Feeds

Microsoft challenges IBM to Websphere duel

Big Blue amused

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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."

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Next page: Step outside?

More from The Register

next story
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.