World Record TPC-H@300GB Price-Performance for Windows on Sun Fire X4600 M2

Significance of Results

Sun and Microsoft combined to deliver World Record price performance for Windows based results on the TPC-H benchmark at the 300GB scale factor. Using Microsoft's SQL Server 2008 Enterprise database along with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 operating system on the Sun Fire X4600 M2 server, the result of 2.80 $/QphH@300GB (USD) was delivered.

  • The Sun Fire X4600 M2 provides World Record price-performance of 2.80 $/QphH@300GB (USD) among Windows based TPC-H results at the 300GB scale factor. This result is 14% better price performance than the HP DL785 result.
  • The Sun Fire X4600 M2 trails HP's World Record single system performance (HP: 57,684 QphH@300GB, Sun: 55,185 QphH@300GB) by less than 5%.
  • The Sun/SQL Server solution used fewer disks for the database (168) than the other top performance leaders @300GB.
  • IBM required 79% more disks (300 total) than Sun to get a result of 46,034 QphH@300GB which is 20% below Sun's QphH.
  • HP required 21% more disks (204 total) than Sun to achieve a result of 3.24 $/QphH@300GB (USD) which is 16% worse than Sun's price performance.

This is Sun's first published TPC-H SQL Server benchmark.

Performance Landscape

ch/co/th = chips, cores, threads
$/QphH = TPC-H Price/Performance metric (smaller is better)

System ch/co/th Processor Database QphH $/QphH Price Disks Available
Sun Fire X4600 M2 8/32/32 2.7 Opteron 8384 SQL Server 2008 55,158 2.80 $154,284 168 07/06/09
HP DL785 8/32/32 2.7 Opteron 8384 SQL Server 2008 57,684 3.24 $186,700 204 11/17/08
IBM x3950 M2 8/32/32 2.93 Intel X7350 SQL Server 2005 46,034 5.40 $248,635 300 03/07/08

Complete benchmark results may be found at the TPC benchmark website

Results and Configuration Summary


    Sun Fire X4600 M2 with:
      8 x AMD Opteron 8384, 2.7 GHz QC processors
      256 GB memory
      3 x 73GB (15K RPM) internal SAS disks


    14 x Sun Storage J4200 each consisting of 12 x 146GB 15,000 RPM SAS disks


    Operating System: Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Enterprise x64 Edition SP1
    Database Manager: SQL Server 2008 Enterprise x64 Edition SP1

Audited Results:

    Database Size: 300GB (Scale Factor)
    TPC-H Composite: 55,157.5 QphH@300GB
    Price/performance: $2.80 / QphH@300GB (USD)
    Available: July 6, 2009
    Total 3 Year Cost: $154,284.19 (USD)
    TPC-H Power: 67,095.6
    TPC-H Throughput: 45,343.5
    Database Load Time: 17 hours 29 minutes
    Storage Ratio: 76.82

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. A secondary metric is the storage efficiency, which is the ratio of total configured disk space in GB to the scale factor.

Key Points and Best Practices

SQL Server 2008 is able to take advantage of the lower latency local memory access provides on the Sun Fire 4600 M2 server. This was achieved by setting the NUMA initialization parameter to enable all NUMA optimizations.

Enabling the Windows large-page feature provided a significant performance improvement. Because SQL Server 2008 manages its own memory buffer, the use of large-pages resulted in significant performance increase. Note that to use large-pages, an application must be part of the large-page group of the OS (Windows).

The 64-bit Windows OS and 64-bit SQL Server software were able to utilize the 256GB of memory available on the Sun Fire 4600 M2 server.

See Also

Disclosure Statement

TPC-H@300GB: Sun Fire X4600 M2 55,158 QphH@300GB, $2.80/QphH@300GB, availability 7/6/09; HP DL785, 57,684 QphH@300GB, $3.24/QphH@300GB, availability 11/17/08; IBM x3950 M2, 46,034 QphH@300GB, $5.40/QphH@300GB, availability 03/07/08; TPC-H, QphH, $/QphH tm of Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC). More info


How important is having (or not having) RAID for these sorts of things?

Posted by rick jones on July 11, 2009 at 07:11 AM PDT #

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