IBM Continues RS/6000 Performance Focus
Written By: R. Krause
Published On: June 21 2000
IBM Continues RS/6000 Performance Focus
NY, June 2, 2000 [Source: IBM]
new RS/6000 M80 server with copper microprocessors today set a new transaction
processing record for midrange servers, outperforming bigger and more
expensive systems from Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems.
the lead of its computing cousin - the record-breaking RS/6000 S80 - the
copper-infused M80 now holds the leadership position for midrange servers
on four separate performance benchmarks crucial to e-business: Java performance,
Web serving, file-serving and transaction processing.
set out to build a midrange UNIX server that would emulate the RS/6000
S80's success in the high-end and this new benchmark further confirms
the M80's prowess," said Rod Adkins, general manager, IBM Web Servers.
"Midrange customers can look forward to the M80 performing for them in
the same dynamic, record-breaking manner that the S80 performs for high-end
the TPC-C benchmark, an 8-way RS/6000 M80 processed 66,750.27 transactions
per minute (tpmC), 32 percent better than the 50,268.07 tpmC posted by
a 14-way Sun E4500. The M80 is also more affordable than the Sun E4500,
achieving a price/performance score of $45.46 per transaction ($/tpmC),
compared with $49.88 $/tpmC for the Sun system. The M80 tested ran AIX,
IBM's UNIX operating system and Oracle 8i Release 8.1.7.
rack-mounted M80 also outperformed a midrange server from Hewlett-Packard
containing double the number of processors. An 8-way M80 processed 66,750.27
transactions per minute (tpmC), 28 percent better than the 52,117.8 tpmC
posted by a 16-way HP V2250. The M80 is 78 percent more affordable than
the V2250, with a price/performance score of $45.46 per transaction ($/tpmC),
compared with $81.17 $/tpmC for the HP system.1
customers have traditionally used the TPC-C test as a principle metric
for comparing systems that run demanding single database enterprise-wide
server is powered by two to eight 500 MHz RS64 III copper-based microprocessors,
and can accommodate up to 32GB ECC SDRAM memory and 56 hot-plug PCI slots.
It offers mainframe-class reliability, availability and serviceability
features implemented for the first time in a midrange UNIX machine. These
PCI slots for uninterrupted growth
hot-plug fans and power to improve availability
disk drives to help manage unexpected growth
CPU Deallocation to isolate potential processor problems and keep applications
processor to monitor vital signs and keep system running
introduction last month, the M80 has grabbed the number one spot on a
number of crucial industry performance benchmarks. It scorched competitors
in the SPECweb99 benchmark to become the world's fastest 8-way Web server
and set new records for Java performance and scalability in the VolanoMark
benchmark, achieving two-and-a-half times the capacity of the previous
record holder, a 22-way Sun E6500 server. Demonstrating its power in a
networked office environment, the M80 also outperformed Sun Microsystems
offerings on the SPECsfs97 .v2 benchmark, becoming the world's most powerful
8-way general purpose system for file-serving.
IBM's 1999 strategy (primarily for the Netfinity line, but also for the
RS/6000) was to turn out systems with high performance numbers, but not
necessarily the best in price/performance. For 2000, however, the new
mantra is price/performance. This is a good thing for both IBM and customers.
Good for IBM, because it should help improve sales; good for customers
for the obvious reason - saving money. One caveat regarding the performance
numbers: some of IBM's comparisons are to numbers over a year old. Given
how fast the computing world moves, we feel this comparison does not have
the same weight as if HP's numbers were produced in the last two months
(as an example). Since HP has stated they are putting more emphasis on
improving their price performance, the actual advantage vs. HP may be
less than claimed. [Note: although HP has stated their new focus on price/performance,
publication of figures still lags, making it difficult to gauge their
IBM has a compelling hardware story, their Unix story (i.e., AIX) is not
as compelling as Sun's Solaris. This is not an indicator of quality; the
issue is the amount of applications available. Although there are a fair
number of AIX apps, it's small compared to Solaris. A concerted effort
here will help the Web Server group in their quest to overtake Sun.
This announcement primarily affects mid-range Unix-system users - those
who like the RS/6000 line, but don't want/need to get the "really big
iron", the S80, just yet. An eight-CPU M80 will still deliver a performance
boost of around 65% more transactions per unit time than an eight-CPU
Windows NT system. Even when the price differential is factored in, this
will provide a compelling "sell" for many customers.
mentioned earlier, one of the key issues for users to consider is AIX
applications: if you already have the AIX apps you need, no problem. However,
buying a "hot box" which lacks the ability to run key software applications
leads to classic cart-horse inversion. Potential customers should ensure
that IBM (or an ISV "Independent Software Vendor") has the desired program(s)
already available and running bug-free.
last comment, we might have chosen a slightly different model designation