Feeds

Microsoft challenges IBM to Websphere duel

Big Blue amused

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Curious position

IBM's position is curious, considering that Microsoft's comparisons were not exactly apples-to-apples and therefore subject to criticism. For the Web application portion of the test, Microsoft chose a Power 570 server with eight 4.2 GHz Power6 cores and put 32 GB of main memory on it. This machine was carved up into two WebSphere images, which hooked into two different Trade databases (which actually ran on four-socket BL680c Xeon blade servers from Hewlett-Packard), which it did through four Gigabit Ethernet links.

This IBM iron was compared to an HP BladeSystem equipped with four two-socket BL460c blades. But oddly enough, each blade only had one four-core, 3 GHz Xeon E5450 processor (instead of two) and had 32 GB of memory. With four blades, you have 16 cores and 128 GB of main memory, and with each blade having two Gigabit Ethernet NICs, for a total of eight NICs, it doesn't surprise me at all that four blades with a total of four times the memory did more work on the Trades test, as Microsoft's benchmarks show that it did.

To be fair, that IBM system did have 16 threads and so does the HP blade setup. But a virtual CPU is not the same thing as a real one when it comes to throughput, and Microsoft surely knows that. Also, the IBM machines were configured with AIX 5.3, not the more current AIX 6.1, which is tuned to take advantage of the Power6 generation of iron.

Moreover, IBM has Power6 blades, so a two-socket JS22 blade and a BladeCenter chassis would be a much more fair comparison to the HP blade setup. The Power 570 is an SMP server, and it is designed to scale up to 16 cores in the generation that Microsoft used in the test. And equally importantly, there were faster 4.7 GHz chips available than the 4.2 GHz ones Microsoft used in its test. Last October, IBM goosed the Power 570, doubling up its cores to a maximum of 32 using 4.2 GHz Power6+ chips.

The point is, the Power 570 is in a different weight class than the BL460c. Microsoft's comparison should have pitted the four-socket, 8-core, 16-thread Power 550 rack server, or better still, a Power 560 with twice as many cores (but running at only 3.6 GHz) against a four-socket ProLiant DL580 using Dunnington processors. And with an equivalent amount of memory per core or thread. Or, compare the HP blades against the IBM blades. The SMP boxes are far, far more expensive in an entry configuration than entry servers, which makes the comparison Microsoft did null and void as far as I am concerned.

Leake was not in much of a mood to hear that today in an interview, but that's the truth. But Microsoft is keen on trying to goad IBM into running tests or somehow reacting to Microsoft's benchmark results.

"We stand by our numbers," said Martin. "If IBM will participate and have a third party validate the results of tests, I'll pay."

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Step outside?

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.