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HP discounts in benchmark spotlight

Giga goes shark-fishing for big iron

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The fur continues to fly whenever big iron benchmarks are published, but Giga's acid advisory about Hewlett Packard's latest Superdome TPC results promises to raise the stakes even higher.

Giga analyst Lou Agosta points out that the price/performance result of Superdome's TPC-H benchmark includes a steep discount over the list price, and strongly advises potential customers to take advantage of the offer. And if HP doesn't honour the offer, he notes, it should do the decent thing and withdraw the benchmark.

(You can view the results here, in the 3000GB section.) HP submitted the results shortly before Christmas.

"Potential purchasers should note there is a discount of more than $7,881,000 off a list price of $16,120,611. In contrast, there is no published discount in the comparable Sun and Teradata benchmarks, though buyers may negotiate for concessions based on HP's behavior," advises Giga.

"Having now published a discount, HP has made a commitment, and if it does not honor it, it must withdraw the benchmark by TPC rules," he adds.

He's exposed one of the sore points of competing vendors. Sun for one has privately complained - to anyone who'll listen. Last year it picked up its ball and decided that it wouldn't submit any results from its E10000 replacement StarCat to the Transaction Processing Performance Council.

Giga advises potential customers to watch out for vendors' promises of "large configuration discount and support prepayments", and suggests they use this to their advantage.

HP has been particularly bold in offering pay as you go utility pricing for its big iron - that's where you buy a huge amount of kit but only pay for the parts that you use. It's also been trying to repair the damage caused by the first batch of poor benchmarks for Superdome, which it alleges were caused by employee sabotage. In November, HP's revised TPC figures were 98 per cent better than the first, spoiled batch. ®

Related Stories

Worker 'rigged' HP Superdome
HP offers 'pay as you go' pricing for servers
HP looks beyond Superdome 'sabotage'

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