* Posts by VirtualGreg

14 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Sep 2009

So where is IBM's Power7+ CPU?


Hey TPM - reread your own article

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/05/ibm_power7_plus_power8/ dated May 5, 2011:

All of these roadmaps don't have enough detail to be useful, and this is intentionally so. Steve Sibley, director of product management for the Power Systems line at Big Blue, answered a direct question when I asked if there was going to be a Power7+ chip in the future. (Yes, I was a bit surprised.)

"Yes, there will be such a thing," Sibley tells El Reg. "We certainly have a Power7+ in the next year to 18 months. We're still working on this."

IBM seems to like April and October announce dates for big stuff...April sounds nice. :-)

Oracle plops true live migration onto SPARC hypervisor


Firmware release

The increase in # of LPARs per machine was promised a while back as a firmware update (and corresponding HMC update). I'll be updating my 770s, not that 1024 partitions is a big deal for me. http://www-933.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/firmware/readme?fixid=01AM730_035_035

IBM completes Power7 server arsenal


Still Don't Get It

Matt -

You obviously don't understand PowerVM...

"if all 256 CPU cores are 100% available, but the maximum number of LPARs is 254, then your level of granularity is actually not even down to a single core!"

The LPAR limit is 254. I could create one LPAR at an entitled capacity of 0.1 cores. I now have 253 LPARs in my (current) limit remaining that can be anywhere from 0.1 cores to 255.9 cores in size. Obviously if I kept doing this I would leave idle capacity behind after creating 254 x 0.1 core LPARs. But again, nobody is going to buy a 795 to do that. You need to seperate the # of LPARs limit from granularity of entitled capacity. You don't allocated cores to the hypervisor. The LPARs themselves make hypervisor calls as needed and those cycles are taken up by the running LPAR.

Of course you can recycle hardware - my tongue in cheek comment was meant to reflect the steady decline of revenue share enjoyed by the Itanium/HP-UX combination which, as El Reg has pointed out via free insight to IDC share data, is a number trending toward 0.

As for better and more flexible - what is the maximum Intergrity VM partition size? Still 8-way 64GB? PowerVM has done better than that since day 1. How many changes require a VM reboot for you? I can dynamically change my capacity assignments for CPU and memory, I can add I/O capacity and storage space, I can even mix and match virtualized I/O with physical PCIe slots if so desire.


Still Incorrect.

'"Matt - where do you get this stuff?...." All out of the Reg article, the IBM Red Books or of the IBMer posts.'


'Can I suggest it's because - like most IBMers - you haven't touched an Integrity system or hp-ux, just swallowed the IBM FUD?'

Now isn't that ironic - you have supposedly read the books and don't own the hardware. That explains a lot. You've never sat in front of an HMC and sliced up an LPAR before have you?

The hypervisor does not take up any CPUs. Care to point out where you got that gem from? That is simply incorrect and I know because I've worked with PowerVM for years. Someone else I work with used to look after the HP boxes that are now recycled materials - that last bit speaks to the market - on that note IDC just put out the 2Q report and I'm betting El Reg will write up something on the UNIX numbers at some point so we can read them for free. No doubt more HP boxes were put out for recycling...

As for my comment re more money than brains - I'm suggesting you can buy a bunch of 2 or 4 socket machines for a lot less spend than a behemoth like Superdome or a 795. I you don't have any bigger LPARs there's no real benefit to a big expensive scalable machine. Bob Co could have gotten away with mid-range N-class or newer 8xxx boxes just as well I'm guessing. There's headroom and then there's HEADROOM.

As for PowerVM - you don't know what you are talking about, let's just leave it at that.


Matt - 795 LPARs

Matt - where do you get this stuff? The 795 docs I've looked at show 256 cores in a fully loaded unit with current support for 254 LPARs, which has been IBM's limit for a while now on the high end gear. 256 cores divided by 254 LPAR limit says you could conceivably have 253 1-way LPARs and 3-way. You can have a few big LPARs and lots of little ones - I don't see anything that changes PowerVM granularity. FYI - IBM annoucement literature also suggests a 1000 LPAR limit is coming and that would suggest a firmware upgrade and perhaps an HMC patch or two. AIX need only be more current to support a single image with 1000+ threads on the 795 behemoth.

Two opinions from me...one, that's a lot more flexible and easier than Stupidome npar and vpar slicing and dicing and two, if you buy any 256 core machine for nothing but < 1-way LPARs, you have more money than brains.

IBM chops high-end Power6 server tags


Benchmarks vs Real World

I might disagree that SAP 2-tier is a system benchmark. It reeks of being trivial to run given the number of results and it never really showed how much NU is in everyone's NUMA. I've always believed more obvious NUMA systems like the Sun uniboard design with the slow interconnect (like the E25K boat anchor) had some way to keep offboard memory accesses minimal to non-existent. IBM Power seemed to be the only 3-tier show off.

Matt - I suspect your experience is like many others. Take TPC-C for example. Running a transactional database environment could be done a lot better in our shop (higher rates per unit of time) if I wanted to throw gaggles of 8Gb FC cards and more disk drive spindles and disk subsystems than I can afford at my configuration, not to mention memory. In an attempt to keep things 'fair' I've compared like configurations in my bake offs - say 4 FC paths and 4TB of disk in a single disk subsystem, because that's 'normal'. However the Power kit could probably drive more FC paths and more disks than the Sun kit. Who can afford a TPC-C kit - all those data paths and disk units and now flash storage...nice to look at, but no thanks!

I always liked TPC-C and SAP 3-tier benchmarks because they are really good full system benchmarks...and a system benchmark is always pretty easy to identify by the number of required network paths and disk paths configured to drive all the I/O.

Power7 v Power6 - it's all about the cache


Keb - Explain your Siebel Math...

You said "I agree that T5440 is more expensive, and slower on some tasks. But I expect T5440 to be many times faster work similar to Siebel. If you need 28 POWER6's to match four Niagara, and if POWER7 is four times as fast as POWER6, you need seven POWER7 cpus to match four Niagaras."

28 vs 4? Where did you come up with this?


Jesper with no sleep is still smarter than Kebby

Well done, Jesper - you've been doing a lot of reading and have a darn good understanding what with so little sleep with that new born kicking around! :-)

Kebby - why don't you just take a year off and come back when (if?) T3 sees the light of day. Fast to you obviously means Siebel benchmarks since that's how you establish the latest T-box is faster than POWER6 when the rest of the world knows better.

POWER7 is a nice achievement...my favourite highlights...more cores while actually getting better performance per core. Two memory controllers to keep the beast fed at phenomenal data rates. Lots of on board cache. eDRAM to keep the transistor count down, hence the power requirements sane and help put more cores on board. It's a very nice design. And 4.1GHz premium clock sort with all those cores...nicely done.

The dog and pony show I saw said stay tuned for more astounding benchmarks given the annoucement was supposedly pulled ahead from May to Feb. Back to my BEvERage...

Intel 'Tukwila' born after long and painful labor


A chip without a home

Where are the HP systems announcements there Matt? Since you work there - you should know! Oh - right - there are none because once Intel found out that IBM pulled a fast one with the POWER7 announce date, the marketing dept at Intel jumped the gun.

But all that was announced was a dud that might benchmark well on spec with DDR3 memory but I doubt she'll catch POWER6 on systems benchmarks (the ones that involve disk too).

I believe once HP announces systems, they will only be of interest to those poor souls clining to HP-UX.

Booooooooooooooorrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiinnnnng! Back to my BEvERage.

TPC adds power suckage to benchmarks



Well, looking at http://tpc.org/tpce/results/tpce_perf_results.asp it would appear TPC-E favours x86 - where's Sun T-series or IBM Power? If IBM passes on TPC-E when POWER7 gear hits the streets then I'll elevate my intuition to theory. :-)

The one thing Sun did with TPC-C is forever change the storage foot print used by the vendors. IBM will probably want to deliver a smack down to Oracle with POWER7 and DB2 pureScale but clearly can't afford to do so with >10000 disk spindles. Surely the smack down will leverage IBM SSD kit.

The one thing I really like about TPC-C (say what you will about its applicability in the real world or its simplicity) is that it truly is a real full system stress. That is to say, there are reads *and* writes and unlike SPEC you need disk drives. And apparently to keep up with the I/O bandwidth of large PCIe slot machines with high counts of 8Gb FC cards you need an unreasonable number of disk drives (unreasonable for the real world anyhow).

Oracle to invest in Sparc iron, clusters


Now *That* Explains Things.

> Opinions are never wrong, but facts can be wrong.

That sure helps me understand a number of your posts now. Especially where Sun T-systems vs. IBM Power based systems are concerned.

Ellison whips out his Sparc TPC-C test


This was a fun read.

Jerry Springer would love this thread! :-)

Kebby - a 500W processor - you should know no such processor exists - it sure as heck couldn't be air cooled! Geesh...must I post a Paris picture again! You and Mr. Halko must have gotten hammered a few times courtesy of a Sun credit card...

Neither of these systems is going to land on a floor - though I know I'll see a lot more 595s than 12-node T2+ systems around - IBM sells a lot of 595s (according to them and IDC etc.) because its a general purpose machine. The fact that a little over a year ago IBM needed as many storage units and spindles to produce their result is an impressive statement with respect to the 595s I/O capabilities. Heck, even HDS used a 595 to produce a SPC disk benchmark! Side note - HP had to show they used a 595 too when they used the HDS benchmark result to show off their rebadge storage box - what a hoot! :-)

Halko - calling Sun an innovator with respect to Niagara - do some fact checking - Sun bought Afara to get Niagara technology - its no Sun innovation!

Were flash storage in the IBM kit bag when the 595 result was published, I suspect it would have been used for the obvious price/performance benefits Sun/Oracle showed.

This benchmark, like many others shows me that core for core, which is how I pay for all my database software (perpetual licenses only please!) T2+ can't keep up with POWER6. Small caches, low memory bandwidth per core - things might get better with DDR3 and extra memory controllers etc etc...down the road.

Just look at POWER7 for a timely 8-core processor. Everything falls nicely into place - faster memory, faster busses, bigger caches, on chip L3 via EDRAM - no question Afara was a little ahead of its time and Sun made a good purchase, but Sun an innovator - not in server hardware...

Oracle and Sun taunt IBM with Sparcs

Paris Hilton

Cores vs. CPUs vs Costs vs Kebabbert

Where I come from a core = processor = CPU they all just put more of them on shared silicon these days, but whatever.

Kebabbert - a 500W processor? You are out of your tree!

Where I come from we also run our databases on systems, so I care more about the total system power consumption - the CPU really doesn't matter that much in the scheme of things. The system still has to power the memory and the fans and the PCI slots and the SAN storage needs power - blah blah blah - you see where I'm going by now I hope.

Where I come from we also pay for our database by the core count - so we do care - very much.

When Oracle finally announces a TPC-C benchmark we can all look at if for performance, price, price/performance and performance per watt, or whatever angle we want to look at it.

Let's not lose sight of the fact we are talking about Oracle - and Oracle is priced today per core. While that will have to change for any SPARC processor to be competitive, that's the way we roll today.

Paris - because she might might also believe in a 500W processor...damn that was funny...


What else is Larry to do...

IBM just mopped the floor with Sun - see IDC 2Q UNIX revenue data. Larry had to say something! Let's look at the past few Oracle and Sun quarters to shed some light on this...

Oracle to spend more money than Sun on SPARC - Oracle has money, Sun is losing money all the time...tough one there...Oracle can afford to boost R&D, Sun can't. More money for Solaris...ditto. Oracle to tune the stack - I can't believe that's not going on already - heck, the Oracle on Power slide decks I see from IBM showed me that 40 or so people show up for work at Oracle tuning Oracle and AIX together. After all, who won all those database benchmarks including Oracle Apps? Oh yeah, IBM AIX on Power gear.

Oracle with more sales reps than Sun? Really? Goes back to that making money thing...who would have guessed...

If Niagara is the only branch in the family tree (good thing Sun bought Afara) not being hacked off...I guess they better stop calling it a network facing processor - databases were supposed to go on UItraSPARC processors right? Oh yeah...Sun cancelled V and VI and started putting their plastic covers on Fujitsu servers...

Sugar Daddy Larry just put a nice big diamond ring on the thin bony finger of a used up old tramp! As soon as you marry her Larry, take her out on your yacht and push her overboard - act sad and phone your life insurance company! Then, keep the kids you like from her family, but that hardware kid is ugly - put it up for adoption - maybe Fujitsu will feel sorry for it and give it a home!