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Unisys Puts 32 Processors to the Test

The 32-processor Windows 2000 Datacenter Server platform moved from paper tiger to benchmark-backed reality Tuesday when Unisys Corp. published SAP benchmark numbers for a fully loaded Cellular MultiProcessing (CMP) server.

The performance of a 32-processor Unisys ES7000 on the SAP Sales & Distribution benchmark approached – but didn't exceed -- the best results published for Unix/RISC systems.

Unisys retains some headroom in processor speed and may be able to goose some extra performance through future tuning, but the company may not be able to exceed the best Unix/RISC results until it can populate its system with 64-bit processors and software.

The ES7000 is designed to run 32-bit and 64-bit processors with the same server hardware.

Unisys achieved 18,500 SAP SD benchmark users with the 32-processor system running Windows 2000 Datacenter Server and SQL Server 2000.

The number to beat is 23,000 users posted by Sun Microsystems using its Solaris flavor of Unix and an Oracle Corp. database. That result is about 24 percent faster than what Unisys achieved.

Unisys has been methodically proving what it calls its 'Wintel mainframe' over the last few months, using the quasi-industry-standard SAP benchmark as a beachhead.

A major limitation of the SAP benchmark is that it doesn't require system cost disclosures. The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) benchmark is widely viewed as the industry-standard benchmark.

In late February, Unisys benchmarked a 16-processor ES7000 with Datacenter and SQL 2000. Then, last month, the company published results for a 24-processor machine. Scalability has been fairly steady. The 24-way with 14,400 users did 39 percent better than the 16-way with 10,400 users, and the 32-way did 29 percent better than the 24-way.

The three-tier test configuration consisted of a 32-processor ES7000 with 700 MHz Intel Pentium III Xeon processors and 12 GB of RAM. Unisys used 92 eight-processor application servers in the test.

While the Unisys result lags behind Solaris-Oracle benchmarks of 23,000 users and 19,360 users, it does displace an IBM AIX-Oracle system for third place. The IBM benchmark was 16,640 users. Both Solaris-Oracle results use 64 processors, and the most recent was logged in November. The eclipsed IBM result was obtained on 24 processors and recorded in 1999.

Related articles:
Unisys Scale-up Benchmarking Progresses to 24 Processors
Industry-Standard Benchmarking of ES7000 Begins
HP Reverses Course on Reselling Unisys CMP Systems
Unisys Drops Hints of Next CMP

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.