Wednesday Jun 16, 2010

PeopleSoft NA Payroll 500K EE Benchmark on Solaris : The Saga Continues ..

Few clarifications before we start.

Difference between 240K and 500K EE PeopleSoft NA Payroll benchmarks

Not too long ago Sun published PeopleSoft NA Payroll 240K EE benchmark results with 16 job streams and 8 job streams. First of all, I want to make sure everyone understands the fact that PeopleSoft NA Payroll 240K and 500K EE benchmarks are two completely different benchmarks. The 240K database model represents a large sized organization where as 500K database model represents an extra-large sized organization. Vendors [who benchmark] have the flexibility of configuring 8, 16, 24 or 32 parallel job streams (or threads) in those two benchmarks to parallellize the work being done.

Now that the clarifications are out of the way, here is the direct URL for the 500K Payroll benchmark results that Oracle|Sun published last week. (document will be updated shortly to fix the branding issues)

    PeopleSoft Enterprise Payroll 9.0 using Oracle for Solaris on a Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 (500K EE 32 job streams)

What's changed at Sun & Oracle?

The 500K payroll benchmark work was started few months ago when Sun is an independent entity. By the time the benchmark work is complete, Sun was part of Oracle Corporation. However it has no impact whatsoever on the way we have been operating and interacting with the PeopleSoft benchmark team for the past few years. We (Sun) still have to package all the benchmark results and submit for validation just like any other vendor. It is still the same laborious process that we have to go through from both ends of Oracle (that is, PeopleSoft & Sun). I just mentioned this to highlight Oracle's non-compromising nature on anything at any level in publishing quality benchmarks.

SUMMARY OF 500K NA PAYROLL BENCHMARK RESULTS

The following bar chart summarizes all the published benchmark results by different vendors. Each 3D bar on X-axis represent one vendor, and the Y-axis shows the throughput (#payments/hour) achieved by corresponding vendor. Actual throughput and the vendor name is also shown in each of the 3D bar for clarity. Common sense dictates that higher the throughput, the better it is.

The numbers in the following table were extracted from the very first page of the benchmark results white papers where Oracle|PeopleSoft highlights the significance of the results and the actual numbers that are of interest to the customers. The results in the following table are sorted by the hourly throughput (payments/hour) in the descending order. The goal of this benchmark is to achieve as much hourly throughput as possible. Click on the link that is underneath the hourly throughput values to open corresponding benchmark result.

Oracle PeopleSoft North American Payroll 9.0 - Number of employees: 500,480 & Number of payments: 750,720
Vendor OS Hardware Config #Job Streams Elapsed Time (min) Hourly Throughput
Payments per Hour
Sun Solaris 10 10/09 1x Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 with 8 x 2.53 GHz SPARC64 VII Quad-Core CPUs & 64G RAM
1 x Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array with 40 Flash Modules for data, indexes. Capacity: 960 GB
1 x Sun Storage 2510 Array for redo logs. Capacity: 272 GB. Total storage capacity: 1.2 TB
32 50.11 898,886
IBM z/OS 1.10 1 x IBM System z10 Enterprise Class Model 2097-709 with 8 x 4.4 GHz IBM System z10 Gen1 CPUs & 32G RAM
1 x IBM TotalStorage DS8300. Total capacity: 9 TB
8\* 58.96 763,962
HP HP-UX B.11.31 1 x HP Integrity rx7640 with 8 x 1.6 GHz Intel Itanium2 9150 Dual-Core CPUs & 64G RAM
1 x HP StorageWorks EVA 8100. Total capacity: 8 TB
32 96.17 468,370

This is all public information. Feel free to compare the hardware configurations and the data presented in all three rows and draw your own conclusions. Since all vendors used the same benchmark toolkit, comparisons should be pretty straight forward.

Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array, the differentiator

Of all these benchmark results, clearly the F5100 storage array is the key differentiator. The payroll workload is I/O intensive, and requires low latency storage for better throughput (it is implicit that less latency means less I/O waits).

There is a lot of noise from some of the outside blog readers (I do not know who those readers are or who they work for) when Sun published the very first NA Payroll 240K EE benchmark with eight job streams using an F5100 array that has 40 flash modules (FMOD). Few people thought it is necessary to have those many flash modules to get that kind of performance that Sun demonstrated in the benchmark. Now that we have the 500K benchmark result as well, I want to highlight another fact that it is the same F5100 that was used in all the three NA Payroll benchmarks that Sun published in the last 10 months. Even though other vendors increased the number of disk drives when moved from 240K to 500K EE benchmark environment, Sun hasn't increased the flash modules in F5100 -- the number of FMODs remained at 40 even in 500K EE benchmark. This fact implicitly suggests at least two things -- 1. F5100 array is resilient, scales and performs consistently even with increased load. 2. May be 40 flash modules are not needed in 240K EE Payroll benchmark. Hopefully this will silence those naysayers and critics now.

While we are on the same topic, the storage capacity in the other array that was used to store the redo logs was in fact reduced from 5.3 TB in a J4200 array that was used in 240K EE/16 job stream benchmark to 272 GB in a 2510 array that was used in 500K EE/32 job stream benchmark. Of course, in both cases, the redo logs consumed only 20 GB on disk - but since the arrays were connected to the database server, we have to report the total capacity of the array(s) whether it is being used or not.

Notes on CPU utilization and IBM's #job streams

Even though I highlighted the I/O factor in the above paragraph, it is hard to ignore the fact that the NA Payroll workload is CPU intensive too. Even when multiple job streams are configured, each stream runs as a single-thread process -- hence it is vital to have a server with powerful processors for better [overall] performance.

Observant readers might have noticed couple of interesting things.

  1. The maximum average CPU usage that Sun reported in 500K EE benchmark in any scenario by any process is only 43.99% (less than half of the total processing capacity)

    The reason is simple. The SUT, M5000, has eight quad-core processors and each core is capable of running two hardware threads in parallel. Hence there are 64 virtual CPUs on the system, and since we ran only 32 job streams, only half of the total available CPU power was in use.

    Customers in a similar situation have the flexibility to consolidate another workload onto the same system to take advantage of the available/remaining CPU cycles.

  2. IBM's 500K EE benchmark result is only with 8 job streams

    I do not know the exact reason - but if I have to speculate, it is as good as anyone's guess. Based on the benchmark results white paper, it appears that the z10 system (mainframe) has eight single core processors, and perhaps that is why they ran the whole benchmark with only eight job streams.

Also See:

Tuesday Nov 10, 2009

PeopleSoft North American Payroll on Sun Solaris with F5100 Flash Array : A blog Reprise

During the "Sun day" keynote at OOW 09, John Fowler stated that we are #1 in PeopleSoft North American Payroll performance. Later Vince Carbone from our Performance Technologies group went on comparing our benchmark numbers with HP's and IBM's in BestPerf's group blog at Oracle PeopleSoft Payroll (NA) Sun SPARC Enterprise M4000 and Sun Storage F5100 World Record Performance. Meanwhile Jeorg Moellenkamp had been clarifying few things in his blog at App benchmarks, incorrect conclusions and the Sun Storage F5100. Interestingly it all happened while we have no concrete evidence in our hands to show to the outside world. We got our benchmark results validated right before the Oracle OpenWorld, which gave us the ability to speak about it publicly [ and we used it to the extent we could use ]. However Oracle folks were busy with their scheduled tasks for OOW 09 and couldn't work on the benchmark results white paper until now. Finally the white paper with the NA Payroll benchmark results is available on Oracle Applications benchmark web site. Here is the URL:

        PeopleSoft Enterprise Payroll 9.0 using Oracle for Solaris on a Sun SPARC Enterprise M4000

Once again the summary of results is shown below but in a slightly different format. These numbers were extracted from the very first page of the benchmark results white papers where PeopleSoft usually highlights the significance of the results and the actual numbers that they are interested in. The results are sorted by the hourly throughput (payments/hour) in the descending order. The goal is to achieve as much hourly throughput as possible. Since there is one 16 stream result as well in the following table, exercise caution when comparing 8 stream results with 16 stream results. In general, 16 parallel job streams are supposed to yield better throughput when compared to 8 parallel job streams. Hence comparing a 16 stream number with an 8 stream number is not an exact apple-to-apple comparison. It is more like comparing an apple to another apple that is half in size. Click on the link that is underneath the hourly throughput values to open corresponding benchmark result.

Oracle PeopleSoft North American Payroll 9.0 - Number of employees: 240,000 & Number of payments: 360,000
Vendor OS Hardware Config #Job Streams Elapsed Time (min) Hourly Throughput
Payments per Hour
Sun Solaris 10 5/09 1x Sun SPARC Enterprise M4000 with 4 x 2.53 GHz SPARC64-VII Quad-Core processors and 32 GB memory
1 x Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array with 40 Flash Modules for data, indexes
1 x Sun Storage J4200 Array for redo logs
8 67.85 318,349
HP HP-UX 1 x HP Integrity rx6600 with 4 x 1.6 GHz Intel Itanium2 9000 Dual-Core processors and 32 GB memory
1 x HP StorageWorks EVA 8100
16 68.07 317,320
HP HP-UX 1 x HP Integrity rx6600 with 4 x 1.6 GHz Intel Itanium2 9000 Dual-Core processors and 32 GB memory
1 x HP StorageWorks EVA 8100
8 89.77 240,615\*
IBM z/OS 1 x IBM zSeries 990 model 2084-B16 with 313 Feature with 6 x IBM z990 Gen1 processors (populated: 13, used: 6) and 32 GB memory
1 x IBM TotalStorage DS8300 with dual 4-way processors
8 91.7 235,551

This is all public information -- so, feel free to draw your own conclusions. \*At this time of writing, HP's 8 stream results were pulled out of Oracle Applications benchmark web site for some reason I do not know why. Hopefully it will show up again on the same web site soon. If it doesn't re-appear even after a month, probably we can simply assume that the result is withdrawn.

As these benchmark results were already discussed by different people in different blogs, I have nothing much to add. The only thing that I want to highlight is that this particular workload is moderately CPU intensive, but very I/O bound. Hence the better the I/O sub-system, the better the performance. Vince provided an insight on Why Sun Storage F5100 is a good option for this workload, while Jignesh Shah from our ISV-Engineering organization focused on the performance of this benchmark workload with F20 PCIe Card.

Also when dealing with NA Payroll, it is very unlikely to achieve a nice out-of-the-box performance. It requires a lot of database tuning too. As the data sets are very large, we partitioned the data in some of the very hot objects and it showed good improvement in query response times. So if you are a PeopleSoft customer running Payroll application with millions of rows of non-partitioned data, consider partitioning the data. [Updated 11/30/09]We are currently working on a best practices blueprint document for PeopleSoft North American Payroll that presents a variety of tuning tips like these in addition to the recommended practices for F5100 flash array and flash accelerator F20 PCIe card. Stay tuned .. Sun published a best practices blueprint document with a variety of tuning tips like these in addition to the recommended practices for F5100 flash array and flash accelerator F20 PCIe card. You can download the blueprint from the following location:

    Best Practices for Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Payroll for North America using the Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array or Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card

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