Sun-Oracle x86 server combo tops the SAP charts
AMD Istanbuls crank through the transactions
Basically, the Opteron box from Sun costs $15 per user for the hardware, while the Sparc box costs just under $39 per user for the base hardware. And with the T5440 having more cores, even with the Oracle fudge factors, the database price is going to go through the roof on the T5440.
To show that it has scale on SAP workloads, Sun and Fujitsu also tested the top-end Sparc Enterprise M9000 servers with 32 and 64 sockets loaded up with its most recent 2.88 GHz Sparc64-VII processors using the same Solaris 10/Oracle 10g software stack. In October, a 32-socket, 128 core M9000 with 1 TB of main memory was able to support 17,340 SD users on the SAP test running Solaris/10g, and a 64-socket box with 256 cores and was able to nearly double its performance to 32,000 SD users with 1.1 TB of memory (yes, it is a weird configuration).
Neither IBM nor HP have put their big iron Power and Itanium boxes through the paces using the sub-second response limit and the latest SAP ERP 6.0 code base, so it is not clear how these boxes stack up.
On the SPEC OMPL2001 high performance computing benchmark, which is designed to stress the processor, memory, compilers, and OpenMP implementation like physics, weather modeling, design, and other simulations do, Sun says that X4640 was able to hit a composite peak rating of 381,017 on the suite of nine tests that comprise this benchmark.
Last year, an X4440 server with four "Shanghai" quad-core Opteron 8384s running at 2.7 GHz peaked out at 175,648. That's a pretty decent jump, but a lot of it has to do with moving from 16 to 48 cores, and given the core count you might have expected more.
As you can see from the relatively skinny set of SPEC OMPL2001 results, the Sun and Fujitsu iron offers nearly four times as much more oomph on this test - provided you want to buy an M9000 with 256 cores.
HP and IBM have not run this test on their Unix iron in years, so the comparison Sun is making with this SPEC test is not as useful as it could be. But every benchmark is another data point, and is therefore to be welcomed. ®