back to article Sun-Oracle x86 server combo tops the SAP charts

Sun Microsystems is the quietest server maker in the world these days, but its PR machine - which just pumps out the occasional press release like clues for those trying to figure out its plans since the Oracle gag went on in April - said today that Sun's recent top-end x64 server has smoked the competition in a popular …


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  1. Steven Jones

    Response time vs throughput

    " The difference between one and two seconds can nearly double throughput (which makes sense when you think about it)."

    Uhm no - if the benchmark is identical, you will normally get slightly more transactions through with a 2 second respomnse time vs 1 second. Of course the penalty of the longer response time is felt by the user, and the concurrency in the server is doubled for the same transaction throughput level. Of coursethe increased concurrency introduces extra overheads of its own, so there is often relatively little improvement in throughput by doubling allowed response time, but it might just enable higher disk & CPU utilisations to be tolerated.

    However, the imposition of tighter constraints on response tiomes in benchmarks is to be welcomed, as increasingly complex applications (and integration of apps) makes this essential to maintain user service levels.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the price of the POWER system was?

    It's kind of irritating that Timothy - I'm IBM's best friend - Morgan picks on the price of the SPARC box without bothering to mention the cost of the p550 he mentions...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    SPARC Box is dead

    We have come to the conclusion and everyone we spoke to at Oracle world that SPARC and Itanium are dead. This leaves Power and x86 which does not include AMD in our purchasing. Our purchasing guidelines are pretty simple:

    1) All systems at the end of lease are to be replaced with x86 or Power

    2) Develop on Linux and prefer x86

    3) If the production workload is greater than four cores put it on Power

    4) Put all databases and critical middleware (websphere) on Power

    5) We gave all the people in purchasing two coffee cups: and IBM cup for when the Oracle rep stops by and and Oracle cup for the IBMers

    Invest: x86(intel) and Power

    Divest: SPARC and PARISC (fortunately we never went to Itanium)

    Benchmarks are nice....but does not change the market momentum that sparc is dead....but I think Sun knows that and why they sold out to a software company for pennies on the dollar

    1. Anonymous Coward

      minor disagreements

      I agree with 90% of what you say. AMD offers a practical price point option. If it hadn't been for AMD, Intel would have forced people to the Itanic to get access to 64-bit computing. I would say that your limit to 4 cores is also too limiting......

    2. Owt for Nowt

      Oh Really

      The last IDC figures I saw for the last quarter showed Sun SPARC out shipped Power by 4 x

      I'll say that again more slowly . . . . FOUR TIMES the units sold.

      PS Ed. I don't think SAP is certified yet for Oracle 11g, they always wait for R2

  4. Gaius


    Benchmarks like this are irrelevant so long as Oracle counts Solx64 as a tier-two platform. If you can get patchsets on SPARC/Solaris or x64/Red Hat on day 1 and 6 months later for x64/Solaris, why would you ever risk your business on the latter?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Irrelevant

    "6 months later for x64/Solaris"

    What utter nonsense. You must have taken MB's FUD class? Throw out lies and innuendo, and hope no one calls you on it.

    Solaris.Next is actually being developed on x86 (Sparc just became available)... All fixes must go into Solaris.Next first, therefore, all fixes go on x86 first. If you can't give specifics, then you're lying.

    1. Wheres Matt?

      Re: Irrelevant

      Gaius could be referring to Oracle patch sets rather than Solaris patches but if that's true (I'm not a DBA so feck knows) it won't be true any more.

      When Larry is saying Solaris is Oracle's preffered operating system again they could hardly throw out Solaris x86 patches later than Soalris Sparc or Linux and still expect to be taken seriously.

      Bet the developers in Oracle are welcoming having dtrace back again!

      1. Gaius

        @Where's Matt

        Yep that's why I said "Oracle counts", reading comprehension is in short supply around here.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          re: @Where's Matt

          Quite correct. My apologies. However, I doubt this will be true moving forward. Oracle has stated that Solaris x86 will move to a tier-1 platform. This may have already happened...

  6. Fenton

    Power and Itanium

    I doubt that IBM or HP are going to run any more benchmarks on the current kit as they won't compete on a per socket basis.

    IBM is will probably publish a whole host of P7 benchmarks when released and HP a whole host when the 4 core version of Itainium is out. HP especially must be hurting due to the delays on the 4 core Tukwila. X86 is just killing Itainium

  7. Kebabbert

    Reason HP uses only 128GB RAM

    whereas Solaris uses 256GB RAM, is because then the HP machine can use faster PC2-6400 memory. If HP wanted 256GB RAM, then they could have only used slower RAM. Therefore HP opted for faster RAM, but smaller size. HP also uses 2.8GHz CPUs.

    HP is 7 unit machine. Sun is 4 unit machine.

    SUN uses slower PC2-5300 RAM sticks and 2.6GHz CPUs and is still 25% faster on SAP. That is because the cores have 99% utilization under Solaris. On HPs Linux machine, the cores are only 87% utiliized, which shows that Linux has problems handling many cores well, on a single machine. On large clusters (which is basically a network with several computers), Linux performs well.

    SAP white papers



    If you have enough memory to cache everything, then you will not gain anything from adding more memory. Apparentely, HP saw that 128GB RAM was faster than 256GB RAM. HP has the resources to add another 128GB RAM if they wanted to. And they know how to tweak their system to get the most performance. HP got the fastest result with 128GB ram. Because the memory was faster.


    There are benches with equal amount of RAM on both Solaris and Linux, and those benches confirms that Solaris machine is faster: Compare SAP benchmarks 2009035 and 2009030 to see that.


    Regarding Sun T5440 being slower. I have no problems with that. The Niagara is not best on all work loads. If benches show that Niagara is slower, then there is nothing to argue about. Instead, choose SUNs 4 unit which delivers 25% more performance with Solaris, than Linux.

    The fun thing is that I dont argue about benches. Whereas there are people here, that refuses to accept benchmarks and white papers. They say "the benches are cherry picked by SUN, or created by SUN to show the strength" etc. The fun thing is, there are so many benches where SUN is fastest. Has SUN created ALL benches? TPC-C, specint, etc? I dont argue about benches. Hard numbers are hard numbers. There are people that wont accept hard numbers. There is one moron that says something like "in MY OPINION the Niagara is slower than Power6, despite benches showing the opposite, I have seen those benches, yes. But in my opinion". Then you can say "in my opinion that 2m guy is shorter than the 1.7m guy" - equally weird.

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