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Moonshot vs. Metrics

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Some of you may know that last week I was on some college visits. I love this time of info sessions, tours, cafeterias, classrooms, and dorms. I even got to stay in a real dorm one night. Funny, it was not any dorm I had ever been in, not at a college that I had ever been at, and not even a section of a city I had ever been to – but the cooking smells brought me right back to senior year.

Anyway, one thing I’ve noticed with these visits is how important statistics are. At first I was so tired of asking/hearing the same questions on metrics. I mean, isn’t it the feel of the campus that matters? But I found that the really key questions are ones like these: What percent of freshmen live in dorms, what is the student to professor ratio, what is the placement rate 6 months after graduation in the field of study? The answers to these questions which are backed by real data really matter because in the end that’s what the big bucks are paying for.

I’ve been feeling that way this week as I look at some of the latest IT news. I see Moonshot claims, backed by “internal HP engineering.” I see Fujitsu M10 and Oracle faster performance claims that don’t even go that far. If I don’t have any data maybe if I don’t include a footnote nobody will notice.

Meanwhile, IBM this week published a new #1 SAP Sales and Distribution 3-tier benchmark result. 266K users, over 1.4M SAPS, over 29M line items per hour, over 88M dialog steps per hour, on the POWER7+ IBM Power 780 with DB2 10.5.(1) With more metrics available than you probably even want to know about.

I hope HP’s alternative thinking with Moonshot was referring to the United States Apollo program — and not the abortive Soviet moonshot or the defunct beer with caffeine.

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(1)IBM Power 780 three-tier SAP SD standard application benchmark on SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0 achieved 266,000 SAP SD benchmark users. Configuration: 8 processors / 64 cores / 256 threads, POWER7+ 3.72 GHz, 512 GB memory, running AIX 7.1, DB2® 10.5; dialog resp.: 0.84s, line items/hour: 29,433,670, dialog steps/hour: 88,301,000, SAPS: 1,471,680, DB time (dialog/ update): .036s/.061s, DB CPU utilization: 97%, average application server CPU utilization: 88%. Certification #2013010.
Source: http://www.sap.com. Results current as of 4/10/13.

SAP, mySAP and other SAP product and service names mentioned herein as well as their respective
logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries all
over the world.

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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Written by benchmarkingblog

April 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Posted in POWER7, SAP

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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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Written by benchmarkingblog

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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Written by benchmarkingblog

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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Written by benchmarkingblog

October 3, 2012 at 12:16 am

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

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Click Here for 10 Million: IBM vs. Exadata Redux

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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.

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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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Written by benchmarkingblog

May 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

Posted in Exadata, Oracle, POWER7

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Dear Performance Advisor Sergio in Austin

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Dear Elisabeth:

I had an experience that I would like to share with your readers.

The other day I had a check engine light show up in my car. To anyone else, this might be a non-issue, I always dread those lights. We all have our limitations, and mine is the inability to resolve any car problem besides an empty fuel tank.

The good news is that after taking my car to the mechanic, the only issue was a loose gas cap that was quickly resolved without charge.

The bad news was that it took a day of inconvenience to find out something that would have been simple to resolve if I had a mechanic as a neighbor.

Although I don’t know anything about working with cars, I do happen to work with a group of IBM experts in Power system performance.

They have recently put together a set of advisors that will monitor current running performance of a live Power system with low overhead.  After monitoring, the advisors will provide a clear understanding of how the system is performing, and provide some expert advice on first places to look for improvements.

Essentially, we have found a way to move a whole team of experts into everyone’s data center.

There are currently 3 advisors that can be downloaded for free from the IBM developerWorks website:

Sergio in Austin

Dear Sergio in Austin:
Thanks so much for your letter. So much better than the column last week entitled “Bride wants to keep friend’s lecherous husband off guest list.” (Yes, this is a real one.) Very exciting news about these wonderful performance tools.  Readers, if you have any questions about them, feel free to send a letter to padvisor@us.ibm.com.  Enjoy.

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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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Written by benchmarkingblog

February 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Cisco/Oracle Super Saturday TPC-C

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So now they’re trying to put another one over on us. “Super Saturday” for retailers, where you shop till you drop the Saturday before Christmas, has been officially moved to tomorrow, one week early. To give us more sales and more time to shop until we drop. I’m just getting tired of being told that I should shop on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday, or any other time. It’s sort of like the greeting card companies saying let’s make a new holiday to celebrate your dog.

And that’s how I’m feeling lately being told about the latest Oracle and Cisco benchmark claims on the newest TPC-C OLTP benchmark result. Here are the 3 things you need to know:

  • The Benchmark: Oracle didn’t even run this benchmark. And they didn’t even run it on their own hardware.
  • The Performance: Note the special pricey Violin memory arrays that Cisco/Oracle used. And even an IBM result from over a year and a half ago on this benchmark is 70% better performance per core than this result.(1)
  • The Pricing: Cisco and Oracle both take advantage of Super Saturday pricing methods in these results. Cisco shows a 57% “large purchase discount” for hardware. Pricing for Oracle 11g is for the limited standard edition. And very minimal support is included.

I know that both American Greetings and my black lab would really like that idea for the new holiday to celebrate your dog. I already bought my lab a large braided rawhide with red and green bows. So you know they have me.

Happy Holidays!

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(1) An 8-core IBM Power 780 (2 chips, 32 threads) with IBM DB2 9.5 is the best 8-core system (1,200,011 tpmC, $.69/tpmC, configuration available 10/13/10) vs. Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Standard Edition One and Oracle Linux on Cisco UCS c250 M2 Extended-Memory Server, 1,053,100 tpmC, $0.58/tpmC, available 12/7/2011.
Source: http://www.tpc.org. Results current as of 12/16/11.
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.

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Written by benchmarkingblog

December 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

Posted in Cisco, Oracle, POWER7, TPC-C

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