Feeds

Microsoft challenges IBM to Websphere duel

Big Blue amused

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Microsoft is trying to get under IBM's skin with some benchmarks run in its Redmond labs using Big Blue's own Java-based test, Trade, and a variant of it ported to C#, which Microsoft calls .NET StockTrader. But as Microsoft throws down the benchmarking gauntlet, IBM is ignoring the calls for a WebSphere duel at the Middleware Corral.

The gauntlet was thrown down by Steven Martin, senior director of developer platform marketing at Microsoft, who launched a site called WebSphereLovesWindows to show off the results from some intricate benchmark tests that the nerds at Microsoft's labs have done to show how WebSphere on AIX iron stacks up to WebSphere running on Windows or the same application ported to C# and not using WebSphere at all, but the Windows stack.

(This site requires you to install the Microsoft equivalent to Flash, Silverlight, and I have managed thus far to avoid installing it. Because I'll give you a direct link to the PDF, which is here. Now you don't have to install Silverlight, either).

Martin is also blogging about the benchmark tests, which have been a pet project of Greg Leake, a techie in Microsoft's Connected Systems Division lab.

Let's back up a bit and start from the beginning before getting into Microsoft's claims about WebSphere performance. IBM created the Trade benchmark to do some internal testing on its servers, and as the name suggests, the Trade test simulates the data processing operations of a stock brokerage (just like the TPC-E test does, but they are not the same code). Trade was formerly known as the WebSphere Performance Benchmark, and the code behind it is implemented in Java and runs on Java-based application servers in a two-tier or three-tier environment.

For the past several years, IBM has been using Trade6 implementation of the test internally to benchmark the performance of its i5/OS, AIX, and Linux systems. A number of other vendors have taken the code (which IBM opened up) and used it to run tests, including Java appliance maker Azul Systems and Microsoft, which ported the code to C# and called it .NET StockTrader. This WebSphere-versus-Windows battle is not new. It has been going on for years, and Microsoft has compared WebSphere on Linux to the Windows stack using Trade on one side and StockTrader on the other.

What is new is that Microsoft is creating a variant of the Trade benchmark to support WebSphere 7, IBM's latest iteration of its Web application server, something that Big Blue has not, as far as anyone knows, done itself. (Leake says that as far as he knows, Big Blue has no intention of do so). The other trick this time around is that Microsoft is running its WebSphere 7-compatible version of Trade on IBM's own AIX operating system and Power Systems iron. It's not only comparing that against the C# StockTrader app running on Windows Server 2008, but also Trade running atop WebSphere 7 on Windows.

And to make its case a little stronger, Microsoft is also releasing the Trade and StockTrader application set (you can get the code here), which allows end users to run their own tests not only against WebSphere and Windows middleware, but also on any Java-compatible Web application server. (Leake says that Microsoft has tested its implementation of the Trade benchmark on systems running Oracle's WebLogic and Application Server middleware, but Oracle's license agreements prevent him from discussing this). The download also includes capacity planning tools to help system admins make use of the Trade and StockTrader results to compare and contrast with their own applications and other systems.

So far, IBM's manhood has not been insulted enough by the publication of WebSphere benchmarks by Microsoft to allow itself to be called out.

"We were amused when we read the Microsoft disclaimer that clearly stated 'Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented' in the report that forms the basis of these claims," explained Ron Favali, an IBM spokesperson, in an email exchange. IBM's WebSphere executives were not interested in talking about this, and when asked to present some Trade benchmark tests that might refute what Microsoft's claims, I got the brush off.

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Next page: Curious position

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.