing really that thrilling behind the cover.

And that’s exactly how I felt this week reading about HP’s newest announcement on their x86 HP ProLiant Gen9 servers. I mean, for goodness sake, we are at Gen9 — I’m sure we’ve come so far and there must be some thrilling new features and performance behind them.

But alas, once again, my excitement was thwarted by what I actually read.

There were 3 claims for these new systems:

  • Better TCO, optimization, and automation — but only comparing this new Gen9 to G6. I should hope there would be improvement.
  • Faster provisioning — The footnote says “Based on anonymous customer results” — hmmm. Plus the software isn’t even available yet for Gen9.
  • Improved performance — all it says is “equivalent controllers” in a “controlled environment.” — really hard to say what that means.

When I see claims like these with no real data all I can think is what real data looks like and how IBM Power Systems continue to surpass in performance.

And it reminds me that the olive grove book is no Pride and Prejudice.

At least HP tried to address performance — unlike Cisco, where it was totally ignored.

For next month we are reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez – so at least I will know to expect magic realism.

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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.

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August 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Posted in announcement, Cisco, HP

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It’s My POWER8 Party, Oracle

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There always has to be someone who tries to ruin the party.

In this case, Oracle recently published a blog entry claiming to address the POWER8 announcement. But funny. It didn’t really address the POWER8 announcement.

What it does try to do is scatter uncertainty about IBM. Here is what you need to know:

  • Oracle’s blog article doesn’t address POWER8 performance because of the simple fact that IBM has a wide portfolio of #1 benchmark results, including 6 new ones for POWER8 systems. (Note that two of those ironically happen to be using Oracle software.)
  • For their own hardware performance, Oracle states only that SPARC performance is increasing “with each release” — essentially uselessly comparing themselves with themselves.
  • Did Oracle happen to mention the awesome IBM POWER8 Open Server innovation? Of course not. And I wouldn’t want to bet my business based on Oracle’s claim of a “public roadmap” — a roadmap so basic it’s like trying to party in the dark without a flashlight.
  • As we know, hardware is behind everything that gets done in the world these days and “IBM will remain a leader in high-performance and high-end systems, storage and cognitive computing, and . . . continue to invest in R&D for advanced semiconductor technology.” See the IBM Annual Report for more.
  • With the trends in Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, and Social (CAMS) applications, there will be huge growth in the future in these focus areas — for hardware, software, and services — with positive implications for all of IBM, including Power Systems.
  • In terms of investment strategies, remember what the experts say: You must look not to the past but to the future. IBM continually shifts its portfolio of businesses, in line with its strategy to invest in higher-margin fields. Analysts have confirmed that IBM is making the right strategic moves, clearly investing in the future.

 

 

So get the party started . . . again.

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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.

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May 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Posted in announcement, POWER8

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Why IT Infrastructure Really Really Matters

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I went apple picking with the dog last weekend. The orchard was sodden with rain but the trees were heavy with beautiful fruit. I picked one, took a bite. My lab took many bites. The Melrose apple had beautiful red skin and lovely white fruit and was incredibly crisp.

But the taste was not so sweet. And certainly not as sweet as previous years. I later heard that this year, because of various aspects of the infrastructure (like temperature and rainfall in this case), none of the types of apples have been as sweet.

Infrastructure matters.

When we talk about things that really matter to us in our business – like availability of our systems, security of our business, performance of our applications – ultimately we are talking about satisfaction of our most important entity, our customers.

Analytics

What drives these nonfunctional requirements of our business ends up being our underlying infrastructure. So in the end, our IT infrastructure plays a critical role in our success.

Just like the proliferation of pumpkins lately, IBM has a slew of awesome announcements today that address this critical IT infrastructure. Power Systems and Smarter Storage, as well as PureSystems and other IBM technologies, bring together industry leading capabilities for the best enterprise-class infrastructure with virtualization and cloud technology including:

  • Enterprise-class systems: Leadership performance, resilience and resource sharing
  • Enterprise-class Virtualization and Cloud Management
  • Flexible, efficient workload deployment with Elastic Capacity on Demand (COD) and Power Integrated Facility for Linux (IFLs)
  • Power Enterprise Pool with Mobile COD delivers unprecedented availability, security, flexibility
  • Big Data and analytics focus: IBM BLU Acceleration Solution – Power Systems Edition.
  • Cloud storage and Storwize offerings for efficiency and value.

Analytics

Infrastructure was never so sweet.

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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.

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October 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm

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Life in the Fast Lane

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I recently wrote about a college visit — Big Data, Performance, and Coconut Smoothies might as well be titled Big Data at the Big Ten. And the ability to collect, measure, and analyze this massive flood of data for meaningful insights requires important non-functional IT requirements like reliability, availability, security, and of course performance.Smarter Computing

The IBM announcement of new products and offerings today leverages cloud to improve efficiency, focuses on data to deliver more actionable insight, and secures this critical data to protect and reduce risk. It’s Cloud Ready, Data Ready, Security Ready. And, of course, Performance Ready with:

  • New #1 Power Systems benchmarks for the new POWER7+ systems across a wide portfolio of applications including SAP, Java, and Technical Computing. Read about them here.
  • All the benchmarks and rPerf data in the performance report here.
  • Proof points like this one: The new 48-core IBM Power 760 with DB2 10 achieved the best 48-core two-tier SAP SD standard application benchmark result, surpassing the 80-core HP DL980. (1)
  • Performance details on the new POWER7+ systems including Power 730, Power 740, Power 750, Power 760, PowerLinux 7R2.
  • Leadership Storage performance including performance enhancements to IBM XIV. New caching algorithms increase performance compared to previous models up to 4.5 times for random and 5 times for sequential database workloads.

One thing that struck me on this college visit (besides how young everyone looks) is how college truly is an exciting new beginning. Everything is shining, brand spanking new. But this doesn’t only have to happen in college. There are frequently new beginnings throughout life.

Years ago, when social media was a relatively new concept for many of us, my manager at the time (who was always a source of exciting, new, and crazy ideas) “suggested” that I consider writing something called a blog. A downright scary idea, I implemented it anyway.

This week, this esteemed manager, colleague, mentor, associate is retiring after a very successful career of exciting ideas. To start a new beginning in the fast lane. And I will miss his inspiration. And his crazy ideas. Like a blog.

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(1)The 48-core IBM Power 760 (3.41 GHz) achieved the best 48-core two-tier SAP SD standard application benchmark result running SAP enhancement package 5 for the SAP ERP 6.0 application; 8 processors / 48 cores / 192 threads, POWER7+, 1024 GB memory, 25,488 SD benchmark users, running AIX® 7.1 and DB2® 10, dialog resp.: 0.99s, line items/hour: 2,784,330, Dialog steps/hour: 8,353,000 SAPS: 139,220, DB time (dialog/ update): .009s/.015s, CPU utilization: 99%, Certification #2013004. vs. HP DL980 G7, Xeon, SQL Server 2008, 25,160 users, 8 processors/80 cores/160 threads, SAP enhancement package 4 for SAP ERP 6.0, Certification # 2011021. http://www.sap.com. Results current as of 2/5/13.

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.

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.

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February 5, 2013 at 12:24 am

A Tale of IBM Great Expectations

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .”

Let’s look at the worst first.

Last week HP announced new Itanium servers. But don’t get too excited. Were there industry standard benchmarks announced in the press release? — No, just “internal lab testing.”

Last week I was meeting with some IT Analysts. They told me how disappointed they were with a certain vendor. “We’ll probably never see an Exadata benchmark.”

Now for the best.

Yesterday IBM once again was a leader in the TOP500 list of supercomputers with:

  • Most systems in TOP500 with 193. HP had 148. Oracle had 6.
  • Most installed aggregate throughput with over 66.2 out of 162 Petaflops. IBM has had this lead for an amazing 27 lists in a row.
  • Most in TOP 10 with 6.
  • Fastest Intel based system.
  • 26 of 30 most energy-efficient systems.

And today, IBM announced new Flex technologies for IBM PureSystems, including POWER7+ compute nodes. And there were benchmarks. Amazing benchmarks, including the IBM PureSystems #1 result on the SAP SD 2-tier 16-core benchmark. (1)

“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.”

“It was the age of wisdom . . . we had everything before us . . .”

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(1) IBM Flex System p260 Compute Node, 2 processors / 16 cores / 64 threads, IBM POWER7+, 4.10 GHz, 32 KB (I) and 32 KB (D) L1 cache and 256 KB L2 cache per core, 10 MB L3 cache per core, 256 GB main memory. Number of SAP SD benchmark users: 10,000, Average dialog response time: 0.97 seconds, Fully processed order line items/hour: 1,094,000, Dialog steps/hour: 3,282,000, SAPS:54,700, Average database request time (dialog/update):0.010 sec / 0.017 sec, CPU utilization of central server:99%, Operating system, central server:AIX 7.1, RDBMS:DB2 10, SAP Business Suite software:SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0, Certification number: 2012035; http://www.sap.com.

Results current as of 11/13/12.

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.

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.

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November 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

Cloud and Data and Security, Oh My

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Cloud Ready. Data Ready. Security Ready. With outstanding performance.

Important themes for the Smarter Computing announcements today.

The new offerings include:
1) the most powerful enterprise Power Systems to date, POWER7+ systems,
2) a new high-end disk storage system, the DS8870, and
3) key software for the IBM zEnterprise EC12.

These new technologies are designed to help organizations improve security, take advantage of cloud computing, and manage and analyze the vast amounts of big data in our world today.

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(1) ) Storage Performance Council, “SPC Benchmark 2™ Full Disclosure Report IBM Corporation, IBM System Storage DS8870,” October 2012. Source: http://www.storageperformance.org/results/benchmark_results_spc2. SPC Benchmark-1 and SPC Benchmark-2 are trademarks of the Storage Performance Council.

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.

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October 3, 2012 at 12:16 am

Posted in announcement, Cloud, POWER7, SAP, Smarter, SPC, SPEC, zEnterprise

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