Unisys Takes Home Still Another Benchmark Trophy

Unisys Corp. used its ES7000 platform to notch yet another benchmark record today, registering the world’s best results in the Transaction Processing Performance Council’s (TPC) TPC-W benchmark.

TPC-W is a new TPC benchmark designed to measure database server performance and price/performance in OLTP implementations. 

In the TPC-W test, a 16 processor Unisys ES7000 system running Windows 2000 Datacenter Server and SQL Server 2000 Enterprise served 10,439 Web interactions per second (WIPS) @ 100,000 simulated store items.

“TPC-W is yet another proof point that says we are able to bring Windows and Intel into the data center and change the economy there,” claims Mark Feverston, vice president of enterprise serve programs at Unisys. Feverson says that the new TPC-W benchmark is a more accurate reflection of real world circumstances than is the older TPC-C benchmark standard.

“TPC-W looks like it’s an up and coming benchmark because it now more closely represents the modern application architecture. It’s a Web-based benchmark showing Web purchasing transactions, so it’s more attuned to a lot of the applications that you see in the market today such as SAP, Siebel or JD Edwards,” he maintains.

Today’s test results also provide another proof point for Unisys’ ES7000 platform and for the cellular multiprocessing (CMP) architecture upon which it’s based, says David Friedlander, an industry analyst with consultancy Giga Information Group.

In setting the new record, the 16-processor ES7000 system outperformed the previous TPC-W record holder, a 12-processor e-Server xSeries 430 from IBM Corp. (which notched 7,554 WIPS @ 100,000 simulated store items) by a margin of 28 percent – demonstrating better than linear scalability on a per-processor basis. “Even if IBM ran that benchmark with 16 processors, they wouldn’t have been able to compete with the Unisys results,” Friedlander notes. “For the Intel platform, at the moment, CMP certainly scales better. It scales farther and better beyond eight-way than any competing product.”

For his part, Unisys’ Feverston says that the ES7000’s performance in several major benchmarks – the SAP SD CRM-based transaction benchmark and the TPC-W foremost among them – makes another strong argument for Intel-based servers running Windows 2000 in the data center.

“We continue to show via our benchmarks, such as the SAP SD and now the TPC-W dollars-per-performance value that is significantly better than mainframes or Unix,” he concludes.

In the end, however, Giga’s Friedlander says that he takes all benchmarks – especially those involving Windows-based systems – with a grain of salt. Moreover, he says that although Intel-based servers running Windows 2000 may be posting benchmark numbers and price/performance ratios that compete with RISC/Unix, the greater cost associated with managing Windows systems isn’t taken into account.

“The proof points that Unisys needs for the ES7000 aren’t benchmarks but customer deployments,” he concludes. “They need customers who are willing to say that [the ES7000] far exceeds the performance of a Sun [Ultra Enterprise] 10000.” Stephen Swoyer

About the Author

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