Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

Your source of IBM database software news (DB2, Informix, Hadoop, & more)

Archive for December 2010

Top Posts of 2010

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Here are the top posts from this blog in 2010, as judged by amount of views. There have obviously been a lot of people wanting to learn more about Exadata in 2010.

1. A Closer Look at Exadata v2 Costs
2. Closer Examination of Oracle Exadata Price Cuts
3. Truth in Advertising – Advanced Data Compression in Oracle 11g
4. Comparing IBM DB2 and Oracle Database for SAP
5. IBM DB2 adds “SQL Skin for Sybase ASE” to Ease Database Migrations

And here are the top posts of 2010, as judged by reader participation. In other words, as judged by the number of comments (or perhaps the amount of controversy). Curiously, there is very little overlap between the two lists.

1. SAP Certification of IBM DB2 and Oracle Database (25 comments)
2. Truth in Advertising – Oracle’s Claims about Performance and Energy Consumption (12 comments)
3. Comparing Price for Oracle Exadata and IBM Smart Analytics System (7 comments)
4. IBM DB2 Strikes Another Blow to Oracle Database (6 comments)
5. Oracle uses 9x CPUs to Achieve only 3x the Performance for TPC-C Benchmark (5 comments)
5. Comparing IBM DB2 and Oracle Database for SAP (5 comments)


Written by Conor O'Mahony

December 28, 2010 at 11:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Smarter Questions Debate Community

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Today, IBM launched a Smarter Questions for a Smarter Planet debate community at The intention of this community is to foster an open debate about interesting topics. The first set of debates involve industry benchmarks, integrated hardware/software systems, and RISC versus x-86 architectures.

Initially this community features only contributions from IBMers, but we would love to change that very soon. If you are interested in becomming a featured expert, please let us know. Everyone is welcome to apply. We are genuinely interested in featuring experts from end users, business partners, other software and hardware vendors, analysts, commentators, and anyone else in the industry. If you have opinions to share on topics like these, please apply via the community. We especially welcome experts from competing hardware and software vendors. We would love to include your positions in these open debates.

But in the meantime, if you have a position on the first set of debate topics, make sure to submit a comment on The more opposing viewpoints we can feature, the better.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

December 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

eBook: Six Reasons to Move from Oracle to IBM

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There is a new eBook that describes six reasons to move from Oracle to IBM. The eBook uses real world case studies to illustrate each of the six reasons. The six reasons are performance, cost savings, usability, scalability, flexibility, and reliability. If you have Oracle products in your environment, it will probably make interesting reading. You can read the eBook at Six Reasons to Move from Oracle to IBM.

Six Reasons to Move from Oracle to IBM

Written by Conor O'Mahony

December 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Oracle uses 9x CPUs to Achieve only 3x the Performance for TPC-C Benchmark

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According to IDC’s latest server market share report, released earlier this week, Oracle is languishing in fourth place with 6.6 points of market share (IBM has 30.5 points of market share). When you consider that Oracle/Sun has lost server market share in each of the past seven quarters, you have to imagine that Oracle are desperate to stop the rot. Well, today our friends at Redwood Shores attempted to stem the tide by announcing a new TPC-C benchmark result for a cluster of SPARC systems. However, the benchmark result is far from impressive. Sure, the benchmark system has a huge throughput. However, it is woefully inefficient.

Today’s Oracle benchmark result uses 27 64-core Sun SPARC T3-4 servers to process more than 30M tpmC*. In contrast, IBM’s most recent clustered TPC-C result uses 3 64-core IBM Power 780 servers to process more than 10M tpmC**. There are many ways to look at this. You could claim that Oracle uses nine times the number of CPU cores to achieve only three time the performance. Alternatively, you could claim that each CPU core of the IBM system is able to achieve three times the performance of a CPU core in the Oracle system. Either way, in my opinion, it points to a very inefficient benchmark run. Such inefficiencies are surely a concern for customers who are paying for Oracle Database based upon the number of CPU cores in their systems.

At first glance, the cost efficiency of this new benchmark system from Oracle may appear to be impressive—their system costs 1.01 USD per tpmC. However, if you scratch below the surface, you will find that number is quite deceptive. Oracle do not use the perpetual licenses that you would expect, and Oracle do not use the kinds of support contracts that you would expect. If they did use the licenses and support contracts that are most commonly used, then the system costs would skyrocket, and the relative cost inefficiencies of this system would be plain for all to see. For prior coverage of Oracle’s price/performance tactics, see Sun and Oracle TPC Price/Performance Tactics Revealed.

Also, you should be aware that Oracle have once again resorted to sacrificing data integrity for performance in its benchmark systems. They have turned off page integrity checking—I imagine because, according to the Oracle documentation, it incurs a performance degradation of between 1% and 10%. So, even though it is highly unlikely that you would run a production system without page integrity checking, Oracle has chosen to do just that in the interests of squeezing extra performance out of its system.

Given all this context of misleading cost information and questionable system settings, it was timely to read the following article yesterday… Larry Ellison Hearsay: “We Can’t Be Successful if We Don’t Lie to Customers”

Results on Transaction Processing Performance Council Web site at Results as of 12/02/10.
* Oracle SPARC SuperCluster with T3-4 Servers (27 x 64 core) (108 chips, 1728 cores, 13824 threads); 30,249,688 tpmC; $1.01/tpmC; available 6/1/11.
** IBM Power 780 cluster (3 x 64 core) (24 chips, 192 cores, 768 threads); 10,366,254 tpmC; $1.38/tpmC; available 10/13/10

Written by Conor O'Mahony

December 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm

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