Oracle's SPARC T4 processor has significantly greater performance than the Intel Xeon X5690 processor when both are using Oracle Solaris 11 secure IP networking (IPsec). The SPARC T4 processor using IPsec AES-256-CCM mode achieves line speed over a 10 GbE network.
On IPsec, SPARC T4 processor is 23% faster than the 3.46 GHz Intel Xeon X5690 processor (Intel AES-NI).
The SPARC T4 processor is only at 23% utilization when running at its maximum throughput making it 3.6 times more efficient at secure networking than the 3.46 GHz Intel Xeon X5690 processor.
The 3.46 GHz Intel Xeon X5690 processor is nearly fully utilized at its maximum throughput leaving little CPU for application processing.
The SPARC T4 processor using IPsec AES-256-CCM mode achieves line speed over a 10 GbE network.
The SPARC T4 processor approaches line speed with fewer than one-quarter the number of IPsec streams required for the Intel Xeon X5690 processor to achieve its peak throughput. The SPARC T4 processor supports the additional streams with minimal extra CPU utilization.
IPsec provides general purpose networking security which is transparent to applications. This is ideal for supplying the capability to those networking applications that don't have cryptography built-in. IPsec provides for more than Virtual Private Networking (VPN) deployments where the technology is often first encountered.
Performance was measured using the AES-256-CCM cipher in megabits per second (Mb/sec) aggregate over sufficient numbers of TCP/IP streams to achieve line rate threshold (SPARC T4 processor) or drive a peak throughput (Intel Xeon X5690).
|Processor||GHz||AES Decrypt||AES Encrypt|
|B/W (Mb/sec)||CPU Util||Streams||B/W (Mb/sec)||CPU Util||Streams|
|– Peak performance|
|Intel Xeon X5690||3.46||8,000||83%||4,700||81%|
|– Load at which SPARC T4 processor performance crosses 9000 Mb/sec|
|Intel Xeon X5690||3.46||4,700||41%||3,200||47%|
Driver Systems Configuration:
The results here are derived from runs of the Netperf 2.4.5 benchmark. Netperf is a client/server benchmark measuring network performance providing a number of independent tests, including the TCP streaming bandwidth tests used here.
Netperf is, however, a single network stream benchmark and to demonstrate peak network bandwidth over a 10 GbE line under encryption requires many streams.
The Netperf documentation provides an example of using the software to drive multiple streams. The example is not sufficient to develop the workload because it does not scale beyond a single driver node which limits the processing power that can be applied. This subsequently limits how many full bandwidth streams can be supported. We chose to have a single server process on the target system (containing either the SPARC T4 processor or the Intel Xeon processor) and to spawn one or more Netperf client processes each across a cluster of the driver systems. The client processes are managed by the mpirun program of the Oracle Message Passing Toolkit.
Tabular results include aggregate bandwidth and CPU utilization. The aggregate bandwidth is computed by dividing the total traffic of the client processes by the overall runtime. CPU utilization on the target system is the average of that reported by all of the Netperf client processes.
IPsec is configured in the operating system of each participating server transparently to Netperf and applied to the dedicated network connecting the target system to the driver systems.
Copyright 2011, 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 9/26/2011.