Re: POWER8 disappoints
This is a repeat of what I posted at http://www.enterprisetech.com/2014/08/13/oracle-cranks-cores-32-sparc-m7-chip/#comment-229928.
You made a lot of assumptions with nothing to back up any of your statements. Making the claim does not substantiate the claim.
Oracle achieves world records and impressive numbers by one means and one means ONLY. They produce servers with excessive sockets and cores then aggregate the values for the given product and claim superiority. That is weak engineering, disingenuous marketing with diluted value to the customer.
First proof point – Oracle sells software, primarily by core (yes, other means are available). Thus, it stands to reason that performance per core is crucial. Look at the SAP benchmark where there are Power7 795, Power8 S824 and the M6-32 results.
M6-32 with 32 sockets & 384 cores deliver 793,930 SAPS or 2,067 SAPS per core. P7 795 with 32 sockets and 256 cores deliver 688,630 SAPS or 2,690 SAPS per core. With these two, which delivers the greatest performance per core? The entry level Power8 S824 server with 2 sockets and 24 cores deliver 115,870 SAPS or 4,827 SAPS per core. For additional comparison purposes, here is the 8 socket 124 core T5-8 that deliver 220,950 SAPS or 1,726 SAPS per core.
Just about every SAP landscape that I see have a total SAPS requirement but but that isn’t a singular value. Also, the ability of the server to utilize the full SAP value of that platform is also critical – this is dependent on the ability of the hypervisor, server technology and OS to be able to drive utilization that is useful. What this means is the likelihood of a Power8 24 core server being able to deliver 115K SAPS is quite likely. The likelihood of a x86 server being able to deliver it’s full SAPS is not likely. Given the weak hypervisor used in M6 & T5 along with the less capable SPARC chipset which includes the less efficient CMT (threads) makes it less likely for these servers to be driven as high as Power. I’ll hold off on critiquing Domains and LDOMs pending your desire to engage in that discussion as I look forward to that.
Looking at the per core results of M6-32 I deliver more per core with the 4 year old P7 795 server and IBM’s entry level 2 socket 24 core S824 delivers 2.8X higher performance per core over the “Solves World Hunger” Oracle SPARC M5-8 and 2.3X over the M6-32 “King of the Hill” server. To put this in perspective, if we normalize the performance of the S824 with its 24 cores, that is equivalent to approximately 67 T5-8 SPARC cores or 56 x M6-32 SPARC cores.
If you are a SPARC customer then you have fallen for their smoke and mirrors marketing that performance increase comes by doubling the cores. That simply doubles your software costs. If you work for Oracle then I expect you to sing from the Larry song book :) What is impressive with IBM’s Power8 technology when you see that it is 2X the performance over Power7 and x86 is that they are doing that on a per core basis. Using the Oracle sizing method we claim we have 3X the performance over Power7 and x86 but that is because we are going from 8 cores in Power7 to 12 cores in Power8. That means nothing unless you are pay software licenses by the socket then per core and # of cores per socket is very important.
Hopefully you see the error of your ways. I am a IT business partner, Architect and evangelist on Power technologies. I also worked at Sun for 10 years where I was a cluster and storage specialist (also StorageACE) and an instructor in the Army on SunOS/Solaris servers. I say this to say that i am a fan of Solaris. I love and miss Sun – great people and culture. Plus, I have experience on the platform. I am not speaking here as a seller trying to persuade you or the reader that I’m right because of talking points. I continue to challenge Oracle to a live, face to face technical debate that we can record and publish for all to see and hear the discussions. We both can have a whiteboard to aid in our discussions. We should have a panel of independent industry experts who can award points based on winning each topic. Because we know there are some people (ie you) who will never accept defeat even if proven beyond the shadow of a doubt.