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IBM and HP take phony benchmark war up several notches

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IBM and Hewlett-Packard have both registered
benchmark wins this week for their server lines,
IBM on High Performance supercomputing
tasks and HP on high throughput transaction
rates, running under Oracle.

IBM made great noise and bluster about its new
1350 AMD Opteron powered 1350 supercluster,
benchmarking a 48 way version of it as substantially
faster than the previous best 64-way Hew-
lett-Packard Superdome.

IBM has been going on about using the Opteron in High Performance Computing (for HPC read supercomputers) ever since it stood on the stage at its launch by AMD at the darkest hour in AMD’s history and endorsed the Opteron, effectively turning the company around on a
sixpence. Since then AMD revenues have gone into overdrive and the company is almost out of the losses that threatened to kill it.

IBM now says it has achieved the number one spot on crucial industry benchmarks for high performance computing, and it says it “demolished” the existing scores held by the 64-bit processor HP Superdome when running various versions of the SPEC CHEM2002 where the 1350 scored higher than any previous single unit.

The 1350 was tested using the new e325 server, but it can be built with any combination of IBM eServer BladeCenter systems, including the xSeries 335 and 345 which use Opteron or the x345 or x360 which use the
Intel Xeon chip.

The IBM Cluster Management Software which runs this product is the Linux version of the software the powered IBM's famous Deep Blue chess-playing supercomputer. Almost as if Hewlett-Packard were answering IBM, it also published benchmarks this week, but these were in conjunction with Oracle, and were targeted at topping the pile in the Transaction
Processing Council's TPC-C benchmark.

The benchmarks were run on a 64-way Unix based Integrity Superdome powered by Itanium 2 processors running the Oracle 10g database.

They claimed jointly to become the first companies
ever to top one million transactions per minute on the benchmark.

HP and Oracle achieved 1,008,144.49 tpmC and claim a price performance ratio of $8.33 per tpmC. That last figure is all depending upon just what it is that you pay for your computing power when you deal with HP. If our sums are right the benchmark assumes that you get a 40 per cent plus discount from list prices to achieve that rate.

This result is 30 per cent faster than achieved by the nearest competitive hardware vendor ,says HP, and the test configuration consisted of a (non-clustered) 64-way HP Integrity Superdome running HP-UX 11i v2 with Oracle Database 10g and used HP StorageWorks Virtual
Arrays 7110 configured with 36 gigabyte and 73 gigabyte drives.

HP says that it now holds the top three TPC-C performance results, including the top five Unix, Linux and Windows results. Expect IBM to respond
in kind shortly.

© Copyright 2003 News IS

News IS is a weekly newsletter published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. News IS covers the news announcements, business transactions and financial statements of the top 150 or so IT vendors, along with other news of interest to the modern senior IT manager working within data centre technologies. Subscription details here.

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