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

SPARC T5-2 Delivers World Record 2-Socket SPECvirt_sc2010 Benchmark

Brian Whitney
Principal Software Engineer

Oracle's SPARC T5-2 server delivered a world record two-chip SPECvirt_sc2010 result of 4270 @ 264 VMs, establishing performance superiority in virtualized environments of the SPARC T5 processors with Oracle Solaris 11, which includes as standard virtualization products Oracle VM for SPARC and Oracle Solaris Zones.

  • The SPARC T5-2 server has 2.3x better performance than an HP BL620c G7 blade server (with two Westmere EX processors) which used VMware ESX 4.1 U1 virtualization software (best SPECvirt_sc2010 result on two-chip servers using VMware software).

  • The SPARC T5-2 server has 1.6x better performance than an IBM Flex System x240 server (with two Sandy Bridge processors) which used Kernel-based Virtual Machines (KVM).

  • This is the first SPECvirt_sc2010 result using Oracle production level software:  Oracle Solaris 11.1, Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.6, Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition, Oracle iPlanet Web Server 7 and Oracle Java Development Kit 7 (JDK).  The only exception for the Dovecot mail server.

Performance Landscape

Complete benchmark results are at the SPEC website, SPECvirt_sc2010 Results.  The following table highlights the leading two-chip results for the benchmark, bigger is better.

Leading Two-Chip Results
System Processor Result @ VMs Virtualization Software
3.6 GHz
4270 @ 264 Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.0
Oracle Solaris Zones
IBM Flex System x240 2 x Intel E5-2690
2.9 GHz
2741 @ 168 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 KVM
HP Proliant BL6200c G7 2 x Intel E7-2870
2.4 GHz
1878 @ 120 VMware ESX 4.1 U1

Configuration Summary

System Under Test Highlights:

1 x SPARC T5-2 server, with
2 x 3.6 GHz SPARC T5 processors
1 TB memory
Oracle Solaris 11.1
Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.0
Oracle iPlanet Web Server 7.0.15
Oracle PHP 5.3.14
Dovecot 2.1.17
Oracle WebLogic Server 11g (10.3.6)
Oracle Database 11g (
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM on Solaris, version 1.7.0_51

Benchmark Description

The SPECvirt_sc2010 benchmark is SPEC's first benchmark addressing performance of virtualized systems.  It measures the end-to-end performance of all system components that make up a virtualized environment.

The benchmark utilizes several previous SPEC benchmarks which represent common tasks which are commonly used in virtualized environments.  The workloads included are derived from SPECweb2005, SPECjAppServer2004 and SPECmail2008. Scaling of the benchmark is achieved by running additional sets of virtual machines until overall throughput reaches a peak.  The benchmark includes a quality of service criteria that must be met for a successful run.

Key Points and Best Practices

  • The SPARC T5 server running the Oracle Solaris 11.1, utilizes embedded virtualization products as the Oracle VM for SPARC and Oracle Solaris Zones, which provide a low overhead, flexible, scalable and manageable virtualization environment.

  • In order to provide a high level of data integrity and availability, all the benchmark data sets are stored on mirrored (RAID1) storage.

See Also

Disclosure Statement

SPEC and the benchmark name SPECvirt_sc are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.  Results from www.spec.org as of 3/5/2014.  SPARC T5-2, SPECvirt_sc2010 4270 @ 264 VMs; IBM Flex System x240, SPECvirt_sc2010 2741 @ 168 VMs; HP Proliant BL620c G7, SPECvirt_sc2010 1878 @ 120 VMs.

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