SPARC Enterprise M8000 with Oracle 11g Beats IBM POWER7 on TPC-H @1000GB Benchmark

Oracle's SPARC Enterprise M8000 server configured with SPARC64 VII+ processors, Oracle's Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array storage, Oracle Solaris, and Oracle Database 11g Release 2 achieved a TPC-H performance result of 209,533 QphH@1000GB with price/performance of $9.53/QphH@1000GB.

Oracle's SPARC server surpasses the performance of the IBM POWER7 server on the 1 TB TPC-H decision support benchmark.

Oracle focuses on the performance of the complete hardware and software stack. Implementation details such as the number of cores or the number of threads obscures the important metric of delivered system performance. The SPARC Enterprise M8000 server delivers higher performance than the IBM Power 780 even though the SPARC VII+ processor-core is 1.6x slower than the POWER7 processor-core.

  • The SPARC Enterprise M8000 server is 27% faster than the IBM Power 780. IBM's reputed single-thread performance leadership does not provide benefit for throughput.

  • Oracle beats IBM Power with better performance. This shows that Oracle's focus on integrated system design provides more customer value than IBM's focus on per core performance.

  • The SPARC Enterprise M8000 server is up to 3.8 times faster than the IBM Power 780 for Refresh Function. Again, IBM's reputed single-thread performance leadership does not provide benefit for this important function.

  • The SPARC Enterprise M8000 server is 49% faster than the HP Superdome 2 (1.73 GHz Itanium 9350).

  • The SPARC Enterprise M8000 server is 22% better price performance than the HP Superdome 2 (1.73 GHz Itanium 9350).

  • The SPARC Enterprise M8000 server is 2 times faster than the HP Superdome 2 (1.73 GHz Itanium 9350) for Refresh Function.

  • Oracle used Storage Redundancy Level 3 as defined by the TPC-H 2.14.0 specification which is the highest level.

  • One should focus on the performance of the complete hardware and software stack since server implementation details such as the number of cores or the number of threads obscures the important metric of delivered system performance.

  • This TPC-H result demonstrates that the SPARC Enterprise M8000 server can handle the increasingly large databases required of DSS systems. The server delivered more than 16 GB/sec of IO throughput through Oracle Database 11g Release 2 software maintaining high cpu load.

Performance Landscape

The table below lists published results from comparable enterprise class systems from Oracle, HP and IBM. Each system was configured with 512 GB of memory.

TPC-H @1000GB

System
CPU type
Proc/Core/Thread
Composite
(QphH)
$/perf
($/QphH)
Power
(QppH)
Throughput
(QthH)
Database Available
SPARC Enterprise M8000
3 GHz SPARC64 VII+
16 / 64 / 128
209,533.6 $9.53 177,845.9 246,867.2 Oracle 11g 09/22/11
IBM Power 780
4.14 GHz POWER7
8 / 32 / 128
164,747.2 $6.85 170,206.4 159,463.1 Sybase 03/31/11
HP SuperDome 2
1.73 GHz Intel Itanium 9350
16 / 64 / 64
140,181.1 $12.15 139,181.0 141,188.3 Oracle 11g 10/20/10

QphH = the Composite Metric (bigger is better)
$/QphH = the Price/Performance metric (smaller is better)
QppH = the Power Numerical Quantity
QthH = the Throughput Numerical Quantity

Complete benchmark results found at the TPC benchmark website http://www.tpc.org.

Configuration Summary and Results

Server:

SPARC Enterprise M8000 server
16 x SPARC64 VII+ 3.0 GHz processors (total of 64 cores, 128 threads)
512 GB memory
12 x internal SAS (12 x 300 GB) disk drives

External Storage:

4 x Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array device, each with
80 x 24 GB Flash Modules

Software:

Oracle Solaris 10 8/11
Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Enterprise Edition

Audited Results:

Database Size: 1000 GB (Scale Factor 3000)
TPC-H Composite: 209,533.6 QphH@1000GB
Price/performance: $9.53/QphH@1000GB
Available: 09/22/2011
Total 3 year Cost: $1,995,715
TPC-H Power: 177,845.9
TPC-H Throughput: 246,867.2
Database Load Time: 1:27:12

Benchmark Description

The TPC-H benchmark is a performance benchmark established by the Transaction Processing Council (TPC) to demonstrate Data Warehousing/Decision Support Systems (DSS). TPC-H measurements are produced for customers to evaluate the performance of various DSS systems. These queries and updates are executed against a standard database under controlled conditions. Performance projections and comparisons between different TPC-H Database sizes (100GB, 300GB, 1000GB, 3000GB and 10000GB) are not allowed by the TPC.

TPC-H is a data warehousing-oriented, non-industry-specific benchmark that consists of a large number of complex queries typical of decision support applications. It also includes some insert and delete activity that is intended to simulate loading and purging data from a warehouse. TPC-H measures the combined performance of a particular database manager on a specific computer system.

The main performance metric reported by TPC-H is called the TPC-H Composite Query-per-Hour Performance Metric (QphH@SF, where SF is the number of GB of raw data, referred to as the scale factor). QphH@SF is intended to summarize the ability of the system to process queries in both single and multi user modes. The benchmark requires reporting of price/performance, which is the ratio of QphH to total HW/SW cost plus 3 years maintenance.

Key Points and Best Practices

  • Four Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array devices were used for the benchmark. Each F5100 device contains 80 Flash Modules (FMODs). Twenty (20) FMODs from each F5100 device were connected to a single SAS 6 Gb HBA. A single F5100 device showed 4.16 GB/sec for sequential read and demonstrated linear scaling of 16.62 GB/sec with 4 x F5100 devices.
  • The IO rate from the Oracle database was over 16 GB/sec.
  • Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 required very little system tuning.
  • The SPARC Enterprise M8000 server and Oracle Solaris efficiently managed the system load of over one thousand Oracle parallel processes.
  • The Oracle database files were mirrored under Solaris Volume Manager (SVM). Two F5100 arrays were mirrored to another 2 F5100 arrays. IO performance was good and balanced across all the FMODs. Because of the SVM mirror one of the durability tests, the disk/controller failure test, was transparent to the Oracle database.

See Also

Disclosure Statement

SPARC Enterprise M8000 209,533.6 QphH@1000GB, $9.53/QphH@1000GB, avail 09/22/11, IBM Power 780 QphH@1000GB, 164,747.2 QphH@1000GB, $6.85/QphH@1000GB, avail 03/31/11, HP Integrity Superdome 2 140,181.1 QphH@1000GB, $12.15/QphH@1000GB avail 10/20/10, TPC-H, QphH, $/QphH tm of Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC). More info www.tpc.org.

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BestPerf is the source of Oracle performance expertise. In this blog, Oracle's Strategic Applications Engineering group explores Oracle's performance results and shares best practices learned from working on Enterprise-wide Applications.

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