back to article TPC slaps Oracle on benchmark claims

Oracle let its marketing mouth get ahead of its brain with the Exadata 2 cluster system. Today, the Transaction Processing Council, which administers the TPC family of transaction and data warehouse processing benchmarks, slapped Oracle with a fine and a muzzle order relating to claims it has been making in advertisements about …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    TPC-C's a joke... Stop using it!

    Oh, and by the way, did anyone else notice that Oracle quietly lowered the per-core licensing for T2+ CPU's from .75 to .50? See here:

  2. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Dear, dear Larry...

    Just get that sorted for you...

    "Larry once again, let his mouth get ahead of his brain."

  3. Matt Berg

    $10,000 ...

    Hardly a fine that will make an impact. Then again, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

  4. Fenton

    Still expensive though

    Given that on a per socket basis, x86 will still outperform it with fewer cores

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Oracle gets free publicity

    Compared to the cost of running the Wallstreet Journal AD ( Sun + Oracle will beat IBM on TPC-C), a $10K fine is peanuts, especially to the #4 most wealthiest man in the world.

    And clearly, the licensing changes on UltraSPARC T2+ is just the first shot across the bow..

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Larry does not care

    Larry laughs at a $10K vs. the cost to run a front page ad.

    October 14th should be interesting:

    10 T5440's has 320 cores * .5 license factor = 160 Oracle licenses. of course you have to pay maintenance fee's forever on those.

    Don't be fooled by 3 year term licenses

    It's all about Oracle profit and their pricing scheme reflects it:

    Q. So why is the T2 still .75?

    A. Screw the install base

    Q. Why is SPARC64 still .75?

    A. Screw Fujitsu

    Q. Will Oracle turn into an appliance company?

    A. Doubtful, they "sold" 25 exadata V1 last year and killed it for a new version this year.

    From Sun's website

    Q: Will there be new versions of the HP Oracle Exadata Storage Server or HP Oracle Database Machine based on the G6 version from HP?

    A: "No, there will be no new hardware based on the newer HP server versions. However, the software on the existing systems can be upgraded to Oracle Database 11gR2 and the new version of the Exadata Storage Server Software. There are many new features in these two pieces of software that make this upgrade valuable to do."

    Q: Will I be able to connect a Full Rack HP Oracle Database Machine with a Half Rack Sun Oracle Database Machine?

    A: "No."

    Q: Will Oracle continue to accept orders for the HP Oracle Database Machine?

    A: "We have some refurbished systems available for sale for those customers that would prefer to add additional HP hardware to their current configuration."

    Cheers from the UK

  7. Anonymous Coward

    and still no oracle11 for solarix x86 ?

    nuff said.....

  8. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Surprised? Really!?!

    There's lies, damned lies and then there's marketing. Larry got a tiny tap on the wrist which was probably cost less than a month's costs for his MiG.

    The real damage for Larry is that the competition will be reminding customers of Larry's "little lies" whenever they come up against the new Soreacle kit. Larry certainly needs to go on a marketing offensive seeing as Oracle has virtually zero hardware experience, but being caught out lying is not the way to build customer trust

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    "I don't expect it today. But by bringing this up, maybe Oracle and Sun (and HP, who has complained about this to me for years) can encourage the TPC to take a hard look at what IBM is doing, too. Or, at the very least, get Big Blue to explain how one machine seems to do a lot more work than the other. I personally don't believe that the DB2 on the i platform is that much worse than the DB2 for Unix boxes. ®"

    You haven't done too much development eh? It only takes 1 bad programmer to kill performance. I bet most of them system i folks are a bunch 50 year olds who are just glad to have a job, and they're coasting to retirement. If no one is measuring their perf, then no one will realize that it is crap.

  10. Jesper Frimann
    Big Brother

    RE:Oracle gets free publicity

    Well, to the untrained eye. But if you read this article the number of machines needed to get double figures in the TPC-C benchmark, have more or less doubled. Now it's 16 (2 Racks) from One rack in the original Oracle commercial. So yea Oracle might have slashed the license multiplier, but it is still hugely expensive.

    16 machines x 4 sockets x 8 cores x 0,5 license/core=256 licenses.

    at what.. 82KUSD a piece ? that is 21 MUSD just in licenses..... which gives you 0 more value.

    // Jesper

  11. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    RE: perf

    "......I bet most of them system i folks are a bunch 50 year olds who are just glad to have a job....." Whilst I enjoy bashing the dinosaurs I sometimes have to work with, my experience is that many of them code in a far more concise and efficient manner than many young programmers. It might have to do with having had to work with systems with a lot less resources to waste whilst learning their trade. As an example, during the pre-Y2K panic, the company I worked with brought in some retired coders to work on a COBOL upgrade that was running behind schedule. The old geezers not only cost less than the equivalent COBOL consultants already on the project, but they also produced better code with less errors in a lot less time!

    Maybe Larry needs to get some of those old coders in to do his marketing, they might keep him a bit more honest.

  12. Jesper Frimann
    Big Brother


    "I personally don't believe that the DB2 on the i platform is that much worse than the DB2 for Unix boxes."

    Well i is not about performance, it has never been. And the DB2 of i is also different than the 'distributed platform' version. Furthermore there is an extra sw layer(s) between the hardware and iOS, and that doesn't speed things up. One thing I've learned is that you must never insult a sysadmins, iSeries box. You can scoff at his wintel servers, say that his Unix servers aren't really Unix servers and say that his mainframe is to expensive.. but insult his iSeries and he'll smack U up.

    And he DB2 of yesterday, performed like sh*t on AIX, but with version 8 and newer versions things changed, and now Oracle/Informix/Sybase weren't the only choices for AIX in my book.

    // Jesper

  13. Jesper Frimann
    Big Brother

    re:Matt Bryant

    Well I am not 50, and not really an old geezer yet. But I must say that there is a whole of a lot difference from my current 4GB 2GHz dual core Laptop, to the 2.5Mhz z80 based Piccolo with 32KB ROM and 32K RAM, from 'Regnecentralen' that I learned to program on, at the university. And you had to bring a bag cause the bloody 8 inch floppies couldn't fit anywhere.

    // Jesper

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Anyone know why IBM withdrew its new TPC-H Result on Power 595?

    Anyone know why IBM just withdrew its latest TPC-H results on its Power 595? After a 4 year hiatus (previous P5 595 results are from 2005)! you would have thought IBM dedicated massive resources to work this one out.??

    Maybe its because the performance gain from previous results (~53%) doesn't come close to IBM's conservative sizing metric rPerf estimations (~80%)??

    Maybe IBM needs to hide something else? Questions Questions Questions.

    And you thought you could trust IBM??

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    TPC whining and FUD-slinging

    Mr. Prickett-Morgan,

    How thoroughly dissapointing (to put it mildly) that you choose to denigrate the Transaction Processing Council benchmarks, which are the ONLY objective, audited and verifyable measure of end-to-end IT systems cost/performance.

    You said:

    "all IT vendors game the TPC-C test, which was useful when it was announced almost two decades ago but now has so much tweaking and tuning that you have to be careful about using the test results."

    This is utter nonsense. The TPC-C is in it's umpteenth version since 1992, and it has evolved along with the industry. Moreover, the systems that do well in TPC benchmarks are "tweaked and tuned" using the VERY SAME METHODS AND EXPERTISE that database architects use every day in the real-world, to optimize real-world systems for real-world-workloads. That's not "gaming" sir, it's called "expert systems engineering". Vendors who had legitimate complaints about the nature of the workload made them, and as a result we now have TPC-E and numerous others to represent other kinds of workloads.

    Because vendors are not permitted to publish a TPC result unless they submit a carefully specified and meticulously detailed "Full Disclosure Report", any illegitimate "gaming" the benchmark results in getting CAUGHT. Once upon a time there were numerous examples of this kind of cheating. The ability of the TPC members to publically "slap" a cheater/gamer makes TPC unique among benchmarks.

    All of this is exactly as it should be, wouldn't you agree?

    Then you said: "Big Blue, for one, seems to have mastered the black art of de-randomizing the data coming out of the TPC-C transactions, steering data to precise bits of system cache on Power Systems boxes running AIX and DB2 - or so other server makers have claimed to me."

    Wow...what a comment!!! Sir, the "black art" of "de-randomizing" the workload (as you call it) is the VERY FLIPPING ESSENCE of database performance engineering. A vendor who can build a system that uses exactly the right amounts of DRAM, CPU and Disk, and use them most efficiently for the target workload will win, both in performance and in performance-per-dollar.

    This is exactly as it should be, wouldn't you agree?

    Vendors who have good hardware, good software and high expertise in applying those assets to any database workload will do very well on any of the TPC benchmarks. Those who don't will not do well, but rather will piss and moan about the benchmark (with your indulgence, it seems).

  17. Anonymous Coward

    RE: why IBM (and Sun and HP) withdrew TPC results in September

    IBM's was a category 2 withdrawl, which means the result was challenged based on technical compliance grounds, and IBM chose to withdraw the result voluntarily.

    It's pretty standard practice to withdraw automatically on challenge, even before the merits of the challenge are understood. Generally, the vendor will go back, fix what's wrong (if anything) and re-submit. If not, withdrawl is "forced" by the TPC (cat 3 and Cat 4).

    HP and Sun also withdrew results in September. Sun's was a really spectacular blow-out, a category 3, forced withdrawl based on a TPC finding of cheating/gaming. which is nasty, and VERY rare.

  18. Kebabbert

    All your CPUs belongs to Oracle + SUN

    "All your CPUs belongs to Oracle + SUN".


    I can not wait until Oracle + SUN announces what the Niagara "which suffers from a slow cache" can do. Niagara will smoke the three times as higher clocked legacy constructed Power6+. And I will looooove to read Mattie Pattie Laddies explanation on that killing. Laughing stock.


    Oh, and soon I should add the usual "I work at a large bank/whatever pick your fancy and I looove the Power servers, but when we benched three IBM P570 to one Sun T5440 we saw that we had to migrate to be competive. I hate that, but we have to" - just as you people write here all the time swapping IBM for SUN. FUDers and Liars are what some of you are. Shame on you!

  19. Andy Beals

    Larry Lying?

    No! Never!

    He's the model of truth-telling, like when he testified in court during that sexual harassment case that he's an easy-going guy and never ever confrontational.

  20. Jesper Frimann
    Big Brother

    RE:All your CPUs belongs to Oracle + SUN

    "All your CPUs belongs to Oracle + SUN"

    <true story>

    Yes, heard that one before. Lets see.. you have 16 Oracle partitions running on a physical machine with 32 cores... He He he.. that is lets see..

    0,75 licenses per core times 32 cores times 16 partitions, now that is 384 Licenses costing 47KUSD. And you have only paid for 32 cores.. ohh.. ohh.. Ohh.. yes that means you have to go and buy another 360 licenses, and You have been running this for 3 years.. that is 22% a year also.. so basically *tap* *tap* *tap*, and with your great discount. 16.852.320 $

    Oracles own license rules have never stopped the Oracle sales machine. It took intervention from the Server vendor and the customer top management and an escalation to oracle on a higher level than the country level. To fix this.

    </true story>

    So face it. Oracle bought the SUN hardware as a license cash cow, and the Java part cause it was better that they owned it than SAP or IBM get their hands on it.

    Not that Oracle products aren't great, but the prices..

    // Jesper

    Again Big brother cause something is rotten in the state of Denmark

  21. Kebabbert


    You are wrong on this. It is 0.5 licenses nowadays. And Oracle will change much more. The SPARCs will be the most cost effective to run Oracle. Otherwise Oracle will not sell SPARC, which they own. Oracle would be dumb to price the SPARCs to high. You will see.

  22. Jesper Frimann
    Big Brother


    As this was a real story, the machine in question was actually a p690.

    "Oracle would be dumb to price the SPARCs to high."

    Yeah right. T2+, is 0,5 license per core, but T2 is still 0,75. So sure keep milking the install base.

    And the oracle license count for a T5220 is still 6 licenses, which with sw maintenance on Oracle means that the bloody DB is almost ten times as expensive as the box.

    And for at T5440 it'll still be 16 licenses, for a box where you need to utilize 256 threads to get the maximum performance out of. Not that is not a straight forward job.

    // Jesper

  23. Kebabbert


    Ok, let us see who is correct later. I believe that Oracle will take actions to sell more SPARCs, by favoring that architetcure. You believe the opposite - which means that nobody wants to buy SPARC because of too a high price. Fine. Let us wait and see.

  24. Jesper Frimann
    Big Brother


    I have never said that Nobody would buy SPARC because of too high a price, sure customers will, buy SUN servers.

    But things aren't really looking that good.

    SUN sold 6530 MUSD worth of servers in 2008

    SUN sold 4657 MUSD worth of servers in 2009

    that is a drop of 29%

    And before you start to dissect the numbers and say "Yes but CMT is doing well", notice the other system product category :)= Moving revenue around in your financial statements is nothing new. And from what we hear it isn't like things are getting bright for SUN (no pun intended).

    Do I think that current SPARC Servers are to expensive ?

    Yes, in the M series you simply get less bang for the buck compared to for example power.

    The CMT series are not well suited for many workloads IMHO, and I think they are over hyped.

    Sure the band new T5440 with 32 T2+ Cores will outperform a Power 570 with 16 cores, on for example specJBB2005, nothing much to say there there are benchmarks to show it.

    But there are some things you should keep in mind here.

    1) The Power 570 that SUN are comparing with is more than 2 years old, note that there was a benchmark out on the 5.0GHz version and the 32 core version of the power 570 which both beat the T5440 score. A little cherry picking is always nice

    2) This is on a workload that is very well suited for the T5440, lots of threads and embarrassingly parallel. The T5440 uses 32 JVM instances versus 8 for the power 570. The T5xxx'es are good for benchmarks, but in the real world where single threaded performance is a key factor, things do look different.

    3) I don't really know if it is fair to compare a high RAS system like the power 570 with an entry level box like the T5440. I mean you can't even hotswap PCI slots on a T5440. It is more suited to compare against the DL585 which is also mentioned on the page.

    4) And funny enough the machine that is in the same league, with regards to RAS, as the T5440, the DL585 they don't really mention. But Ok it's also only 6 times cheaper, than the T5440, and faster.

    It's not that I think the fact that SPARC is doing badly is a good thing, we need competition. But Snoracle needs shut up with their marketing bull, and start to ship some better products.

    I mean, in Q1 2010 POWER boxes will start to ship with POWER7. That means that the CMT advantage with 8 cores per chip is gone. And from what I understand POWER7 will be packing a heavy punch, with 8 cores each with better per core throughput than power6.

    This basically means that a 4 socket T5440 will be competing against a 2 Socket POWER7 box, and on some benchmark, like SAP, get the living crap beat out of it by a 2 socket power7 box.

    And how do you think a M9000, that today barely can beat a 64 core power 595, will fare against a a 256 Core power 595 ?

    Specially seen in the light that the next 3 years the only upgrades to the M9000 is minor speed bumps.

    Lets hope Snoracle gets their act together, but I seriously doubt that they will.

    // Jesper

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Seems it was not a lie

    Not a lie, Sun and Oracle are faster than IBM :

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