IBM Pushes x440 Benchmark Results Higher

IBM Corp. published an OLTP benchmark this week that demonstrates again the surging capabilities of Windows Datacenter Server on Xeon MP chips in eight-processor systems.

The result puts more distance between IBM's performance and that of its primary sales volume competitors for selling Intel-based eight-way servers -- Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp. Both HP and Dell continue to sell eight-way systems based on the Pentium III Xeon processors. IBM is into its second round of Xeon MP-based eight-processor systems.

IBM ran its new eight-way system against the Transaction Processing Performance Council's TPC-C benchmark. The database server anchoring the configuration was an IBM eServer xSeries 440 with eight 2-GHz Intel Xeon MP processors, each with 2 MB of integrated Level 3 cache. The system also ran Windows .NET Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, and SQL Server 2000, Enterprise Edition. The IBM system processed 111,024.39 transactions per minute (tpmC) at a cost of $6.76/tpmC.

The result was a 20 percent improvement over IBM's result a few months ago with a similar configuration and Intel's 1.6-GHz Xeon MP with 1 MB of L3 cache. The new result also conforms to the 20 percent OLTP performance boost Intel touted earlier this week in launching the 2-GHz chips.

The benchmark run puts IBM further ahead of the best eight-way Dell or HP result among Intel-based systems on the TPC-C charts: a Dell PowerEdge 8450 that processed 69,901.74 tpmC at a cost of $8.46/tpmC last year.

Meanwhile, the gold standard for maximum scalability for 32-bit Windows-based servers continues to be Unisys' 32-processor ES7000 server. Earlier this week, Unisys published a TPC-C benchmark result with its 32-processor system running Windows over 203,518 tpmC.

IBM is expected to bring out a 16-processor version of x440 later this year.

About the Author

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