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Everything you want and need to know about Oracle SPARC systems performance

AES Encryption: SPARC T7-2 Beats x86 E5 v3

Brian Whitney
Principal Software Engineer

Oracle's cryptography benchmark measures security performance on important AES security modes. Oracle's SPARC M7 processor with its software in silicon security is faster than x86 servers that have the AES-NI instructions. In this test, the performance of on-processor encryption operations is measured (32 KB encryptions). Multiple threads are used to measure each processor's maximum throughput. Oracle's SPARC T7-2 server shows dramatically faster encryption compared to current x86 two processor servers.

  • SPARC M7 processors running Oracle Solaris 11.3 ran 4.0 times faster executing AES-CFB 256-bit key encryption (in cache) than Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 processors (with AES-NI) running Oracle Linux 6.5.

  • SPARC M7 processors running Oracle Solaris 11.3 ran 3.7 times faster executing AES-CFB 128-bit key encryption (in cache) than Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 processors (with AES-NI) running Oracle Linux 6.5.

  • SPARC M7 processors running Oracle Solaris 11.3 ran 6.4 times faster executing AES-CFB 256-bit key encryption (in cache) than the Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 processors (with AES-NI) running Oracle Linux 6.5.

  • SPARC M7 processors running Oracle Solaris 11.3 ran 6.0 times faster executing AES-CFB 128-bit key encryption (in cache) than the Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 processors (with AES-NI) running Oracle Linux 6.5.

  • AES-CFB encryption is used by Oracle Database for Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) which provides security for database storage.

Oracle has also measured SHA digest performance on the SPARC M7 processor.

Performance Landscape

Presented below are results for running encryption using the AES cipher with the CFB, CBC, GCM and CCM modes for key sizes of 128, 192 and 256. Decryption performance was similar and is not presented. Results are presented as MB/sec (10**6). All SPARC M7 processor results were run as part of this benchmark effort. All other results were run during previous benchmark efforts.

Encryption Performance – AES-CFB (used by Oracle Database)

Performance is presented for in-cache AES-CFB128 mode encryption. Multiple key sizes of 256-bit, 192-bit and 128-bit are presented. The encryption was performance on 32 KB of pseudo-random data (same data for each run).

AES-CFB
Microbenchmark Performance (MB/sec)
Processor GHz Chips Performance Software Environment
AES-256-CFB
SPARC M7 4.13 2 126,948 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 53,794 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2699 v3 2.30 2 31,924 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 19,964 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
AES-192-CFB
SPARC M7 4.13 2 144,299 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 60,736 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2699 v3 2.30 2 37,157 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 23,218 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
AES-128-CFB
SPARC M7 4.13 2 166,324 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 68,691 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2699 v3 2.30 2 44,388 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 27,755 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI

Encryption Performance – AES-CBC

Performance is presented for in-cache AES-CBC mode encryption. Multiple key sizes of 256-bit, 192-bit and 128-bit are presented. The encryption was performance on 32 KB of pseudo-random data (same data for each run).

AES-CBC
Microbenchmark Performance (MB/sec)
Processor GHz Chips Performance Software Environment
AES-256-CBC
SPARC M7 4.13 2 134,278 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 56,788 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2699 v3 2.30 2 31,894 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 19,961 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
AES-192-CBC
SPARC M7 4.13 2 152,961 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 63,937 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2699 v3 2.30 2 37,021 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 23,224 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
AES-128-CBC
SPARC M7 4.13 2 175,151 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 72,870 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2699 v3 2.30 2 44,103 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 27,730 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI

Encryption Performance – AES-GCM (used by ZFS Filesystem)

Performance is presented for in-cache AES-GCM mode encryption with authentication. Multiple key sizes of 256-bit, 192-bit and 128-bit are presented. The encryption/authentication was performance on 32 KB of pseudo-random data (same data for each run).

AES-GCM
Microbenchmark Performance (MB/sec)
Processor GHz Chips Performance Software Environment
AES-256-GCM
SPARC M7 4.13 2 74,221 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 34,022 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 15,338 Oracle Solaris 11.1, libsoftcrypto + libumem
AES-192-GCM
SPARC M7 4.13 2 81,448 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 36,820 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 15,768 Oracle Solaris 11.1, libsoftcrypto + libumem
AES-128-GCM
SPARC M7 4.13 2 86,223 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 38,845 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 16,405 Oracle Solaris 11.1, libsoftcrypto + libumem

Encryption Performance – AES-CCM (alternative used by ZFS Filesystem)

Performance is presented for in-cache AES-CCM mode encryption with authentication. Multiple key sizes of 256-bit, 192-bit and 128-bit are presented. The encryption/authentication was performance on 32 KB of pseudo-random data (same data for each run).

AES-CCM
Microbenchmark Performance (MB/sec)
Processor GHz Chips Performance Software Environment
AES-256-CCM
SPARC M7 4.13 2 67,669 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 28,909 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 19,447 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
AES-192-CCM
SPARC M7 4.13 2 77,711 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 33,116 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 22,634 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI
AES-128-CCM
SPARC M7 4.13 2 90,729 Oracle Solaris 11.3, libsoftcrypto + libumem
SPARC T5 3.60 2 38,529 Oracle Solaris 11.2, libsoftcrypto + libumem
Intel E5-2697 v2 2.70 2 26,951 Oracle Linux 6.5, IPP/AES-NI

Configuration Summary

SPARC T7-2 server
2 x SPARC M7 processor, 4.13 GHz
1 TB memory
Oracle Solaris 11.3

SPARC T5-2 server
2 x SPARC T5 processor, 3.60 GHz
512 GB memory
Oracle Solaris 11.2

Oracle Server X5-2 system
2 x Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 processors, 2.30 GHz
256 GB memory
Oracle Linux 6.5

Sun Server X4-2 system
2 x Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 processors, 2.70 GHz
256 GB memory
Oracle Linux 6.5

Benchmark Description

The benchmark measures cryptographic capabilities in terms of general low-level encryption, in-cache and on-chip using various ciphers, including AES-128-CFB, AES-192-CFB, AES-256-CFB, AES-128-CBC, AES-192-CBC, AES-256-CBC, AES-128-CCM, AES-192-CCM, AES-256-CCM, AES-128-GCM, AES-192-GCM and AES-256-GCM.

The benchmark results were obtained using tests created by Oracle which use various application interfaces to perform the various ciphers. They were run using optimized libraries for each platform to obtain the best possible performance. The encryption tests were run with pseudo-random data of size 32 KB. The benchmark tests were designed to run out of cache, so memory bandwidth and latency are not the limitations.

See Also

Disclosure Statement

Copyright 2015, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Results as of 10/25/2015.

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