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IBM touts Power Systems prowess on SAP tests

ITG does some TCO touting, too

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Using Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition and SQL Server 2008 as well as the SAP ERP 6.0 code, this HP ProLiant box was able to process 1.53 million dialog steps per hour on the SD test while running at 99 per cent CPU utilization (as a database server, not running the apps in a single tier with the database) and delivered 0.96 second average response time. This four-socket box supported 4,665 users. Now, that's 24.3 per cent more users per machine or per socket compared to the Power 550 that IBM is bragging about. However, the HP box only supports 194 users per core, compared to 469 users per core on the Power 550.

See how software pricing strategies on multicore machines can really make a difference? Or conversely, how difficult it is to pin a software price to a system, a processor socket, or a core?

By the way, a similarly configured ProLiant BL685c four-socket blade server, configured with slightly slower (and much less hot) 2.6 GHz six-core Opteron 8435s and 64 GB of memory, was able to do 1.45 million dialog steps at peak utilization and sub-second average response, supporting 4,422 users.

Coming at the Power 550 from below are the new quad-core Xeon 5500 servers, which are only two-socket boxes, but are in the same performance class as the Power 550 if you do it by core count. Fujitsu just tested its Primergy BX920 S1 blade server on the SAP SD test using the Windows stack, and an eight-core, 16 thread box with 48 GB of main memory running full-tilt with sub-second response time could do 1.07 million dialog steps per hour and could support 3,260 end users.

A Primergy TX300 S5 tower server and a RX300 S5 rack server from Fujitsu running the same software with 48 GB of memory was able to support 3,328 users. The Power 550 beat these Fujitsu Gainestown machines, which were all configured with two of Intel's quad-core X5570 processors running at 2.93 GHz, to be sure. But without even doing the math, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Intel box is going to cost a lot less than the Power 550. HP's similar Proliant DL380 G6 rack servers and BL460c blade servers using the same X5570s supported 3,300 and 3,310 SD users on the Windows stack.

By the way, a Gainestown-based X4270 server from Sun Microsystems, running its Solaris 10 Unix and the Oracle 10g database using two of the same quad-core Xeon X5570 chips and 48 GB of memory, was able to support 3,700 SAP SD end users. That is within spitting distance of the 3,752 users that IBM is boasting about with the Power 550.

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