HP Benchmarks SQL Server 2005 Scalability on TPC

SQL Server 2005 got its first independently audited public scalability test this week when Hewlett-Packard posted results of a run of the database against the Transaction Processing Performance Council's TPC-C and TPC-H benchmarks.

SQL Server 2005, which will launch the week of Nov. 7, did well compared to other databases that have been benchmarked on the same hardware. But SQL Server 2005 is far behind the scalability of databases that run on some RISC configurations unavailable to Windows.

The TPC-C benchmark measures OLTP performance, while the TPC-H is a decision support test.


For the TPC-C test, HP returned results of 1,082,203 transactions per minute (tpmC) on the benchmark at a cost of $5.38 per tpmC. The result is good for fourth in overall performance, third when not counting a clustered database. The No. 1 result remains a 64-processor IBM AIX/DB2/pSeries system that did 3,210,541 tpmC at a cost per tpmC of $5.19.

HP ran the TPC-C tests on its massive 64-processor HP Superdome server. Along with SQL Server 2005, the system ran on Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition, Itanium 2 1.6 GHz processors and a terabyte of system memory. In all, the system cost $5.8 million, HP reported -- $2.26 million of that went for RAM. By comparison, the total cost of the No. 1 IBM system is $16.7 million.

In announcing the TPC-C result at a Microsoft TechEd 2005 keynote Tuesday, Microsoft senior vice president for server applications Paul Flessner focused on the comparison against an Oracle 10G database run in late 2003 on the HP Superdome system in a similar configuration. That benchmark on the HP-UX flavor of Unix achieved 1,008,144 tpmC at a cost of $8.33 per tpmC.

"This was the first benchmark," Tom Rizzo, director of SQL Server marketing for Microsoft, said of the TPC-C result. "We expect it to move up."


On the TPC-H benchmark, Microsoft graduated to a new scalability category but came in about halfway down the list of results in that category. TPC-H results are segmented into five categories based on the size of the workload. The categories include 100 GB, 300 GB, 1 TB, 3 TB and 10 TB. SQL Server 2000 competed in the 100 GB workload range, but hadn't cracked the Top 10 in the 300 GB category.

As of this week, SQL Server 2005 cracked the 1 TB category. Rizzo said, "In the TPC-H 1 TB space, we haven't played."

Microsoft is ranked sixth in the 1 TB category with 13,637 queries per hour on the TPC-H (QphH) at a cost of $54/QphH. The No. 1 result in the 1 TB category belongs to an IBM eServer xSeries cluster running the IBM DB2 database on Suse Linux, which achieved 53,451 QphH at $33 per QphH.

About the Author

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