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

SPECvirt_2013: SPARC T7-2 World Record Performance for Two- and Four-Chip Systems

Brian Whitney
Principal Software Engineer

Oracle's SPARC T7-2 server delivered a world record SPECvirt_sc2013 result for systems with two to four chips.

  • The SPARC T7-2 server produced a result of 3198 @ 179 VMs SPECvirt_sc2013.

  • The two-chip SPARC T7-2 server beat the best four-chip x86 Intel E7-8890 v3 server (HP ProLiant DL580 Gen9), demonstrating that the SPARC M7 processor is 2.1 times faster than the Intel Xeon Processor E7-8890 v3 (chip-to-chip comparison).

  • The two-chip SPARC T7-2 server beat the best two-chip x86 Intel E5-2699 v3 server results by nearly 2 times (Huawei FusionServer RH2288H V3, HP ProLiant DL360 Gen9).

  • The two-chip SPARC T7-2 server delivered nearly 2.2 times the performance of the four-chip IBM Power System S824 server solution which used 3.5 GHz POWER8 six core chips.

  • The SPARC T7-2 server running Oracle Solaris 11.3 operating system, utilizes embedded virtualization products as the Oracle Solaris 11 zones, which in turn provide a low overhead, flexible, scalable and manageable virtualization environment.

  • The SPARC T7-2 server result used Oracle VM  Server for SPARC 3.3 and Oracle Solaris Zones providing a flexible, scalable and manageable virtualization environment.

Performance Landscape

Complete benchmark results are at the SPEC website, SPECvirt_sc2013 Results.  The following table highlights the leading two-, and four-chip results for the benchmark, bigger is better.
 
SPECvirt_sc2013
Leading Two to Four-Chip Results
System
Processor
Chips Result @ VMs Virtualization Software
SPARC T7-2
SPARC M7 (4.13 GHz, 32core)
2 3198 @ 179 Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.3
Oracle Solaris Zones
HP ProLiant DL580 Gen9
Intel E7-8890 v3 (2.5 GHz, 18core)
4 3020 @ 168 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 KVM
Lenovo System x3850 X6
Intel E7-8890 v3 (2.5 GHz, 18core)
4 2655 @ 147 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 KVM
Huawei FusionServer RH2288H V3
Intel E5-2699 v3 (2.3 GHz, 18core)
2 1616 @ 95 Huawei FusionSphere V1R5C10
HP ProLiant DL360 Gen9
Intel E5-2699 v3 (2.3 GHz, 18core)
2 1614 @ 95 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 KVM
IBM Power S824
POWER8 (3.5 GHz, 6core)
4 1370 @ 79 PowerVM Enterprise Edition 2.2.3
 

Configuration Summary

System Under Test Highlights:

Hardware:
1 x SPARC T7-2 server, with
2 x 4.13 GHz SPARC M7
1 TB memory
2 Sun Dual Port 10GBase-T Adapter
2 Sun Storage Dual 16 Gb Fibre Channel PCIe Universal HBA

Software:
Oracle Solaris 11.3
Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.3 (LDom)
Oracle Solaris Zones
Oracle iPlanet Web Server 7.0.20
Oracle PHP 5.3.29
Dovecot v2.2.18
Oracle WebLogic Server Standard Edition Release 10.3.6
Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition (12.1.0.2.0)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM on Solaris, version 1.7.0_85-b15

Storage:
3 x Oracle Server X5-2L, with
2 x Intel Xeon Processor E5-2630 v3 8-core 2.4 GHz
32 GB memory
4 x Oracle Flash Accelerator F160 PCIe Card
Oracle Solaris 11.3

1 x Oracle Server X5-2L, with
2 x Intel Xeon Processor E5-2630 v3 8-core 2.4 GHz
32 GB memory
4 x Oracle Flash Accelerator F160 PCIe Card
4x 400 GB SSDs
Oracle Solaris 11.3
 

Benchmark Description

SPECvirt_sc2013 is SPEC's updated benchmark addressing performance evaluation of datacenter servers used in virtualized server consolidation. SPECvirt_sc2013 measures the end-to-end performance of all system components including the hardware, virtualization platform, and the virtualized guest operating system and application software. It utilizes several SPEC workloads representing applications that are common targets of virtualization and server consolidation. The workloads were made to match a typical server consolidation scenario of CPU resource requirements, memory, disk I/O, and network utilization for each workload. These workloads are modified versions of SPECweb2005, SPECjAppServer2004, SPECmail2008, and SPEC CPU2006. The client-side SPECvirt_sc2013 harness controls the workloads. Scaling is achieved by running additional sets of virtual machines, called "tiles", until overall throughput reaches a peak.

Key Points and Best Practices

  • The SPARC T7-2 server running the Oracle Solaris 11.3, utilizes embedded virtualization products as the Oracle VM Server 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

  • Using Oracle VM Server for SPARC to bind the SPARC M7 processor with its local memory optimized the memory use in this virtual environment.

  • This improved result used a fractional tile to fully saturate the system.

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 11/19/2015.
SPARC T7-2, SPECvirt_sc2013 3198@179 VMs; HP ProLiant DL580 Gen9, SPECvirt_sc2013 3020@168 VMs; Lenovo x3850 X6; SPECvirt_sc2013 2655@147 VMs; Huawei FusionServer RH2288H V3, SPECvirt_sc2013 1616@95 VMs; HP ProLiant DL360 Gen9, SPECvirt_sc2013 1614@95 VMs; IBM Power S824, SPECvirt_sc2013 1370@79 VMs.

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