Feeds

IBM flashes 1.2 million TPC-C result

Feel the SandForce, Luke

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

IBM recorded 1.2 million TPC-C transactions on a Power 780 server using a massive 35TB of flash memory, in the vendor's latest storage burn-up.

Big Blue's 9179 Power 780 server was given 3.5TB of PCIe-connected solid state drive (SSD) NAND, identified by a FC4367 part number. We understand that this was multi-level-cell (MLC) flash driven by SandForce controllers.

The server had two 4-socket Power7 processors and ran AIX and the DB2 database. The disk storage comprised 26TB of 7200rpm SATA drives and 2.7TB of 15K SAS drives, making a total of 37.6TB of storage in the benchmark configuration (pdf).

The setup delivered 150,000 transactions a minute with each core. SandForce says this is 50 per cent better than the next fastest system. The result was not the fastest recorded; far from it, a Sun SPARC box recorded 7.65 million TPC-Cs last year. Nor is it best in price/performance; a Dell PowerEdge recorded $0.50/TPC-C in November last year, with the Power 780 delivering $0.69/TPC-C, sixth in the rankings behind various Dell and HP X86 servers.

Where the SandForce controllers shone, was in the performance delivered at that price. The top Dell box recorded 239,392 TPCs, and most of the other servers delivered less as we go down the list to IBM, with the exception of an HP ProLiant shooting out 705,652 TPC-Cs at $0.60/TPC-C from its 24 AMD cores. IBM was well ahead here with its 1.2 million TPC-Cs for $0.69/TPC-C.

Interestingly the HP ProLiant DL385G7 server used flash too, 1.89TB of the stuff, a quite small proportion of its 28.6TB of combined hard drive and SSD capacity.

These results did not measure performance against energy consumption, but we can assume that the flash-using systems have better energy usage figures than the disk-based servers.

The IBM result is a nice one for SandForce which is plugging the message that its controllers make very good use of MLC NAND, slower than the more expensive single-level cell (SLC) flash. It also shows IBM being quite willing to ring the changes; after all it did a million IOPS flash demo with Fusion-io in the QuickSilver project last year, then equipped its SAN Volume Controller with STEC flash, also used in its DS8000 storage array. Now it's using SandForce-controlled MLC flash in Power7 servers.

There is a good chance that in a year or so MLC flash prices will be lower, and flash-filled servers will win the TPC-C price/performance crown and the TPC performance crown as well. Already the leading TPC-C performance system, a Sun SPARC system, used a 1.92TB F5100 flash array. This was a relative pittance set against its 684.68TB of disk storage. But we will surely see systems with much more flash breaking a 10 million TPC-C barrier by the end of 2011. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO
If the web giants need it to work, hey, maybe it'll work
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
Storage array giants can use Azure to evacuate their back ends
Site Recovery can help to move snapshots around
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?