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Running SQL Server on system no one's likely to buy

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Fujitsu Siemens is claiming a world records for database performance, based on recent US tests conducted with a version of Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 running on its Primergy H200 server.

Based on the industry standard Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) benchmark tests, Fujitsu Siemens is claiming that its dual processor servers can significantly lower transaction costs and raise speeds.

In the online transaction benchmark TPC-C test, the Primergy model H200 recorded 17025 tpm-C, a measure of how many transactions that can be completed in a minute, representing a price/performance ratio of Euro 16.88 ($15.55) / tpm-C.

Fujitsu's statistical spin doctors said this performance are the best result for a dual server and almost 5 per cent better than the previous benchmark. However the system used weighs in at a total cost of a whopping E287,384 ($264,795), and the speeds would not be achieved with smaller systems based on the server.

We had a chat with Simon Pilkington, Fujitsu Siemens' Primergy business manager, who said the tests show that Primergy customers can make the most of the server in database applications where it was more "cost efficient". However Fujitsu Siemens became shy when asked whether any of their customers would realistically use the system used in the test. Wouldn't they have got a better Unix set up for the money?

This isn't surprising because the tests don't really prove anything, other than statistics don't tell us much about real-life performance. Despite this Fujitsu Siemens' figures will be the stuff of PowerPoint presentations and rival claims from Oracle and Sun for months to come. We can hardly wait.

Last year Compaq and Microsoft touted a "record-breaking" benchmark of 227,079.15 tpmC obtained on an aggregation of a dozen eight-way ProLiant servers running Windows 2000 and SQL Server 2000. These figures were spun to suggest Windows Datacenter as a serious alternative to high-end Unix servers for running databases. Much the same pitch, albeit for a lower-end Windows server, is being put forward for the Fujitsu Siemens' servers.

For the record, the Primergy H200 server used in the benchmark was configured with two Intel Pentium III Xeon 1GHz processors and featured 256 KB SLC, 4GB RAM and 70 hard disks, giving a total storage capacity of 1177 GB. The performance was achieved using Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server and the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition. ®

External links

Transaction Processing Performance Council
Fujitsu Siemens press release: "World record holder made in Germany"

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