Advertisements

Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

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

Archive for the ‘IBM Power Systems’ Category

New IBM Smart Analytics Systems

leave a comment »

Oracle garnered a lot of headlines a couple of weeks ago with their Oracle Database Appliance. It didn’t take long for SmarterQuestions to indicate why the IBM Smart Analytics Systems are A Smarter Database System for SMB Clients.

Recently, IBM added the following systems:

  • IBM Smart Analytics System 5710, which is an x86-based Linux system
  • IBM Smart Analytics System 7710, which is a Power Systems-based UNIX system
  • IBM Smart Analytics System 9710, which are mainframe-based systems

These systems include everything you need to quickly set up a data warehouse environment, and to quickly have your business analysts working with the data.

On top of the servers and storage, it includes database and data warehouse software, Cognos software, cubing services, data mining capabilities, and text analytic capabilities. And it is available on your platform of choice (Linux, UNIX, or mainframe). It is also competitively priced, when you consider that the starting price for the 5710 is under $50k, just like the Oracle appliance. However, the IBM system includes all of the necessary software, whereas with the Oracle appliance you have to purchase the very expensive Oracle Database software separately. And the Oracle Database software is not exactly inexpensive.

If you want to learn more, please visit the IBM Smart Analytics Systems Web page.

Advertisements

Written by Conor O'Mahony

October 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

Comparing the Performance and Cost of IBM DB2 and Oracle Database

with 3 comments

This is the conclusion of my series of blog posts about the Solitaire Interglobal research, which measures various aspects of database environments. In this post, I’m going to focus on performance and cost in IBM Power Systems environments.

Solitaire examined database performance in 1,430 production environments that use IBM Power Systems. You can see the specific breakdown on the counts of the different types of systems in the full report. Their research includes production systems for credit card processing systems, CRM systems, transaction processing systems, and DSS systems.

Here are the summary performance findings for the credit card, CRM, and transaction-processing systems. They indicate the average number of Transactions Per Second (TPS) for these systems. As you can see, DB2 appears to offer a clear performance advantage over Oracle Database. The full report includes details of the number of TPS for each production system in the analysis.

Database Software Performance on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database - OLTP

And here are the summary performance findings for the Decision Support System (DSS) environments, which use an Average Queries per Minute metric.

Database Software Performance on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database - DSS

Solitaire also determined the operational costs for these environments. These are the costs for infrastructure and staffing. It does not include overhead costs like facilities, acquisition, and initial deployment. As you can see, the operational costs for IBM DB2 compare very favorably with Oracle Database, especially when you consider the superior performance of the DB2-based systems.

Operational Cost for Database Software on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database

And when you include overhead costs to determine the overall costs, as you might imagine, DB2 offers even better value.

Overall Cost for Database Software on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database

You can read and download the full Solitaire report at Comparing Real World Database Performance: IBM® DB2® versus Oracle® Database and Microsoft SQL Server®.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

Staffing and Time-to-Market for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database Environments

leave a comment »

Solitaire Interglobal surveyed IT departments about the amount of staffing needed for various database-related activities. When it comes to staffing, Solitaire notes that:

These staffing figures were collected from the actual operation groups measured in the other metric collection efforts, and cover organizations in North and South America, Asia, Europe, Antarctica and Australia. These organizations have reported staffing for 24×7 coverage, rather than single shift.

Antartica… really! Anyway, here’s the staffing information, first for IBM Power Systems environments and then for IBM System x environments:

Database Software Staff for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database in IBM Power Systems Environments
Database Software Staff for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database in IBM System x Environments

Solitare notes that a significant contributor to IBM DB2 requiring less staff are the requirements around the service desk or help desk. They attribute the difference to the number of calls, and the amount of time required to handle those calls. If you read the full report, you will see lots of great information about specific percentage differences for number and duration of calls on each platform.

Another interesting metric for comparing database software is time-to-market. This is the amount of time it takes an IT department to get a system up-and-running, from project inception to having live production systems. Time-to-market is a very important consideration for organizations who want to have agile and responsive IT departments. In this case, Solitaire note that:

The systems tracked for this portion of the study were paired based on either simultaneous comparative development, or function point equivalents and application type. The comparison is intended to be evocative and not quantitative, since other critical success factors can enter into this picture.

Here is the time-to-market comparison, first for IBM Power Systems environments and then for IBM System x environments:

Time-to-Market for Database Software Projects involving IBM DB2 and Oracle Database in IBM Power Systems Environments

Time-to-Market for Database Software Projects involving IBM DB2 and Oracle Database in IBM System x Environments

You can read and download the full Solitaire report at Comparing Real World Database Performance: IBM® DB2® versus Oracle® Database and Microsoft SQL Server®.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

IBM DB2 Users Report that they are More Satisfied than Oracle Database Users

leave a comment »

Yesterday, I blogged about relative outages for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database, as reported by Solitaire Interglobal. Well, Solitaire also surveyed people in data centers regarding their satisfaction levels with database software. Here is how Solitaire introduce their findings:

The ultimate metric for the success of any product is customer satisfaction. The satisfaction rating is an aggregate result of how well the customer feels that the DBMS provides benefit for the expense, reliability and thought leadership. As such, this rating can be seen as the final accolade of how well a product is doing.

Solitaire report the satisfaction for two groups: the Executives that manage the overall organization, and the Operational Staff that work with the systems on a day-to-day basis. Here are the findings. As you can see, both the Executives and the Operational Staff who work with DB2 report a higher satisfaction than those who work with Oracle Database.

First, here are the satisfaction ratings for environments running IBM Power Systems servers.
Database Software Customer Satisfaction in IBM Power Systems Environments

And here are the satisfaction ratings for environments running IBM System x servers.
Database Software Customer Satisfaction in IBM System x Environments

Not only do customers–both Executive and Operational–have a higher satisfaction rating for DB2, but interestingly the people who are hands-on day-in and day-out have the best satisfaction numbers.

You can read and download the full Solitaire report at Comparing Real World Database Performance: IBM® DB2® versus Oracle® Database and Microsoft SQL Server®.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

Comparing Outages for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database

leave a comment »

Solitaire Interglobal monitor client data centers around the world. Recently, they analyzed certain performance chartacteristics for database software within those data centers. One of those performance chartacteristics is reliability.

They measured database software reliability from 1,430 Power Systems/AIX production environments. Here is their explanation of the following charts:

…both the planned and unplanned outages affect the overall usability of the total system. The charts below show the number of outages that were recorded during the testing period, as well as, the total number of minutes that those outages consumed. The number of outages has been normalized for a 100-platform operation, with both planned and unplanned outages included.

As you can see, Oracle Database has more outages, and longer outages. Solitaire indicate that most of these are planned outages, with DB2 users reporting easier movement and allocation of resources. The next most significant factor was that Oracle Database requires a greater number of patches and upgrades.

Normalized Outage Count - Planned and Unplanned on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database - Source: Solitaire Interglobal

Normalized Outage Count - Planned and Unplanned on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database - Source: Solitaire Interglobal

Here is the same analysis for database software in IBM System x environments. In this case, the analysis is for 13,927 production environments and the number of outages has been normalized for a 75-platform operation.

Planned and Unplanned Outage Count on IBM System x - IBM DB2, Oracle Database, and Microsoft SQL Server - Source: Solitaire Interglobal

Planned and Unplanned Outage Time on IBM System x - IBM DB2, Oracle Database, and Microsoft SQL Server - Source: Solitaire Interglobal

Over the next few days, I will share more findings from the Solitaire report. You can read and download the full report at Comparing Real World Database Performance: IBM® DB2® versus Oracle® Database and Microsoft SQL Server®.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 9, 2011 at 11:59 am

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

with 5 comments

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 http://www.tpc.org. 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

IBM Again Shatters World Record on Two-Tier SAP SD Benchmark

leave a comment »

IBM today announced a new two-tier SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) benchmark result that crushes the Oracle/Sun results. The new benchmark result uses a 256-core Power 795 system with DB2 to support 126,063 SAP SD benchmark users. This is more than three times the number of users than Oracle’s largest system (a 256-core Sun SPARC Enterprise M9000 running Oracle Database). The IBM system was also able to handle more than three times the number of SAP SD users than Oracle’s result from September of this year that runs four clustered 32-core Sun Fire X4470 servers.

This new result is also the first to break the 500,000 SAPS level on a single system with more than 688,000 SAPS. The SAP Application Performance Standard (SAPS) is a measure of system throughput for business deliverables like customer sales orders or invoices. This result follows hot on the heels of last month’s result from IBM, which used a 128-core Power 795 system running DB2 to support 70,032 users. If you look at the effect of doubling the number of CPU cores from one benchmark to the next, you can see that the number of users supported is almost doubled. This near linear scaling is very reassuring for organizations whose SAP environments are growing significantly.

This benchmark result indicates that IBM can support your largest SAP systems, and that IBM can support the growth of those systems in a very efficient manner. But don’t forget that IBM Power Systems have tremendous virtualization capabilities. In fact, the latest optional PowerVM virtualization software allows customers to run more than 1,000 virtual servers on a single physical system. This means that you could also use a system like one in this benchmark to consolidate your various existing SAP environments onto one physical system, vastly simplifying your infrastructure and reducing costs in data center floor space, energy, management resources, and database and web application software.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

November 17, 2010 at 10:41 am

%d bloggers like this: