Oracle to talk Sun hardware on October 14

Promises Big Blue busting benchmarks


Oracle, which will presumably soon own Sun Microsystems, has not said much about its plans for the Sparc server business at Sun since announcing its takeover in April - but apparently the top brass at the company are going to assuage everyone's fears that Oracle will ditch Sun iron, and will do so on October 14 at the OpenWorld extravaganza hosted by Oracle.

According to this teaser pre-announcement, Oracle will be doing something that Sun hasn't done for eight years: showing off the performance of Sparc machines using the Transaction Processing Council's TPC-C benchmark, which is used to display the oomph of database servers.

"Oracle and Sun together are hard to match," Oracle says in the teaser. "Just ask IBM. Its fastest server now runs an impressive 6 million TPC-C transactions, but on October 14 at Oracle OpenWorld, we'll reveal the benchmark numbers that prove that even IBM DB2 running on IBM's fastest hardware can't match the speed and performance of Oracle Database on Sun systems. Check back on October 14 as we demonstrate Oracle's commitment to Sun hardware and Sun Sparc."

Sun Oracle Sparc Ad

The teaser includes a mock-up of what will probably be an Oracle or Sun ad, depending on if the European Commission's antitrust authorities give the thumbs up on the acquisition so it can close. That ad shows the latest TPC-C results for IBM's Power 595 box, which can crank through a little more than 6 million transactions per minute (TPM) with 32 of the dual-core, four-threaded, 5 GHz Power6 chips and running IBM's AIX and DB2 stack.

The picture is intentionally grainy, but it looks like the performance that Sun will be bragging about will have three significant digits on the TPMs and maybe one decimal point.

Well, it seems unlikely that Oracle will use the occasion to show off how well Fujitsu's quad-core Sparc64-VII processors do on the TPC-C test in the 64-socket Sparc Enterprise M9000 servers, although had Sun and Fujitsu decided to show off the M9000 box, they could probably push as high as 8.5 million TPM and get some serious bragging rights.

So, Oracle is not going to talk about the M9000. But Oracle and a possibly still independent Sun probably will talk about an Oracle Database Machine cluster configuration based on Sun's top-end Sun Fire T5440 servers using its fastest 1.6 GHz "Victoria Falls" Sparc T2+ processors.

The Oracle Database Machine was announced at last year's OpenWorld event, and features x64 server nodes from Hewlett-Packard, Linux, clustering, and database software from Oracle, and InfiniBand clustering gear from Voltaire. Sun has its own InfiniBand switches and it could just run the TPC-C test on a "Constellation" x64 blade server and clustered storage setup and pretty much dial up as much scalability on the TPC-C benchmark as it wanted. But that would have nothing to do with Sparc, and Oracle has to keep chanting Sparc over and over again until it sells the business off.

It is hard to reckon how much TPC-C oomph the current T5440 servers might have. But when used as a database server for the TPC-C test and provided that it has enough storage bandwidth coming into the box, it is possible that a T5440 with four 1.6 GHz Sparc T2s (that's 32 cores and 256 threads) could hit 1.6 million TPM. (If the disk I/O isn't there, it could drop to 1 million TPM.)

Without cluster overhead, a rack of T5440s could have 16 million TPM of TPC-C oomph, provided the gillions of disks needed for the test could be pumped into it efficiently. With cluster overhead and lots of database partitioning tricks, two racks might be able to hit 25 million TPM. That is the scale that Oracle and Sun are going to need to show if the eight-core Power7 processors due next year can deliver four times the oomph as the current dual-core 5 GHz Power6 chips used in the top-end Power 595 boxes from IBM. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • DRAM prices to drop 3-8% due to Ukraine war, inflation
    Wait, we’ll explain

    As the world continues to grapple with unrelenting inflation for many products and services, the trend of rising prices is expected to have the opposite impact on memory chips for PCs, servers, smartphones, graphics processors, and other devices.

    Taiwanese research firm TrendForce said Monday that DRAM pricing for commercial buyers is forecast to drop around three to eight percent across those markets in the third quarter compared to the previous three months. Even prices for DDR5 modules in the PC market could drop as much as five percent from July to September.

    This could result in DRAM buyers, such as system vendors and distributors, reducing prices for end users if they hope to stimulate demand in markets like PC and smartphones where sales have waned. We suppose they could try to profit on the decreased memory prices, but with many people tightening their budgets, we hope this won't be the case.

    Continue reading
  • Intel offers 'server on a card' reference design for network security
    OEMs thrown a NetSec Accelerator that plugs into server PCIe slots

    RSA Conference Intel has released a reference design for a plug-in security card aimed at delivering improved network and security processing without requiring the additional rackspace a discrete appliance would need.

    The NetSec Accelerator Reference Design [PDF] is effectively a fully functional x86 compute node delivered as a PCIe card that can be fitted into an existing server. It combines an Intel Atom processor, Intel Ethernet E810 network interface, and up to 32GB of memory to offload network security functions.

    According to Intel, the new reference design is intended to enable a secure access service edge (SASE) model, a combination of software-defined security and wide-area network (WAN) functions implemented as a cloud-native service.

    Continue reading
  • UK Home Office awards Oracle a deal extension worth tens of millions
    Fellow travelers in the Whitehall shared services journey await their SaaS move

    The UK Home Office has awarded Oracle a £31.47 million ($39.5 million) contract to continue to run its HR and finance systems in the cloud.

    The four-year software-as-a-service deal for Oracle's Fusion ERP system has been renewed to run from May 2022 to May 2026.

    According to a tender notice, the award will provide "SaaS, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service products for Metis," the internal name for the HR and finance system of the government department responsible for policing and border security.

    Continue reading
  • Ampere: Cloud biz buy-ins prove our Arm server CPUs are the real deal
    Startup teases 128+ core chip, disses Xeon and Epyc, unsurprisingly

    Interview After two years of claiming that its Arm-powered server processors provide better performance and efficiency for cloud applications than Intel or AMD's, Ampere Computing said real deployments by cloud providers and businesses are proving its chips are the real deal.

    The Silicon Valley startup held its Annual Strategy and Product Roadmap Update last week to ostensibly give a product roadmap update. But the only update was the news that Ampere's 5nm processor due later this year is called Ampere One, it's sampling that with customers, and it will support PCIe Gen 5 connectivity and DDR5 memory.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022